The date is Tuesday, May 9, 2023 at roughly 2:20 AM. A few hours ago
			I turned in my PHYS 4302 Quantum Mechanics 2 final exam, and I felt
			like writing about my experience with the QM courses I took, as they
			were nothing like any of my other courses. Preface: I am a Computer
			Science major with a Physics Minor (assuming I don't fail QM2).

			Last semester I took PHYS 4301 Quantum Mechanics 1. I was extremely
			excited to take this course; I had just finished a course called
			Theoretical Physics (that should really be called Mathematical 
			Methods for Theoretical Physics) and was excited to specialize in an
			area that I had almost no understanding of but promised great insight
			into the universe, according to the most respected scientific minds 
			of the modern era (and hollywood as well). Before I go into detail
			about my experience, I'll sum it up: I still have almost no understanding
			of the field.

			Having just come off of a course that should have been classified
			as a mathematics course, I was excited to deal with electrons and
			hydrogen atoms and wave functions and etc. For the first semester I
			did not deal with those first two things; it was an introduction to
			the ideas behind QM and how they contrast with classical mechanics.
			And that's good! I believe that is the correct way to introduce 
			systems that are completely contradictory to intuition and training.
			However, I didn't feel like I was learning much. 

			I'll be completely honest and say that my failures in the field of 
			QM are largely self-inflicted and that I think the professor I 
			studied under is a great teacher. I spent much of 4301 working on a 
			research paper instead of paying attention, I did not attend office 
			hours, I didn't use homeworks as a learning opportunity like our 
			professor intended them to be, etc. I think this behavior was habit
			after a few years of taking computer science courses that I found to
			be tedious rather than interesting. I have a few issues with how our
			professor taught; for example he had been teaching QM so long that 
			he had developed his own vocabulary that was completely independent
			of the standard, making it impossible to research some of the topics
			outside of the course (this would be remedied via office hours).
			Additionally, his curriculum was very free-form, not bound to any
			one textbook and really just an amalgamation of what he believed to
			be necessary to grasp the fundamentals of QM. I don't believe there 
			is anything inherently wrong with this, but the frustration arose
			when I couldn't find topics in either of the two QM textbooks I 
			owned (Griffiths and R.I.G. Hughes). There were no lecture notes,
			only recordings of unsearchable pandemic-era lectures.

			Let me make myself clear again and say that these shortcomings did
			not define the course for most of the students and that I did most
			of the damage to myself in this case. But due to these issues, I
			don't feel like I learned hardly anything over the past two semesters.
			4302 focused on approximations of more complex systems, but it 
			usually boiled down to what we talked about in 4301, so I ended up
			getting lost even more. Now at the end of the semester, I can
			confidently say that the assignments and exams I turned in for 4302
			are some of the worst work I've ever done as a student.

			One of the strangest things to me was that the physics students in 
			my class did not have any of these issues. They were able to
			find information outside of class, they were able to internalize
			information about wave functions and potentials and whatnot. I think
			one of the primary differences is that we've been trained completely
			differently over the course of our years at college: I've studied 
			discrete, deterministic systems, and they've studied continuous, 
			dubiously-deterministic systems. They'd all taken more math than I
			had, specifically Partial Differential Equations, which is roughly
			60% of QM in my experience. They succeeded in the course as I watched 
			in awe and reverence.

			Anyways, that's about it. In summary, QM is not a course for
			people who think they can cruise through it like I did. If you want
			to take this course, prepare to be in for some pain. Thank you for

			Charles Averill