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Re: [Phys-l] Premed Requirements Commentary

I think the same thing could be said within the physics departments as well.
No one "really" understands physics after taking general physics. One has to
encounter the material many times - e.g., the junior level mechanics course
- to develop an intuitive feel and consistent logical web of thinking. FCI
courses do no better - except of course they prepare you for an FCI test.

I started my college life as an engineer and took physics with the
engineering department. I then transferred to the physics department as a
Sophomore. I didn't feel that I was starting to see through the fog until
the Junior-Senior courses. In fact, it may not have been until graduate
level mechanics and e&m.

I have not seen the statistics on calculus and physics, but I was just
talking to the chemistry chair in our building and she says that organic
chemistry is a tight predictor for success in medical school. The actual
material may not be used, but the thought process and organizational
techniques used in orgo are similar to that in physiology - hence the
predictive power and the benefit of repeating similar thought patterns.

Bob at PC

-----Original Message-----
From: [mailto:phys-l-] On Behalf Of John Clement
Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2006 12:07 AM
To: 'Forum for Physics Educators'
Subject: Re: [Phys-l] Premed Requirements Commentary

At my son's college the physics profs are held in low regard by the
engineering dept. They have stated that the engineers only really learn
physics when they get into their mechanics course. Actually, the
course is so conventional, that it is doubtful that physics is really well
learned there. It is just that the general physics courses are poorly
taught by comparison.

We have met the enemy and he is us!

John M. Clement
Houston, TX