Here are my evaluation comments for QFT I. The university provides an anonymous facility to submit course feedback, but since I have no conflicts that require anonymization, I’m posting my commentary (and rationale for some of my list selections) publicly.
Q) Please comment on the overall quality of the instruction in this course.
Professor Poppitz’s knowledge of the subject matter is impressive and thorough. I expect that this is a particularly difficult course to teach and think that he has done an admirable job trying to work through the maximum amount of material in the limited time available in this course.
It is challenging but fun game (albeit a slightly masochistic one) to keep up with Prof Poppitz’s blistering pace through the course material. Poppitz often says “Phew!!” at the end of the race to complete a long derivation in the allotted time, and I’ll be saying the same thing at the end of this course.
The barrage of abstract material covered in a lecture is often sufficient to leave me with a headache, and it takes a few hours to recover from each class. It takes a few more hours after that to digest the material at a human pace.
This course would strongly benefit from video recorded lectures that some of the more educationally progressive academic institutions currently provide (i.e. MIT’s OCW and Yale’s “Open Yale” courses). With the exception of the UofT SciNet group (phy1610 — Scientific computing for Physicists), I’m not aware of any UofT physics courses that provide such recordings. For phy2403, video recordings would be particularly valuable, as it would allow the student to “pause” the Professor and work through the material presented at an individually suitable pace.
Q) Please comment on any assistance that was available to support your learning in the course.
Prof Poppitz was available continually on the course forum, after class briefly, and in weekly office hours. I received a great deal of helpful assistance from him during the course.
Q) Compared to other courses, the workload for this course was…
I picked Heavy (not Very Heavy), but I’m not in a good position to evaluate since I’m only taking one course.
Q) I would recommend this course to other students.
I picked Mostly (not Strongly). I wouldn’t recommend this course to anybody who was not adequately prepared. I’m not sure that I was. It is a very tough course. I was continually impressed with the other students in the class. I’ve worked slowly for years to gradually build up the background required to take this course, and all the rest of these younglings are downing the material with seeming ease. There are a lot of exceptionally smart students enrolled on this course.