eCAFE - Course and Faculty Evaluation, University of Hawaii

eCAFE: Course and Faculty Evaluations


Instructor: Pui Lam

Available Survey Results

PHYS170, Summer I 2012
PHYS311, Spring 2012
PHYS170, Summer I 2011
PHYS311, Spring 2011

Pui Lam: PHYS170, Summer I 2012

Campus: University of Hawaii at Manoa Department: Physics & Astronomy
Course: PHYS 170 - General Physics I Crn (Section): 90303 (601)    
1. Class Level (pick one) - please note that by answering this question you could potentially jeopardize your anonymity
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Freshman   Sophomore   Junior   Senior   Grad   Other  
2.26 27 0.98 Freq(%) 7 (26%) 9 (33%) 8 (30%) 3 (11%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
2. Course - please note that by answering this question you could potentially jeopardize your anonymity
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Elective   Required  
2.0 27 0.0 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 27 (100%)
3. The instructor demonstrated knowledge of course content.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.78 27 0.42 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 6 (22%) 21 (78%)
4. The instructor fulfilled the goals of the course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.67 27 0.48 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 9 (33%) 18 (67%)
5. The instructor communicated effectively.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.33 27 0.68 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 3 (11%) 12 (44%) 12 (44%)
6. I gained a good understanding of concepts/principles in this field.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.19 27 0.74 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (4%) 2 (7%) 15 (56%) 9 (33%)
7. This course was helpful in developing new skills.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.07 27 0.62 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 4 (15%) 17 (63%) 6 (22%)
8. I felt that this course challenged me intellectually.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.48 27 0.58 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (4%) 12 (44%) 14 (52%)
9. I have become more competent in this subject area during this course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.19 27 0.68 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 4 (15%) 14 (52%) 9 (33%)
10. The instructor stresses important points in lectures/discussions.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.59 27 0.64 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (7%) 7 (26%) 18 (67%)
11. The course materials (texts, handouts) make a valuable contribution to the course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.41 27 0.75 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 4 (15%) 8 (30%) 15 (56%)
12. The course was a valuable contribution to my education.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.48 27 0.58 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (4%) 12 (44%) 14 (52%)
13. Other comments:
Tests involved a good amount of questions testing knowledge and concepts but should include more free answers testing set-up and calculations.
Dr. Lam has Ph 170 down to the t. I greatly appreciated that he gave class materials ahead of time and left room in the curriculum for review sessions.
This course is extremely hard, but Professor Lam's humor and amiable demeanor made it bearable. I hope future and current students share my sentiments.
Professor Lam is a good teacher and treats his students fairly. The material is sometimes difficult, but his lectures and explanations are helpful.
Sometimes Professor Lam would expect us to know something, and not really answer the question or he'd make it seem like it's really obvious and make us feel bad.
Dr. Lam is very knowledgeable and pretty funny in class. It's difficult to keep up with a summer version of this course, but I felt that I did learn new things in his lectures. To be honest, I think that the best way Dr. Lam can improve his course is to provide more incentives to have the class do their homework. His philosophy on education, however, is that students should take charge of their own learning, which I think is totally great. Still, it becomes painfully obvious that no one is doing their homework when the class average is like a 60... In cases like that, perhaps it would be better to make homework a requirement, or make the quizzes impossibly difficult without having done the homework. I hear that some transfer students have a difficult time doing the quizzes with only 1:30 to do each problem due to the language barrier. Perhaps more difficult questions with more time allotted for each problem might put everyone on more equal ground. His quiz questions are mostly conceptual, so I can see how that would be even more difficult for someone who doesn't have English as a first language.
Professor Lam was really funny and kept the class interesting! I didn't mind coming to summer school too much because his class was very entertaining :)
If I were to take another physics class, I would hope he is teaching it.

Pui Lam: PHYS311, Spring 2012     Back to top

Campus: University of Hawaii at Manoa Department: Physics & Astronomy
Course: PHYS 311 - Theoretical Mechanics II Crn (Section): 82409 (001)    
1. The instructor demonstrated knowledge of course content.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.73 11 0.65 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (9%) 1 (9%) 9 (82%)
2. The instructor fulfilled the goals of the course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.55 11 0.82 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (18%) 1 (9%) 8 (73%)
3. The instructor communicated effectively.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.64 11 0.67 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (9%) 2 (18%) 8 (73%)
4. I gained a good understanding of concepts/principles in this field.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.3 10 0.67 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (10%) 5 (50%) 4 (40%)
5. This course was helpful in developing new skills.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.36 11 0.67 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (9%) 5 (45%) 5 (45%)
6. I felt that this course challenged me intellectually.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.82 11 0.4 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (18%) 9 (82%)
7. I have become more competent in this subject area during this course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.45 11 0.82 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (18%) 2 (18%) 7 (64%)
8. The instructor stresses important points in lectures/discussions.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.64 11 0.67 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (9%) 2 (18%) 8 (73%)
9. The course materials (texts, handouts) make a valuable contribution to the course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.45 11 0.69 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (9%) 4 (36%) 6 (55%)
10. The course was a valuable contribution to my education.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.45 11 0.82 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (18%) 2 (18%) 7 (64%)
11. Other comments:
I felt like certain topics were drug out too long, and as a result, other topics like chaos and continuim mechanics were skipped. This, however, may be because Luis Ellias did not engage the class during the first semester, which left the class unprepared for the second semester. I would like to see the course planned out from the beginning of PHYS310 as follows: There should be a homework assignment after each class meeting which should take students between 1-3 hours to complete. The assignment should include a problem to practice from the last lesson, as well as the page numbers which need to be read for the upcoming lesson. Solutions, or at least answers, should be made available for students to grade their own, but credit should be given in the form of a check-mark for attempting the problem. This would force students to do physics every other night, and allow the course to proceed at the proper pace to cover all the material. This is just a suggestion, and I know that a diligent student would do this anyway, but making such a thing mandatory would benefit the whole class. This suggestion comes from my Greek course, in which I've completed 78 lessons this year and learned a tremendous amount of material. All year long I said "I wish I would put as much effort into my physics as I do my 100 level language class." Of course, I could have put that much time into it, but when it's not due the next day it gets put off, which is true for most students. So why not make something due every day? (The check mark system reduces the amount of grading and makes this system work.)
This class was interesting, professor Lam is a fantastic lecturer! He not only takes the time to make sure that the class as a whole understands the material, he also makes lecture entertaining and easy to pay attention to. I would love to take another course by professor Lam in the future!
I didn't work particularly hard in this class and I feel like I certainly could have done better. This is the first physics course I've had without a curve and I think I should have taken it more seriously because of that.
At the beginning of the semester, I was nervous about being taught by the department head, but as the semester progressed, I felt more and more comfortable. Dr. Lam is an excellent teacher
Thank you so much Dr. Lam, you have definitely helped my understanding of Classical Mechanics. It was a challenging course, but this is really good for allowing me to understand the subject both conceptually and mathematically.
If possible, I would like to see him to go over previous homework. I had hard time not knowing whether i gotten the answer for the HW. I would like to see the solution after the homework is due so when i am correcting my homework, i can double check the solution. Exam's conceptual portion is very difficult for someone who's have hard time understanding the problem. he would post the exam solution making it easier to what i did wrong and how i can correct it something i liked.

Pui Lam: PHYS170, Summer I 2011     Back to top

Campus: University of Hawaii at Manoa Department: Physics & Astronomy
Course: PHYS 170 - General Physics I Crn (Section): 90303 (601)    
1. The instructor demonstrated knowledge of course content.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.82 28 0.39 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 5 (18%) 23 (82%)
2. The instructor fulfilled the goals of the course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.36 28 0.68 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 3 (11%) 12 (43%) 13 (46%)
3. The instructor communicated effectively.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.0 28 0.94 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 2 (7%) 6 (21%) 10 (36%) 10 (36%)
4. I gained a good understanding of concepts/principles in this field.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
3.71 28 1.05 Freq(%) 1 (4%) 2 (7%) 8 (29%) 10 (36%) 7 (25%)
5. I try to relate what I learn in this course to my own experience.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.18 28 0.82 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (4%) 4 (14%) 12 (43%) 11 (39%)
6. This course was helpful in developing new skills.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
3.89 27 0.8 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (4%) 7 (26%) 13 (48%) 6 (22%)
7. I performed up to my potential in this course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
3.46 28 1.26 Freq(%) 2 (7%) 5 (18%) 6 (21%) 8 (29%) 7 (25%)
8. I felt that this course challenged me intellectually.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.25 28 0.8 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (4%) 3 (11%) 12 (43%) 12 (43%)
9. I have become more competent in this subject area during this course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
3.96 28 0.96 Freq(%) 1 (4%) 1 (4%) 4 (14%) 14 (50%) 8 (29%)
10. The course made me think hard and carefully.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.15 27 0.86 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (4%) 5 (19%) 10 (37%) 11 (41%)
11. The instructor stresses important points in lectures/discussions.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.19 27 0.68 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 4 (15%) 14 (52%) 9 (33%)
12. The instructor defined new terms, concepts, and principles.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.25 28 0.75 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (4%) 2 (7%) 14 (50%) 11 (39%)
13. The instructor stimulated me to think about the subject matter.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.11 28 0.83 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 1 (4%) 5 (18%) 12 (43%) 10 (36%)
14. The instructor presented the origins of ideas and concepts.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.0 28 0.98 Freq(%) 1 (4%) 0 (0%) 7 (25%) 10 (36%) 10 (36%)
15. The course was a valuable contribution to my education.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.14 28 0.85 Freq(%) 1 (4%) 0 (0%) 2 (7%) 16 (57%) 9 (32%)
16. Other comments:
I did not like how Mr. Lam attempted to mislead us on his quizzes. He should quiz us on the principles, not whether we can decipher his wording of the question
really nice professor when working one on one in office hrs. could make lectures a bit more understandable. i understand there's lots of material to be covered and too little time, but felt really rushed through lecture which made understanding of concepts more difficult. also, wouldn't hurt to ask class if anyone has any questions during lecture. also, quizzes were new to me with iclicker, but somewhat helpful. what would be more helpful is homework due every so often because it'll make students do the work, and therefore learn themselves. also, quizzes being 40% of grade is not cool. hw should be a part of the grade too. but super nice guy! thanks!
Good class, some ambiguous iclicker questions at times. Overall clear lectures, funny guy.
He needs to do follow up on things he said he would do. One example is to post the answers for the midterms because he doesnt seem to have the time to really go over every question so by posting it up we can see how it's done for ourselves.
questions are tricky which did not help me fully learn each subject. He would say one thing n the next question i would think its one answer but its really a different answer.
This course involved a lot of material, but I felt like Dr. Lam could have stressed the basic concepts more during the lecture instead of only after the quiz. Some students felt like they learned more after the quiz than during the lecture. This is unfortunate since the quizzes are graded. Maybe ask more conceptual questions during lecture. I feel like I relied mostly on what I learned in high school, and I was luckier than my peers in that way. The one day when Dr. Lam taught lecture without the powerpoint was the first time I felt like I actually understood the material without relying on what I knew from high school. I think class would be better without relying on the powerpoint, because it causes Dr. Lam to ensure only important concepts are demonstrated, and it's more interactive. Granted, the powerpoints are perfect for reviewing the material. Other than that, I believe Dr. Lam is a very charismatic professor. He'd always have the class interested in what he had to say, and he encouraged questions and student participation.
He is a very thorough professor and explains everything in different ways in order to benefit everyone. Definitely the most effective professor I've ever had.
Some of my comments were influenced by the fact that I am taking this course because my college would not accept my AP credits (despite an A and a 5). As such, this class is mostly review for me.
It was a summer course thus we will not be able to remember anything. Also having to take the quizzes on iclickers is stupid since its so easy to shut them off or press the wrong button by mistake.
Professor Lam was excellent in teaching the physics course and enthusiastic about the topic. He was extremely helpful and the office hours are convenient because they are normally held after class. There are daily quizzes to ensure understanding about the topic. The material is based on what he emphasizes during lectures, which are extremely thorough, considering we were learning a chapter a day (due to the short period of time for the summer). I recommend Professor Lam to other students because he challenges you to go beyond textbook definitions and to refine ones' thinking. He is very encouraging of students and clarifies what students may not know through approaching the issue differently, especially by applying the concepts to every day life. Professor Lam is challenging, yet the rewards are beneficial to learning physics.
The exams are very tricky, but I can see how the stress the important concepts from each concepts. I found this course to be more difficult compared to taking it during the regular semester.The factor of time has contributed to the class being difficult, but I do not remember all the concepts being this difficult.
Great class, enjoyable lectures. I would suggest letting the class know when the iClicker time is about to expire. I would catch myself rushing to answer vs. actually making a intellectual conclusion.
enjoyed the class
I believe that the clicker quizzes are not a good representation of the student's knowledge. The clicker quizzes are so different from a conventional quiz that students tend to do worse than normal. I felt more pressured while taking a clicker quiz as compared to a regular quiz on paper. I believe that I would have been able to do better on the quizzes had they been regular quizzes. His teaching was a little fast and he rushed through many lectures. I know it is a summer session, but I would have liked him to explain more. When he is asked questions about the material he responds by inferring that we should have listened and know it already. He explains by repeating what he already said, he does not go into more depth when asked a question.
Dr. Lam is an excellent teacher with great dedication to his students and the subject. One of my favorite teachers so far.

Pui Lam: PHYS311, Spring 2011     Back to top

Campus: University of Hawaii at Manoa Department: Physics & Astronomy
Course: PHYS 311 - Theoretical Mechanics II Crn (Section): 82594 (001)    
1. The instructor demonstrated knowledge of course content.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
5.0 6 0.0 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 6 (100%)
2. The instructor fulfilled the goals of the course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.83 6 0.41 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (17%) 5 (83%)
3. The instructor communicated effectively.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.5 6 0.84 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (17%) 1 (17%) 4 (67%)
4. I gained a good understanding of concepts/principles in this field.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.67 6 0.82 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (17%) 0 (0%) 5 (83%)
5. I try to relate what I learn in this course to my own experience.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.33 6 0.82 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (17%) 2 (33%) 3 (50%)
6. This course was helpful in developing new skills.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.67 6 0.52 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (33%) 4 (67%)
7. I performed up to my potential in this course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
3.83 6 0.98 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 3 (50%) 1 (17%) 2 (33%)
8. I felt that this course challenged me intellectually.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.83 6 0.41 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (17%) 5 (83%)
9. I have become more competent in this subject area during this course.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.33 6 0.82 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (17%) 2 (33%) 3 (50%)
10. The course made me think hard and carefully.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.67 6 0.52 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (33%) 4 (67%)
11. The instructor stresses important points in lectures/discussions.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.83 6 0.41 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (17%) 5 (83%)
12. The instructor defined new terms, concepts, and principles.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.83 6 0.41 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (17%) 5 (83%)
13. The instructor stimulated me to think about the subject matter.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.83 6 0.41 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (17%) 5 (83%)
14. The instructor presented the origins of ideas and concepts.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.67 6 0.52 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 2 (33%) 4 (67%)
15. The course was a valuable contribution to my education.
Mean N-Size Std Dev   Strongly Disagree   Disagree   Neutral   Agree   Strongly Agree  
4.83 6 0.41 Freq(%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 1 (17%) 5 (83%)
16. Other comments:
I loved how the course was structured so that we have a predictable weekly schedule. I also found the paragraph writing and weekly questions about the reading very helpful.
I love the class. Professor Lam is an excellent people, very helpful and I have learnt a lot!
I did not like the text book. On the other hand the Professor's handouts were very informative and to the point.
Prof. Lam presented the material in a enthusiastic and encouraging way that helped motivate me to study harder. I really enjoyed having him as an instructor this semester.