Review Comment

Planet Earth

June 24, 2008

Anderson, Roger
Planet Earth

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Planet Earth with Roger Anderson is a wonderful class for non-science majors. It's all about the big ideas, not nitty gritty calculations. Prof. Anderson is obviously passionate and incredibly knowledgeable in his field. He lectures one day per week, and on the other day you do group activities.
I highly recommend this class and Prof. Anderson in general.

Workload:

Light. Readings every week that are quizzed on in class (the quizzes are brief, and generously graded), midterm, final, term paper. no homework.

April 17, 2007

Anderson, Roger
Planet Earth

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

First of all, ignore the previous reviews about this class. I was hesitant in the beginning to take it because of those reviews and they both turned out to be false.

As of now, this course is very well-structured. There are 2 textbooks, one of which was written by professor Anderson (free to download from CourseWorks) and another one is Blue Planet by Skinner. Every week starts with a 2 question 10 minute quiz on the readings - one question from the current week's reading and another one on the previous week's reading (sounds bad, but it actually makes you keep up with the readings + the questions are not really tricky). Then there is a lecture, which is rather interesting and informative. Anderson does his best at explaining stuff that science-challenged people like myself have a hard time understanding. Jot down everything he says, even when it sounds obvious and stupid. Most of what he said in class showed up on the exams. (Consider one of the questions on the midterm: "How do you make life in a lab?") The second class of the week is a group activity class: students get divided into groups of 3-4 and do something cool like breaking Mars chocolate bars to see how planet tectonics and mountains can produce oil :-)
The midterm & final are lecture-heavy and you are only responsible for the stuff that we discuss in class. The Skinner book gets rather technical, but you do not have to know all the facts from it, my advice is to study Anderson's book.
Anderson's sense of humor is weird, but for some reason likable.
The TA for this class was Abby Spieler and she was awesome - very helpful inside and outside the class and just a great person.
Overall, great class for those who want to satisfy the science requirement and have some fun.

Workload:

Weekly quizes on readings; 4-page research proposal due by the end of the semester; in-class midterm; in-class final and a "field" trip to the Museum of Natural History

Directory Data

Dept/Subj Directory Course Professor Year Semester Time Section