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I agree with most of what Michael has written here, except that I think we
either have very different students, or a different approach to general
physics. Most upper level non-major (pre-med, comp sci mostly) students
struggle in our algebra-based general physics and only math and physics
majors ever take calculus-based.
Then again, I don't consider these introductory level courses. They are
rigorous and challenging. I've actually recently put pre-reqs on them of 4
yrs HS math and ACT of 24 and HS physics, or the relevant intro level
courses (pre-calc, intro physics). Then, our intro level courses really
are intro level and are equally open to all majors.
Yes, that means that non-majors will be competing with majors in those
courses, but only with those majors who have weak incoming skills or who
haven't taken HS physics. The others will skip right over the intro level
>I think a good HS graduate who is not a science major can take my
>calculus-based introductory physics course along with the physics
>majors. Indeed, many have done so.