Theodore Kirkpatrick

17 reviews
Average rating: 2.59




This professor has taught: PHYS161, PHYS260, PHYS625

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PHYS260

Anonymous 10/05/2016
Very bad lecturer and professor in general. Spends the first 20 minutes of every lecture giving a terrible recap of all of the information from the previous 5 lectures and gets absolutely nowhere. Handwriting is atrocious and is hard to read even at the front of the room. Hard to understand in a large lecture as well. He does nothing but derivations which are nearly impossible to follow and his examples are equally if not more hard to follow because he literally makes them up as he goes. By the far the worst professor I have had thus far and do not recommend at all. Theodore, your grading system is awful as well. There's no way to tell if you are passing until the end of the semester when it's too late to fix anything
PHYS161

Anonymous 11/02/2015
Overall he is a good professor. His lectures can sometimes be slightly boring as he often spends long amounts of time working out practice problems that are hard to follow. However, he is a nice guy and he curves the exams, which are not very hard to begin with.
PHYS161

Expecting an A
nassu30 02/18/2015
Great teacher. Good with concepts. His handwriting can be difficult to understand though. Fairly average exams.


Expecting a B
Anonymous 01/17/2015
He is literally one of the worst professors I have taken thus far in my academic career at UMD. He does not know how to teach, his handwriting is illegible and his grading system is based off of rank. As in, only 24% of the class can get A-s, As, and A+s. He also states that F = ma literally EVERY LECTURE! It has been over two months and he continues to write this equation on the board. Kirkpatrick makes me very angry and his lectures are completely useless. He explains concepts poorly and I really want to drop the class, even though I am doing well. I do NOT recommend taking this professor!
PHYS161

Expecting an A
cblumenf 11/05/2014
Kirkpatrick is a fairly interesting teacher, although his lectures aren't really necessary to do well in his course. I mostly just read the textbook. The quizzes and tests were very straight forward.
PHYS260

Expecting an A
Anonymous 01/06/2014
Dr. Kirkpatrick is overall a good professor and very reasonable. Yes he derives many equations using sometimes complex math but he is very willing to explain anything over and over until you get it. Also, this is physics so expect derivation in with any of the other professors. Exams are not very difficult, do not be afraid. If you study lecture notes a little each day(go to TA or his office hours if you don't know a concept) and actually GO TO CLASS (which many people didn't after a while being a night class) you will be fine. He drops lowest test and gives a curve. 80's were around an A- to A. Overall, do not try to avoid, he is perfectly fine professor if you put a little work into the course. Side note: if you want to get the highest grades in the class then type in any subject gone over in class such as "Capacitors" into google with MIT lecture notes and then review those notes, you will get one of the highest grades. ex. "capacitors MIT lecture notes" good luck
PHYS260

Expecting a B+
Anonymous 12/21/2012
He is not as completely awful as the other reviews make him seem. His homework is not on mastering physics which makes it easier. He tells you most of the questions that will be on the tests and lets you have a notecard...hence you can write down the problems. He also is a nice guy in office hours. Overall he is not terrible.
PHYS260

Expecting a C
Anonymous 01/26/2011
He teaches a lot of senseless differential equations and proofs. He is boring, but he knows what he is teaching and is fair. His tests are easy due to the fact that he tells us what is going to be on the test and we can use a note card. Most people cramp everything in the note card and get a decent grade on the exams. The quizzes in discussion were pretty hard at first, but then they just got to the point when it was easy math and plugging into equations. I believe he is blind from one eye, so if you sit on the left side of the lecture hall he will not see you. (I'm guessing his right eye is blind) His experiments in class are really fun and you will probably learn a lot from them.
PHYS260

Expecting a C
Anonymous 12/10/2010
Dr. Kirkpatrick may use some complicated math in 260 lecture that a quarter of the class will know what it is, but he never requires any of it on the exams. The homeworks and quizzes aren't too bad, provided you study, and there are no pop quizzes so no surprises. He's incredibly knowledgeable and a nice guy. When people asked questions in class he was always willing and able to re-explain himself in order to help the students understand. All in all, he's a good professor; not great, but by no stretch terrible!
PHYS270

Anonymous 05/21/2010
I thought these reviews were a little misleading. He is not at all as bad of a teacher as everyone here claims. Yes, lectures sometimes involve proofs and derivations which can be difficult. However if you write down what he does on the board and just listen to what he says you will learn something. The tests can be really hard if you don't go to class or the review. In class he does examples which he warns may appear on the test in almost identical form. Going to the review also gives you almost everything that you need for studying including at least one identical problem. I enjoyed this class and I liked him as a teacher more than my other two physics teachers I had here. I'm done taking physics classes but if I had to take another one I would try to get in his class again.
PHYS260

Expecting an A
akivah 12/18/2009
He was a pretty bad teacher, and I usually left his lectures a little more confused than when I entered, but the class wasn't so bad. His tests didn't really cover any material you can't get out of the textbooks, and he pretty much gave away 1 or 2 questions on each test. I just studied from the textbook all semester and got an A.
PHYS260

Expecting an A
Anonymous 12/08/2009
I didnt think he was nearly as bad as the other reviews made him seem. For starters, the class before a test, he basically tells you half the questions that will be on the test, so no excuse there. While he talks about diff eq, i never needed it. He asked for a proof here or there, but thats only because to prove it, you had use one of the concepts/equations in the chapter, so its fair game at that point. i never had to prove any of the fundamental equations in the chapters. oh, and he drops a test grade.
PHYS260

Expecting a B
jumpboyb 09/12/2009
HORRIBLE! taught with a lot of random proofs that are hard to follow since he used Diff Eqs extensively even though they were not required for the course. Massive curve at the end however. I flat out bombed the second test and final and still managed a B. Take anyone else.
PHYS260

Expecting a B+
Xinio654 04/16/2009
He's a horrible professor who lies to screw you over. Each lecture was 75 minutes of him writing cryptic proofs on the board that nobody understood because it contained a crap load of differential equations, which isn't even a prereq for the class. Like the other person said, he told us that we didn't need to understand the proofs just the general concepts, but the first question on the first exam asked for a series of proofs on oscillation. He also purposely designed the tests to be difficult so the class averages could be low. The test averages were in the 50s to low 60s. The book doesn't help either because his test problems aren't even like the book problems, even though he told us the test would have book-type problems. I don't know how I managed to pull off a B+ in the class but I wouldn't be surprised if I got a C because he purposely wanted people to do badly. Try to avoid him if you can.
PHYS260

Expecting a C
Anonymous 04/14/2009
Agree wholeheartedly with person below me. terrible, terrible teacher. did a bunch of proofs involving god knows what, put one on the test and at least half the class got an F (not exaggerating). has the most ridiculous grading policy. purposely and knowingly makes his tests aggravatingly difficult (avg~60) and then expects to curve it to make it better. dont believe it. i got above the average on 2/3 tests, and he drops one; i did every homework/quiz and got an A in the lab class which is folded into your lecture grade. i ended up getting a C!!! biggest load of BS. and b/c of stupid phys dept policy, that means i got a c in the lab too. do not take him. i dont know who else you can take, b/c they all pretty much suck. oh and he's never in his office hours. the only plus is he doesnt use masteringphysics.
PHYS260

Expecting a B
Anonymous 04/12/2009
The other two reviews for this class were right on point. He put a proof on oscillators on the first exam which no one could do being that differential eqns is not a prerequisite. I too got way above the average on 2/3 exams (like 70-80) and an A on the lab and still managed to pull a C. Definetly dont take him but between him and hill kirkp is the better choice. TRUST ME. Other than hill take any other professor over kirkp
PHYS260

Anonymous 12/09/2008
Don't take his class!! Seriously, this class was such a bad experience. Kirkp spent most of the time doing weird proofs with differential equations that no one really followed. When asked if they were important he said that the class didn't need to know them...this turned out to be a complete lie because the first question of the first test was a paragraph asking for proofs using differential equations (which isn't even a prerequisite for this course). He read everything straight off of these yellow note sheets that he carried around and, when asked questions about what he was writing, occasionally would squint at them and then respond with an indifferent "I don't know." Learning out of the book isn't even an option because his test questions usually involve proofs that he does in class.