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Professor Ratings & Grade Distribution Data for Almas Khan

Almas Khan
Professor (2011 – 2015)
Virginia Tech (VT)
Rate Professor
 
3.9123***+
Overall rating
Rated by 57 students
2.92
Avg GPA
across 2 classes
Fall 2015 Schedule
Add to schedule M 11:15am-12:05pm,
MW 4:00pm-5:15pm
Add to schedule TR 12:30pm-1:45pm,
W 11:15am-12:05pm
All Classes
PHYS 2305
PHYS 2306

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Most Helpful Favorable Professor Review
Most Helpful Critical Professor Review
5*****
PHYS 2306 - Foundations of Physics I
Pros: He is a very respectful guy, and gives a lot of resources to study for tests. Everything in the class is curved to an 83%. His notes are very in depth, and his demonstrations are very interesting. His in-class notes were fairly detailed and helpful.
Cons: He spends a lot of time deriving formulas in class, and doesn't spend as much time teaching you how to use him.
Professor rated by: Aerospace and Ocean Engineerin Student on 1/28/12
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
+8 Helpful
2**
PHYS 2306 - Foundations of Physics I
Almas is a nice guy, but he is not very efficient at explaining how to do problems. If he could do a better job of explaining concepts while he works through problems, he would be a much better teacher. Another thing about him is that he believes t...
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Pros: Can be a little generous on grading (worst test score will count the least)
Cons: Mastering Physics Homework is absolutely terrible. Spends more time deriving formulas rather than teaching how to use them. Doesn't explain concepts. Examples in class don't really help you with homework. Recitation is a complete waste of time.
Professor rated by: Engineering Student on 3/28/11
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
+10 Helpful

Student Ratings 1 - 20 of 57

 
PHYS 2306
Foundations of Physics I
2**
Pros: Can be a little generous on grading (worst test score will count the least)
Cons: Mastering Physics Homework is absolutely terrible. Spends more time deriving formulas rather than teaching how to use them. Doesn't explain concepts. Examples in class don't really help you with homework. Recitation is a complete waste of time.
Almas is a nice guy, but he is not very efficient at explaining how to do problems. If he could do a better job of explaining concepts while he works through problems, he would be a much better teacher. Another thing about him is that he believes that the book is all you need for the course, which is a complete joke. The tests and homework really don't coincide that well. If you can get Chang for physics, then you are much better off taking it with him.
Professor rated by: Engineering Student on March 28, 2011
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
PHYS 2305
Foundations of Physics I
1*
Pros: He's easy to talk to and willing to give you extra time if you ask him.

He's a nice professor.

Sometimes makes you laugh.
Cons: His lectures are somehow bereft of any theory. You have to walk into the class already understanding all the material in order to follow what he is saying.

The examples that he gives in class tend not to be very helpful. Especially, as he often uses algebra as opposed to real numbers. I can do algebra but I find it harder to follow the thought process when I'm looking at a bunch of letters.

Often he doesn't explain what he is doing; he expects the textbook to do all the heavy lifting but admits that the textbook is poorly written.

My class notes from his lectures are next to useless. Professor Khan doesn't write much pertinent information on the board so you're left frantically trying to scribble down everything he says. The only information he does put on the board is diagrams, equations and the maths. Which by themselves are useless when you come to review your notes as there is nothing to explain what is happening.

He doesn't give a worded description of what a concept is, instead he gives the mathematical expression which does little to help you understand what the concept is practically.

Exams have 10 questions, as such there is almost no room for error.



I took this class during Summer II 2012. I honestly feel that I didn't learn anything from this class. I read the textbook and I don' think that it was of much help.



Avoid Khan if at all possible.
Professor rated by: Undeclared Student on August 20, 2012
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
PHYS 2306
Foundations of Physics I
5*****
Pros: He is a very respectful guy, and gives a lot of resources to study for tests. Everything in the class is curved to an 83%. His notes are very in depth, and his demonstrations are very interesting. His in-class notes were fairly detailed and helpful.
Cons: He spends a lot of time deriving formulas in class, and doesn't spend as much time teaching you how to use him.
Professor rated by: Aerospace and Ocean Engineerin Student on January 28, 2012
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
PHYS 2306
Foundations of Physics I
1*
Pros: Nice guy
Cons: Hard to understand

Doesn't really solve many legit problems to help on exams; just derives formulas
This is for 2305. I'll give it to Khan that he's a nice guy and respects his students. Other than that he is just god awful. I can honestly say I have not learned a single thing about physics this entire year. The lectures are pointless unless you actually like wasting away part of your life seeing how to derive formulas. No specifics are shown and come test time he only gives a measly 12 Questions (usually over 4-5 chapters) with no partial credit which leaves little room for error especially when you know nothing. It's pretty much a guessing game and you just pray the good lord has mercy on your soul. Good Luck if your stuck with him because unless you took AP in high school, your going to be teaching yourself the whole way through.
Professor rated by: Business Information Technology Student on April 28, 2011
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
PHYS 2306
Foundations of Physics I
2**
Pros: Rather funny, tries to do demonstrations to make it more interesting. Easy to approach, willing to help.
Cons: It's physics...not much you can do about that. But he has a difficult accent, he also basically only derives equations, easily gets off topic.
All tests are at 5:30 on Friday nights, which is terrible. But the tests are all multiple choice and they are usually curved because no one knows what the heck is going on in the class. HE also uses iClicker, but usually only has 1-3 questions a class.
Professor rated by: Industrial and Systems Enginee Student on February 10, 2012
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
PHYS 2306
Foundations of Physics I
4****
Pros: Funny, energetic, and very nice! Definitely knows his stuff. Tests are essentially a joke if you more or less know what you are doing, and cram the practice test material onto your formula sheet.
Cons: Good luck staying awake during hour and 15 min classes of his. Mostly, he just endlessly derives. Doesn't do enough problems
Tests really are easy, and i clickers are 5% extra credit. Completely mitigates any time you screw up a test. Also don't be surprised if you see him downtown in a "lucid" state
Professor rated by: Engineering Student on May 11, 2014
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
PHYS 2306
Foundations of Physics I
5*****
Pros: Nice guy, definitely will help you out if you come to office hours. Works through theory first for a little and then gives you a lot of example problems
Cons: May skip over some material, but he makes sure to remind you to read it in the book later on, and come to office hours with questions.
His notes helped with the Mastering Physics homework a lot. Also, take notes on what he says as well as what he writes on the board. He mentions small things when speaking that is vital to understanding a concept. So go to class, and pay attention.
Professor rated by: Mechanical Engineering Student on January 30, 2013
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
PHYS 2306
Foundations of Physics I
5*****
Pros: His lectures are interesting with multiple experiments. He's funny and helps you visualize the subject. His tests are easy because they are almost replicas of the practice exams he gives. Overall, if you put in a little bit of work, you can easily pull off an A for this class. Khan is a nice guy and easily approachable when you need help.
Cons: Sometimes during lectures, Khan can go a little too in depth with basic equations and applications.
Professor rated by: Materials Science and Engineering Student on May 1, 2013
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
PHYS 2306
Foundations of Physics I
5*****
Pros: Funny guy and knows how to explain PHYS 2306... Approachable, knowledgeable, and cool. He teaches you a lot of theory so if you're looking for someone that teaches by in-class examples, this is not the right guy for you.
Cons: None
Made physics entertaining. Great professor
Professor rated by: Aerospace and Ocean Engineerin Student on December 20, 2012
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
PHYS 2306
Foundations of Physics I
5*****
Pros: Eases you into concepts that would otherwise be too abstract to understand. Gives you 60 potential test questions (25 of which will be on the actual test) 2 weeks before the test. Very friendly guy to talk to about grades and/or homework problems. Sympathizes with the students in understanding the material. Spends class time reviewing for each test rather than learning new material up to the day of the test.
Cons: The lectures can be somewhat boring, but I blame myself for not being interested in physics.
Khan is one of the few genuine professors I've had in my time here. He cares about his students a lot and looks out for YOUR interests, unlike a lot of other teachers that feel like they need to make classes excruciatingly difficult to meet some sort of average grade quota. Though the grading system can be somewhat unforgiving due to a complete lack of curving, the physics department literally gives you everything you should expect on the tests, so I never understood the excuses for failing them. Go to class, do the problem sets they give you, and you should have no problem succeeding.
Professor rated by: Engineering Student on December 16, 2013
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
PHYS 2305
Foundations of Physics I
4****
Pros: Respects students

Helpful during office hours

Will explain a concept as thoroughly as needed if necessary
Cons: Explanations can be inefficient

Unlike most of the other reviews here, I found Professor Khan to be quite a great teacher. I actually had to retake the course, and found him to be much easier to follow and understand than Kim (who I had the first time). While his explanations can be somewhat inefficient at times, if you go to his office hours he will be happy to work with you until you understand the concept. I get the feeling this was also less of an issue for my class since there were several of us who were quick to ask questions in class if something wasn't clear.



His course made extensive use of MasteringPhysics (which no one likes, but is a necessary Evil), but it did have an upside in that if you were able to master the problems he assigned, you were almost guaranteed a good grade on the tests.



If you're trying to decide between Kim or Khan for 2305/2306, Khan is without question the better choice.
Professor rated by: Computer Science Student on October 20, 2011
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
PHYS 2306
Foundations of Physics I
5*****
Pros: -really nice

-entertaining
Cons: -none that are specific to this professor. Any issues with the class are not Almas' fault.
Almas is a great professor, but the class is VERY slow paced. I got an A in the class, but I usually slept through about 50% each day, waking up momentarily to do the in class iClicker questions.



That said, I sincerely dislike the Physics department as a whole. One time, I had to take a makeup exam. This was after a long 3 days of working (Fri-Sun) with little sleep, a 4 hour drive back to Blacksburg (I got back around 6 AM Monday morning), and had to take the exam at 7 AM. None of this was my fault, nor was it the department's fault. HOWEVER, the department gave everyone the wrong exam, so I spent about an hour and a half on a much more difficult exam than expected (since the exam was intended for physics majors only), only to receive 0 credit for it because it was the wrong exam. Thankfully, Almas was very understanding of my situation, so I eventually got a chance to take the correct exam.
Professor rated by: Electrical & Computer Engineer Student on January 24, 2014
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
PHYS 2306
Foundations of Physics I
4****
Pros: Very nice person, very obvious that he wants everyone to learn physics and understand it. He cracks a good joke once in a while, and is usually willing to take questions from students. Overall he seemed like a good person in general.
Cons: It's not his fault at all, but MASTERINGPHYSICS ugh. There's no way to avoid it though.



Also, there were times where it was unclear what he was trying to explain.
He's probably the best professor for 2306 you can find here, so definitely take him if you can. Oh, also, I don't know if this was for other 2306 classes as well, but the practice tests he would put online before an exam were always EXTREMELY similar to the actual exam, which made them so much easier. Of course the material itself was difficult as f to grasp, so yea...



Really good professor, though! :D
Professor rated by: Chemical Engineering Student on May 2, 2014
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
PHYS 2305
Foundations of Physics I
5*****
Pros: His iclicker questions make a nice grade buffer at the end of the semester, he is willing to give some extra credit, and he responds very quickly to any questions you may have.
Cons: The homework, Mastering Physics, sucks, but every physics student has to do it. His pronunciation also isn't the best, so he can be hard to understand at times (ex. calling gravity 'gravy-tea' and theta 'tay-ta')
Professor Khan is a great guy! I was out the week of a test with pneumonia, and he was extremely helpful. He voided my iclicker questions (basically the attendance grade) that week, and he responded to all of my emails within the day. He does several interesting demonstrations during lectures to mix up an otherwise dry lecture class.
Professor rated by: Materials Science and Engineering Student on August 13, 2014
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
PHYS 2306
Foundations of Physics I
3***
Pros: iclicker questions that he does in class can be up to 5% extra credit if you get them all right. About 80% of the homework problems can be looked up online if you are stuck, the labs are super easy.
Cons: He seems like he teachs thing total irrelevant to what the tests and homework problems are. He sometimes is hard to understand with his accent. He dosesnt really give us the useful formulas needed for the problems either.
They apparently no longer curve test grades in the class, but instead give a 60 problem set that the test questions will come from. The questions sometimes vary drastically from the problem set. You get to use a cheat sheet as well on all exams.
Professor rated by: Aerospace and Ocean Engineerin Student on January 16, 2014
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
PHYS 2306
Foundations of Physics I
4****
Pros: Khan writes notes on the board in a way that is easy to follow and presents material in a way which is easy to understand. He is a funny and engaging professor.
Cons: He spends too much time deriving formulas
I really liked Khan's class. I thought he did a good job of covering the material and keeping the students engaged. The tests were difficult, but doable, and if you study hard you'll do fine. The biggest piece of advice I can give is to do the practice exams and understand the types of problems on them since many of the question on the practice tests appear on the actual exams. The second test is also by far the hardest
Professor rated by: Engineering Student on January 1, 2015
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
PHYS 2305
Foundations of Physics I
5*****
Pros: Friendly and energetic

Clear explanations

Went into detail about extra topics
Cons: Trouble with pacing, so we were a bit behind for tests
I don't usually enjoy physics that much, but Professor Khan made it fun. He had great examples (which often didn't work - hilarity ensued), and a friendly demeanor. He often went off topic and gave us extra information that we wouldn't be responsible for; some people might be annoyed by that, since it made us a bit behind for the common tests, but I thought it was great. He clearly enjoyed teaching us, and brought that energy to class every day.
Professor rated by: Mechanical Engineering Student on May 19, 2014
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
PHYS 2306
Foundations of Physics I
5*****
Pros: he is awesome. best physics teacher teaching E&M
Cons: broke leg playing racketball so he missed a few weeks and then was stuck in a chair and couldn't use the sliding whiteboards
One of the best physics teachers I've had. The only good E&M teacher, the other ones make no sense and confuse the students with their explanation. This was the first year they tried a 60 problem system where they give you 60 problems before a test and then pick 20 of the 60 to put on the test. Makes class very easy if you put the time into learning the 60 problems.
Professor rated by: Mechanical Engineering Student on January 13, 2014
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
PHYS 2306
Foundations of Physics I
3***
Pros: Nice, charismatic, respectful.
Cons: Spends too much time deriving formulas instead of spending time on example problems or at the very least just the relevant formulas.
You have to go to class as he gives iclicker questions every class. He's a good professor but he just doesn't help all that much when it comes to exams. And mastering physics is mastering physics. It just feels like there's a disconnect between his lectures, homework, and exams. Ultimately though it is up to you to earn the grade you deserve.
Professor rated by: Industrial and Systems Enginee Student on May 20, 2013
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
PHYS 2305
Foundations of Physics I
5*****
Pros: Khan is the man. He is hilarious and tries to convey the concepts clearly. He is really helpful in office hours, and he is really always in his office even though his official office hours are just like 2 hours.
You have to understand that the course covers way too much material, so no professor goes over actual problems in class, which creates somewhat of a disconnect between the theory we learn in class and the application they expect you to know for the tests. Also, its not impossible to get an A.
Professor rated by: Chemical Engineering Student on May 19, 2012
Helpful Rating?
YES
NO
 
 
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