I just wanted to update this course review. This course has changed quite a bit since the last review. We got a new prof (Ray La Pierre) and he's pretty strict. He was a nice guy and was very good at explaining concepts but this course has definitely taken a turn to becoming really hard.
The marking scheme was:
Final exam 45%
As the course title suggest, this course focused on electricity and magnetism.
We started off with some new math: grad, div, curls and stokes, flux etc. I would high suggest you read these notes really carefully. Everything after this point is based on these concepts. We then went into electricity. Electric fields, voltage, Laplacian eqn, electric displacement. Magnetism included magnetic biot savart's law, ampere's lab, magnetic vector potential (thank god he didn't test this) etc. These two components took up almost the entire course (2 month). It should be noted that he uses the earlier math to prove stuff and explain concepts in these two sections, so if you didn't listen enough in the first little bit, you're screwed. The last part of the course was on Maxwell's eqns and electromagnetic waves.
Tutorials were generally easy. The TA explains recent concepts from class and you do a little quiz at the end. Class average was almost always above 80%. Should be easy marks.
The labs didn't have as much to do with the course material as I would of liked. They were more tangentially related but help you understand that we're only dealing with the most simplest cases in class. It was every other week and you had to do a formal lab report at the end. (They drop your lowest two reports though). These reports were very time consuming, they probably took me close to a weekendday (ie. Sunday) each. The marks on the labs varied greatly between TA's, so it all depends on luck.
The assignments were ok. I wouldn't recommend leaving them to the last minute, but they were definitely doable especially if you're in a group. Sometimes we used a new program called Flexpde to graph electric fields and interpreted them. The class also had a high average for this (low 70%)
As you see, there was no midterm for this class so many people didn't keep up. The final was, by far, the hardest final I've ever written in my 3 years at mac so far. They were on the level of the assignments except you don't have your books and there is a time limit. I don't think there was any straight forward questions on there, it was never just plug and chug in an equations. Class average was 48% and La Pierre didn't bell (He's pretty strict..see?). Anyway, you also got to bring in a sheet of paper with anything you wanted on it (ie. a cheat sheet). It didn't really help that much, we all got destroyed anyway. Study long and hard for this!!!!
This is now a VERY hard class. Class average at the end was low 60 high 50 and a substantial amount of people did not pass. You definitely need to go to lecture and review the notes afterwards. I would recommend review all the material as if there was a midterm. I feel many people got screwed over because they failed to review enough. Also, make sure to ask him question if you don't understand stuff. If you review your notes often, you should be able to learn and do well in this class.