Kristen Menou

Dec 2007

Menou is a self purported theorist, and is fairly apt at explaining the complex systems and processes involved in this class. However, he seems to expect his students to be able to absorb the material as fast as he can, which is obviously not always the case. His class is extremely fast paced, and you cannot lag behind or else you will find that you have no idea what's going on. The problem sets are next to impossible without collaboration, and his exams have very little to do with anything that is covered by the problem sets. This class is a little too quantitative for an intro class, and it definitely should not turn off potential astrophysics majors taking their first class in the department like it did for me. I guess the redeeming thing about Menou is that he really care a lot about how you're doing in his class, and is always available to help

Jan 2005

Kristen's class is a little bit of a conundrum. He's a fairly dynamic lecturer, and explains concepts pretty well, but his workload is absolutely impossible. After sitting in class, you can be sure you know what's going on, but then taking a glance at the homework makes you think you picked up the problem set for the wrong class. He asks very tedious, multi-step derivation-oriented problems, and is an extremely harsh grader, so don't expect much partial credit. Be prepared to punch long strings of numbers into your calculator in a minimal amount of time on exams, and if you hit the wrong button in one of the steps, be prepared to lose most or all of the credit for the problem. All in all, a very unsatisfying course- the class was okay, but you really felt like he was out to get you with the difficulty of the exams and the grading. Do yourself a favor, and wait until Frits or someone else teaches this course.