6.630 Electromagnetic Theory (H)
Maxwell's Family and More
Lecturer: J. Kong
Lecturer's Rating: J. Kong 6.5/7.0
Prerequisites: 8.02, Vector Calculus, 18.03
Response rate: 43 out of 56
Overall Rating: 5.9/7.0
Term Evaluated: Fall 2002
6.630 introduces the fundamentals of electromagnetic
theory. Topics include Maxwell's equations, wave propagation and
dispersion, transmission lines, and waveguides. Many students felt
that the material was very basic and equivalent to an undergraduate
class. Students taking this class were mainly graduate students in Areas IV
and V, and MEng students in Course VI. There were also a handful of
graduate students from Course II, III and XXII.
- Entertaining lectures, funny stories keep you awake
- Historical insights - learning about Maxwell's life
- The interpretation and physical meaning behind the equations
- In-class demonstrations
- Approachability of instructors
- Sometimes too many stories
- Pace is too slow
- Too much time on transmission lines
Many students took 6.630 because it was related to their research, and
because it offered H-Level credit and satisfied TQE requirements.
One student explained that he enrolled because
"6.014 is no longer offered and waves are still a mystery." Others
thought the class sounded interesting and fun, and wished to
strengthen their EM background. Students recommend taking this class
because Kong is a great lecturer, but many felt the material was
not advanced enough for a graduate-level course. This subject offers
a good balance between theory and application.
Lecturer J. Kong (6.5/7.0, 43 responses) was an exceptional
lecturer, and his entertaining stories kept students awake and
attentive. One student commented, "He goes at a nice, reasonable
pace, and is in no hurry. This is very refreshing for MIT." His
blackboard technique, patience, and accessibility were also
praised. Many expressed that Kong was one of the best lecturers
they've ever had, even "[Kong is] the nicest professor
at MIT." Several students wished to see more concepts
and less math detail/derivation.
TA X. Chen (5.9/7.0, 40 responses) is hard-working and
available for questions. If he doesn't know the answers right away,
he will find out and follow up with you. Some felt that his English
was difficult to understand. His demos were consistently well-prepared.
Problem sets were highly relevant to the lectures and helpful in
understanding the material. Questions were fair -- sometimes on the
easy side -- though some problems involved material that hadn't yet
been covered. Some students felt that the questions were worded too
concisely, and that more explanation would resolve confusion about
what is being asked. Problem sets took approximately 5 hours to complete. Grading of the assignments was generous, and
some felt that the high grades motivated them to work hard on the
problem sets. Assignments were returned in a timely manner.
Those who collaborated found it helpful for clarifying concepts. Most
students did not use bibles.
The textbook, Electromagnetic Wave Theory by J.A. Kong,
followed the lectures very closely and proved a useful
reference. However, the formatting was unpleasant, and the derivations
often lacked sufficient detail.
Grades in 6.630 are based on 11 problem sets (34%) and 2 quizzes (33% each).
The quizzes were straightforward and fair, and the grading was
relatively liberal (class averages were high). The quiz questions were
very similar to problem sets. Students advise working quickly, as the
first exam was long.
"Kong is the MAN! You have to
attend a Kong class to really understand life."
Dated: January 17, 2003
Eta Kappa Nu, MIT