RIT SG Professor Evaluations ca. 2005

Professors by Name | Professors by Rating | Professors by Department

Ratings for James Kern

9120023Does a pretty good job covering the material. He's a bit anal on quizes but tells you that. The tests we had were all multiple choice. Attendance wasn't manditory, but quizes were random.
6820023smart guy but can't teach lower level classes
8820023Take him if you want to learn physics. I had him for Physics I and he tended to jump between topics on the board, mostly filling it with proofs and small details. I'd imagine he's a better teacher for a higher level course, as he really seems to know the material and displays real enthusiasm for teaching it, although he doesn't understand that most people in the class don't share it. WebAssign homework was reasonable, although some questions were quite difficult. Quizzes are graded on your knowledge of physics and how you solve the problem, not your answer, although you get at least 5/10 just for showing up, and all the tests are multiple choice with generous curves (this includes the FINAL). The bottom line: if you show up to class, do the work, and want to learn, you will easily get a B, if you don't show up, don't pay attention or don't care, you will probably get a D, and he loves to humiliate people who are visibly not paying attention during lecture.
8120023I felt very lost in his class, but he was always willing to help. He curves grades really bad (which I feel that says something about the way he teaches) but for someone who is good at physics, its easy to get a decent grade. For those with poor background in it, you'll find yourself in his office a lot getting help. Pretty easy to talk to.
8520023If you are talking to somebody else and not paying attention, Professor Kern gets an evil grin on his face and will rip on and humilliate that student. It never happened to me personally but it was pretty funny. This guy is like Simon from American Idol, only he's from somewhere in the South. I'm expecting an A, but I learned most of the stuff from the book.
7520012Difficult to understand, doesn't explain concepts very thouroughly. Tends to bounce back and forth between topics on the board.
9120012Kern is the man! I had him for Modern Physics and he was great at explaining the material. I got a B and really enjoyed the class.
8820012Good professor. Do your homework and you'll be fine. Curves every exam score.
8520012Dr. Kern was a decent professor. He can be a little nazi-like with the method you do your work; however, I learned alot in his class. Take him if you want to learn something. Grading kind of erratic.
6820012watch it in his class your back in high school, no laughing or talking or he will blow up. and all he does is prove equations and say yep teach yourself
8520012Alright professor, really willing to help. I found that he just didn't seem to connect with the class during lecture. Fair grader.
6120012Dr Kern's lecture is not only unstimulating, but not very useful. He has pre-written notes on the overhead. These notes are not only hard to read but lack good quality content. Furthermore, he blows right though the overhead notes. It is my understanding that we do work on our own outside of class to help our understanding. However, i expect my time in class to be useful and enriching. For Dr Kern, this is not the case
9920012Great guy. Curves a lot but the tests are challenging. The final is easy if you have any idea of the course material. Take him...
7520012Very strict when it comes to procedure and classroom behavior. Sometimes the WebAssign homeworks are easy, others they are incredibly hard. Grades tests on the physics you know rather more than the answer. Not very effective in truly teaching the material in class, as all he does is a bunch of formulas and proofs. I guess there's supposed to be a lot of book learning you do on your own, but it'd have been nice to learn more from him.
8520011Professor Kern is a great professor, he knows the material, and gets it a cross in a way that the students can understand it, If you really want to learn Physics he is your man. However as a word of warning, he doesn't do many sample problems in class, and his tests are hard. If you work hard, and go see him for help when needed he's great.
9120011I had him for Modern Physics. Do the homework (he collects notebooks). AT LEAST try every question and you'll get 15/15 for the quarter. He curves tests, but don't let it fool you. You have to know what you are doing to pass. See him outside of class for questions- very accessible and a nice guy!
8520011In lab, Kern gives thorough notes about the lab b/f hand, is willing help cooperative students, etc. However, his grading is extra picky on labs, so be careful that you have a hard-working lab partner.
7820011Lecture isn't very stimulating. He doesn't do any example problems in class......
7120011He seemed ok at first because he teaches the material well, but webassign is retarded and his idea of fair grading is anything but. He definately had students who he favored more than others. He makes you feel like you dont know the material when in fact you really do!
8820004I'll admit I had my doubts about this professor, given the many emotionally charged comments he's received. After taking his Univ Phys 2 class, however, I've come to the conclusion that no one has anything to fear from this guy. He presented the material in a perfectly reasonable manner, didn't assign much more homework than any other Phys prof I've heard about, and graded very fairly. I'd take him again if I had the opportunity.
8120004Kern knows his stuff about physics, but he needs to work on his people skill. He does expect you to work hard, but if you can handle it its ok.
9520003This is coming NOT from a physics major or even a physics buff... And I am telling you - Dr.Kern is great! He is very fair on all his tests, on most tests I would've given myself fewer points than he did!

His final exam for Univ.Physics II was cake, multiple choice! He teaches you to think, not stupidly put numbers into equations! He wants you to learn physics and he makes sure that you do! And if you do the homework, you can EASILY get a B, and maybe even an A. He may seem or even be grouchy at times, but that's because of idiots that instead of trying to learn something from him just open their dirty mouths and blab. - Don't believe them if you have any self-respect.

You don't need to go far, just look at Dr.Kern's class averages - all almost exclusively above 80! So, that in itself can testify for what I'm saying here.

I'd jump at the opportunity to take another class with Dr.Kern, and recommend you do too!
7820003Does what he has to do and not much more, can be very good at times.
9120003Hi this is someone who will remain anonymous and still follow all the RIT rules and regulations (as represented by this site) while exploiting the RIT Professor Evaluation System. First I’d like to say our “president” (that would be President Felipe Giraldo) in his comments under Professor Kovacs is doing the same thing as I am, using this site to make a point. His grade of “A+” is no reflection on how he would rate professor Kovacs. In any event, what I really want to talk about is Student Government – or should I say some higher up individuals in SG who often act short sited with only the concern of themselves. They recklessly use technology, doing nothing good and are very SLOW, yes, VERY SLOW to realize the errors in their ways. I don’t want to name names here (although I probably should considering this is a naming site) cause I’m nice but I will say they are high up in office. To summarize, some people high up in SG are slow, uncaring, unkind, not open to alternatives, don’t deal with outside people very well, incompetent and arrogant. Guess your basic run of the mills idiots who should never have been admitted to RIT in the first place. You SUCK, go away filth!! I would like to see a lot of you LEAVE office immediately! Oh, anyone who may be reading this and one of these pathetic excuses of a person – if you are offended by what I wrote, if it makes you angry or upset, join the club buddies. Cause without even knowing it, you made this club. LEAVE OFFICE cause you are losers and suck a lot of junk!!! (hats off to the student senate though, you people a cool, many of you actually care). Hey SG people, I think my point has been made. Have a nice day.
8520003All his base are belong to us
4820003Modern Physics : Very bad, had no clue what he was doing; canceled 20% of the classes, literally we didn't finish the last chapter and flew through much other material. He had to constantly massively curve the grades to keep them reasonable. I can't believe he still has a job.
6120003Has the potential to be a really good professor, but he just can't put it all together. Needs to improve his people skills. Has a few good and a few bad policies on grading.
4820003This teacher doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground. DO NOT TAKE HIM. He is the vendictive dictator.
8120003He isnt a bad professor. I would recommend him to anyone. His grading system isnt great, but he knows his physics and I trust his grading practices.
8820003I have Kern for Physics I. THis is my second time I'm taking physics I, because I failed miserably when I took Shaw's "No Partial Credit" class. Having both teachers they are exact opposites. Shaw cared about the number you circled on the paper as your answer. Kern, believe it or not, cares about how much Physics you know. On the last test I took from him, I got teh majority of the test wrong, but still recieved a 65. With Shaw I could have typed a number wrong in my calculator, but did the rest of the problem right, and get total credit off. Kern is the only Physics teacher I will ever take. And on another note, to the kid who went into his class and told him how bad of a teacher he was, should be ashamed. This guy truly cares about his students, and from what I hear, your comments hurt him. If he ever reads this, he should know not all his students feel that way.
9520002great teacher, very hard... if you talk in class, if you are a derelict, DO NOT sign up.... if you are an idiot and like to post stupid messages about him, grow up... he is not a 'bulley' or a bully, but a well spoken physics professor who dislikes disrespect and rude behavior... physics is a hard subject to master and delinquents distracting the rest of the class have to be told to shut up, no matter how much you pay the institute.
8520002First of all, he does not discriminate against anyone. If you are being disrespectful, you will be confronted (people should expect this more often anyways). His class is hard, but you cannot fail. Kern is a refreshing deviation from the normal instructors who let students do whatever they want in class. He doesn't have a problem with people unless they are being disresectful or absolutely stupid. He is strict, but fair. Oh and I won't hide behind anonymity like the other slanderous people on this site. #Collin Hames
9520002Excellent professor. Hard, strict, but fair and consistent. Lazy people don't like him because they don't work hard. Put in the effort and you'll do well, learn a lot, and have his respect.
8520002From Intro to Modern Physics: This is a tough class, with a fast pace and rigorous material. Kern's presentation isn't particularly amazing or revolutionary, but he has a very solid grasp on modern physics and can answer questions well. Grades test in an odd manner that may leave you scratching your head about your grade. I'm still not sure why I got the grades I did on the tests. He was somewhat opaque, defensive, and condescending regarding this during individual conversations. He's not an easy teacher to get an A with, certainly, but he does a good job of presenting material and helping the students learn it.
Also, I haven't had any of the problems with Kern that I've had with other physics professors, including: mumbling, illegible handwriting, inconsistency with class texts, and unreasonably difficult coursework.
9520002Kern is a tough, but fair professor. He genuinely loves to teach and that's very rare in a physics professor around here. His classes are hard, but it's almost impossible to fail. If you want to learn a lot, while doing the work to show for it, take Kern.
9520002Let's look at some of the other comments: someone who complained the class was too hard after they stopped going... someone who complains that he grades by whether or not you know the material... and the rest either cannot spell or type...

In actuality, Dr. Kern goes out of his way to help students understand the topics, and is an excellent teacher. He runs his class in a well organized manner. He has equal expectations from everyone. If you take his class, you will learn the material.
5320002This guy was awful. I had him for univ. physics I and he expected us to know stuff that I didn't learn until later math classes. He makes the class feel like idiots and is completely degrading. Don't take him if you have self-esteem problems.
9120002Kern has a genuine desire for his students to learn the material. He presents it very well, and fairly expects his students to do their part in learning it. He's from the old school of thought: students should work as hard as they can and average effort gets a C. That means you will learn the material better from him than the other teachers and be better prepared for later courses, but your grade might not be as high. Definitely take him.
9520002Dr Kern is an excellent professor. He is a straight shooter and doesn't mess around. Expect to work hard, and to be rewarded for your efforts. His grading policy is extremely fair, probably too lenient for those who are destined to fail. He is helpful and available after and outside class.
9120002I had Kern for University Physics 2, 3. Received a C then a B, he brought me up to speed about physics basics. He expects you to work hard, no excuses. A real college teacher, RIT needs more like him
7120002When I had Kern for physics 2, he was a complete a**hole. He would throw up slide, read it to you, throw up another one, read it to you, and on and on... his grading was totally unfair, I got an 85 on a test because I left out a negative sign on ONE step of ONE problem (not even in the answer)... he seemed preoccupied with his astronomy and didn't really seem to care about lowly physics 2. Recitation was the only good part; he was actually helpful sometimes, but also could be overly critical.
8820002Prof. Kern definitely knows what he's talking about. However, he could be a little more patient when it comes to answering questions. He also makes your performance (or lack of it) to personal for my tastes. He devotes too much class time to trying to make people feel bad about their lack of dedication to his class.
4820002He's like a bulley with power. The way he grades (quoted from him) is: "Even if you get it right, and I don't think you really know the material, you will get an 'F'. Though if you get it wrong and I think you still know what you're doing, then you'll get an 'A'." So basically he can give you any grade he wants with no reason... and he does. He has no respect for anyone and he treats you like you're in middle school.
9920002Kern is awesome. Warnig: he is not easy. If you take his class you will learn a lot. It is hard to get an A but even harder to fail. If you show up to class you will undoubtedly pass the class. He is a great,but strict, teacher. He is always willing to help students with questions in and out of class. He dislikes disrespect: if you are a dsitraction in class he will say something.
7120002You will labor over his class. Then you will die. Impossible grader. He doesn't want to to use established physics formulas. He wants you to first derive the formulas from something very basic... then go apply them. Impossible guy!
4820002This guy knows nothing about what student's need and desire to learn the topics he teaches. He just ignore students' overwhelm with the freakin details of topics and unnecessary informations. Again, he was hit with major students issues with discriminations. Hope he learns something from it and make teaching qualities better for his future sake!
8819993An overall good physics professor. Benefitted from his mandatory recetation classes.
7119993Enjoys humiliating students and commenting on how dumb our generation is, expectations are high but not unreasonable, tests are fair, would be a good teacher if he did not have such an unfortunate personality
7519993He is willing to help you if you show interest in the concepts. Grading is unique and is based on the overall responses on tests. Tests are fair, if you fail, you should be ashamed. He has great knowledge of the subjects and thinks of ways to relay those subjects so he doesn t relay them wrong. Stresses that PHYSICS IS NOT LIKE ENGLISH...WHEN YOU MEAN SOMETHING, IT MEANS A DEFINITE THING...AND THAT IS WHY MOST PEOPLE CAN T PASS PHYSICS. Know how to derive equations rather than memorizing and you are guaranteed to at least pass.