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6.630 Electromagnetics (H)

Kongquering Maxwell's Equations
(3.0 0.0 6.1)

Lecturers: T. Grzegorczyk, J. Kong
Lecturers' Ratings: 5.4/7.0, 6.5/7.0
Prerequisites: 8.02, 18.03, basic calculus, 6.014 / 6.013
Response rate: 43 out of 64
Difficulty: 4.3/7.0
Overall Rating: 5.3/7.0
Term Evaluated: Fall 2003

Lecturers' Comments:

This subject covers basic electromagnetic theory: Lorentz force law, energy boundary conditions, Rayleigh scattering, transmission lines, parallel plates, phase matching, Snell's law, Smith charts, reflections and transmittters, phase and group velocity, Poynting power, and antennas. It is not required, but should be taken by as many students as possible since electromagnetic phenomena are the basis of many disciplines. In addition, 6.630 is often a TQE subject. Prerequisites are very limited to open the class to as many students as possible. The teaching philosophy is that theory should be reinforced by examples and experiments. We have done a lot of demonstrations (either on the computer or physical) during class hour. The one concept to keep that Maxwell's equations govern all electromagnetic phenomena.

This class covered basic electromagnetic wave theory emphasizing Maxwell's equations. Specific topics included: polarization, dipole antennas, wireless communications, forces and energy, phase matching, dielectric waveguides and optical fibers, transmission line theory and circuit concepts, antennas, and equivalence principle. Examples dealt with electrodynamics, propagation, guidance, and radiation of electromagnetic waves. Students found the coverage of the material to be much more theoretical than application-based.


  • Jokes
  • Demos
  • Helpful TAs
  • Enthusiastic lectures


  • Too theoretical

Graduate students took this class to prepare for the TQEs, because they were interested in electromagnetics, for the Grad-H credit, or to help them with their research.

Lecturer T. Grzegorczyk (5.4/7.0, 40 responses) was received generally positive reviews He knew the material well, and seemed more comfortable as the semester progressed. He occasionally got bogged down in math, but his pauses for stories about Maxwell and others provided a good break.

Lecturer J. Kong (6.5/7.0, 23 responses) was absent most of the semester, which was too bad -- the students really enjoyed his lectures and jokes. He also seemed to understand the material very well and keep it interesting.

TA X. Chen (6.1/7.0, 32 responses) was dedicated, helpful, and patient. He stayed past his office hours to make sure students understood the material. He was friendly and eager to help. His only fault seemed to be his imperfect English.

TA C. Moss (6.2/7.0, 9 responses) was an excellent TA. His explanations were clear and he knew the material well.

The problem sets took about five and a half hours each week and were helpful for understanding the material. The grading of the problem sets was generous. The problem set solutions were posted on time, but students wished that the solutions were more detailed.

The textbook, Electromagnetic Wave Theory, was useful and followed the subject closely. It was written by Kong, one of the two lecturers for the class. There were no official printed course notes, but some students found the notes on the website to be helpful.

There were two quizzes, each worth one third of the final grade, and the problem sets combined for the remaining third. The exams were fair and open book.

The material is not that hard; students with solid math and physics backgrounds should be fine if they keep up with the work.

"EM is important in EE."
"Jokes are very humorous."
"Kong is a god among men."

Dated: February 02, 2004
Eta Kappa Nu, MIT