Koofers’ top five professors at CPP: No. 3 Peter Siegel

By Jaylene Guevara

The Poly Post counts down the top five highest rated Cal Poly Pomona professors on Koofers.

Professor Peter Siegel is well known in Cal Poly Pomona’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, and has been teaching at the university for 28 years.

Siegel has definitely created a name for himself, as he is in the Koofers’ top five highest rated professors list at CPP.

Siegel is currently teaching in the Faculty Early Retirement Program. FERP is a way professors can slowly ease their way into retirement and teach half time for two quarters or one-third of the time for five years.

“I retired in June 2013, and then actually began the program last year,” said Siegel. “I will continue to teach full time during winter quarters until 2018.”

Siegel lives in Germany with his wife when he is not teaching. He plans on teaching at CPP during the winter for the next few years.

Siegel enjoys coming back to see his students and colleagues.

“The students are so appreciative,” said Siegel. “I enjoy seeing the growth in students. I try to make the classes enjoyable, and I feel like I’m more of a coach. I want to inspire students so that they’ll want to learn physics.”

Siegel has quite the resume. From counseling summer camps to teaching all over the world, he finds mentoring those who have a thirst for knowledge, like him, make it all worthwhile.

As for Koofers, the website is not something that Siegel checks regularly. However, he is aware that students like his class.

“I’m not so concerned that I ranked above or below other professors,” said Siegel. “I’m just happy the students enjoy the class ” that’s the main thing.”

The physics department is honored to have such an outstanding professor that has stuck with the university for nearly three decades.

The chair of the physics department, Steven McCauley, helped in hiring Siegel in 1987.

“Peter is amazing,” said McCauley. “He’s always been good with students. He is really cheerful, engaging and smart. He’s gotten perfect evaluations in many of his classes ” even the big 100-seat sections. It’s a huge loss that he’s leaving us since he’s retiring.”

Students also speak highly of Siegel. Many students find the professor’s methods of teaching beneficial.

“Professor Siegel definitely puts his students first,” said fourth-year physics student Grigori Trofimov. “He’s really more nurturing in terms of getting students to understand the material, rather than trying to cram it down our throat.”

Trofimov appreciates Siegel’s availability to students outside of class.

“He always makes himself available for students,” said Trofimov. “Considering the subject that he teaches, being able to see and talk to the professor is half of the learning experience. There’s the class and then there are office hours. So he always makes himself available for students.”

Siegel is clearly a likable and approachable professor, which Trofimov finds helpful.

“The classes that he’s taught have been some of my favorite classes, and they’re really important for my curriculum,” said Trofimov. “I’ve enjoyed the learning experience and just in general getting the opportunity to meet Professor Siegel.”

Based on the opinions of his students and his colleagues, Siegel is a very respected professor at CPP. His love for teaching and keeping those inspired is immense and will always be appreciated by not only students, but also by the faculty as well.


Leanna Ahmed / The Poly Post


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