What are the "must-take" classes at Rice?

<p>For current students -- which class has been your stand-out favorite class at Rice?</p>

<p>RELI 101 - Intro to Religious Studies, is arguably the most popular course at Rice.
Any math course by Frank Jones is great (including math 221 this semester), and Prof "Hutch" Hutchinson's chem courses (121 this semester) are typically favorites, as are physics classes with Prof Hannon.
I think one of the linguistics courses is supposed to be a lot of fun.
LPAPs are fun, but they aren't exactly "classes". Also the college-sponsored classes are typically fun to do, but only count for 1 credit and are pass-fail. Same goes for the cooking course ("cooking with Chef Roger").</p>

<p>Interestingly enough, the Thresher issue from a couple of weeks ago had student surveys compiled from every class that showed which ones were the best/worst and hardest/easiest. You might be able to find it online somewhere.</p>

<p>I've found that a lot of my favorite classes at Rice haven't been the giant classes that everyone on campus feels compelled to take (Reli 101 kinda annoyed me actually) but instead have been less known ones.</p>

<p>Econ 440: World Economic and Social Development with Malcom Gillis, who's the retired president of Rice and basically fills his lectures with a brief overview of every concept in economics, combined with his "when I was re-writing the tax code for Ghana" stories.</p>

<p>Any of Dr. Stoll's international relations classes, including Intro to IR and Bombs and Rockets (technically titled something like "American National Defense Policy")</p>

<p>A lot of my favorite classes have been the upper level courses in my major, which would probably be of little interest to most people. One thing that I will say is that the professor makes the difference. I've had a few professors that I would take a "watching paint dry" class from and some that I would never take another class with, regardless of the topic.</p>

<p>ENGL 363 - American Fiction 1950-Present, with Terry Doody. The book list can't be beat, and Dr. Doody is amazing. That class is pure intellectual bliss. The discussions are in-depth, the books are interesting, and you lose yourself in Dr. Doody's voice. Once the class went 10 minutes over, and I didn't even notice (and this is an 11:00--as in before lunch--class, mind you).</p>

<p>POLI 212 - Intro to Comparative Politics, with John Ambler. Alas, Dr. Ambler is retiring after this year, so future students won't get to enjoy the most engaging lecturer I've ever had. The man is a legend in the Poli department, and he leads discussion groups like nobody's business.</p>

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<p>The lecture portion of 211 was great, but the discussions were kinda blah. My TA really wasn't that great. That said, I really enjoyed Dr. Stoll's class, despite my grade in the class. I wanted to take Bombs and Rockets, but my GPA can't afford another Stoll class. (and this is coming from someone who greatly values educational benefit over his GPA, mind you).</p>

<p>I had forgotten about the discussion sections. Mine was also kinda blah, but I considered it a worthy price to pay for the lectures. And the GPA factor does play in as well - it'd be a good pass/fail class if you aren't a political science major.</p>

<p>I have two (well, three, technically) favorites so far:</p>

<p>Physics 111/112: Honors Intro. Physics. Hannon is a great professor. Before the first day of class, he got the pictures of his incoming students (which are apparently available to professors) and learned the name of every student in the class. The material is very difficult, and as such the class should only be taken by those who really enjoy the subject; however, I feel like I really benefited from the course.</p>

<p>Astro 100: Intro. to Astrobiology. This is a very small one-hour seminar class. Last year there were eight students, and Professor Liang split it into two sections. Each week, one of the four students in my section gave a Powerpoint presentation over one section of the book, and then we discussed it. Prof. Liang brought snacks.</p>

<p>I second the recommendations of Ambler and Hutchinson. Both seem to be universally loved because they're such interesting lecturers as well as just good people.</p>

<p>Zammito in History and James Brown in Economics are supposed to be really good lecturers.</p>

<p>soci 334: sociology of the family</p>

<p>amazing. simply amazing.</p>

<p>Bumping this thread back up in hopes that more Rice students will chime in with favorite classes or professors. It might be helpful to the incoming freshmen as well as some of the returning students who are looking for interesting electives.</p>

<p>Linguistics courses with Nancy Niedzielski. Rumor has it she used to open for Seinfeld. Her lectures aren't stand-up comedy, but they're fascinatingly interesting and she's just a really great person. And the jokes she makes go a lot further than those of profs who really shouldn't be telling jokes.</p>

<p>And has nobody mentioned Wector Cancurus with Pwofessor Gao?? Scrawled on one of the desks in Sewall is "Gao = Yan Can Calculus". Let's get staahted! Maybe not the best prof, but so quotable...</p>

<p>I don't think he's been teaching vector calc recently. That said, Gao is an absolute blast for Differential Equations.</p>

<p>Reli 368- Spiritual Autobiography! Really, this is not a joke. This was probably the most meaningful class I have ever taken. It was taught by Dr. Thomas Cole. He is an adjunct professor who works with UT Med in Medical Ethics. I can't explain how wonderful this class was and how I wish introspection was valued more in the academia. </p>

<p>I am a Religious Studies major and I wasn't that crazy about RELI 101-I am sure that it used to be better when it was co-taught by Dr. Jill Carroll, but it no longer is. </p>

<p>BIOS 201 was good. Dr. Gustin is hilarious. </p>

<p>HEAL 103- Great filler class and a pretty easy A. The lectures are very informative and interesting. There isn't any busy work assigned and no required text!</p>

<p>Phil 311- Philosophy of Religion. This is a tricky one. I loved the class but I was not happy with my grade in it. The class isn't really hard, but Philosophy classes and their exams seem to be very specific. So I would have had a really good grade on the first exam but I made an error, albeit a fundamental mistake, and I got an F on it instead! So I guess I suggest this with an added caution about the grading. Still a really good class though!</p>

<p>I also think RELI 101 is kind of overrated. It was a lot of surface, not much depth.</p>

<p>I'm gonna bump this to the current decade. Anyone wanna chime in?</p>

<p>There was a thread like this in the current decade. Like, less than two months ago.</p>

<p>Edit for link (okay, so it's not exactly the same, but it's close): <a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/rice-university/915297-what-best-courses-youve-ever-taken-rice.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/rice-university/915297-what-best-courses-youve-ever-taken-rice.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>I'm going to post a caution about taking MATH 211 with Gao. The class should be re-titled "Gao's methods for solving Gao's ODEs". You learn how to work a variety of methods to solve some fairly standard ODEs but you are barely exposed to all of the intricate theory behind ODEs. The class also completely glosses over numerical methods to solve ODEs that cannot be solved analytically (these ODEs are the majority by FAR). If you intend to take upper division math/caam, classes that has this class as a prereq, do NOT ODEs with Gao or you will suffer later.</p>