Class: Physics 161 Semester: Spring 2020
Instructor: Rob Jorstad Email: email@example.com
Approximate Course Schedule
subject to change, midterm exam dates in particular could change
This syllabus may change. Students will be notified of changes as quickly as is reasonable.
Consider the 1-Unit MATLAB course CRN#43155 Friday’s from 9:30-10:45 in M201. Course can be taken pass/no pass. Work involves MATLAB basics (matrix math), 2D & 3D plotting, symbolic math, and writing some simple codes.
Students who score 95% or higher on all midterms may have the option to tutor 8 hours at the end of semester study-thon in lieu of taking the final.
Restroom use is not allowed during any exam.
A scientific calculator is required for exams. Use one of these allowed models.
Devices (smart watches, graphing calculators, phones, tablets, laptops, etc) are not allowed during exams (exception: scientific calculator as discussed later).
SBCC video lectures: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJQmxYNqUBc7-CdNuO7AsqQ
Expect 60% is a D, 70% is a C, 80% is a B, 91.5% or higher is an A.
Special Nugget: if everyone consistently works hard (per my subjective opinion) I may allow the final to replace 1/2 of the worst test grade.
Assuming you fulfill your end of the bargain, here is a grade calculator: GradeCalcSP19
Please purchase the PHYS 161 Workbook, Volume 1 and (after week 6) Volume 2.
I use this every day in class.
The workbooks reduce time spent copying crap from the board!
The idea is to have a hard copy of the workbook with you (for the questions) and a device (for solutions) displaying a pdf from my website.
I do not assign points for homework. You still need to do it. Please learn this lesson before test 1.
Spend at least 10 hours per week on this outside of class.
Get at a study partner who is ready to work efficiently each week.
Set a schedule & start working problems as soon as we start a new chapter.
You want to be ahead on homework so you have time for practice exams during exam week.
There are too many problems to solve all of them completely. One suggested way to work is as follows.
· Start by doing the first problem (of a given type) with the solution open.
· Then try two more (of similar type) without the solutions, checking only when you get stuck.
· After that, do the set-ups for each problem without looking at the solutions; then review the solution to see if there are any unexpected tricks.
· Inevitably, there will be many steps in the solutions that don’t make sense. When you encounter a confusing step, make a note and move past it. Bring a list of confusing steps to me as questions in office hours (or ask a tutor).
There is a free textbook online at openstax (University Physics Volume 1, link).
Fundamentals of Physics by Halliday and Resnick is a slightly better book.
Physics for Scientists and Engineers by Serway is also pretty good.
Old editions of Halliday or Serway are totally awesome as well. Consider looking for an old edition used online...
Either of those books has better explanations than Openstax, but Openstax is decent.
Lab points will be assigned as follows:
· If you are late by 1 minute to lab you lose points. If more than 10 minutes late you are asked to leave and get an absence.
· Mulitple lab absences severely impact your overall score in the course. More detailed information is found by scrolling down to the lab rules section...
· 30 points for lab exam (if used it occurs after test 2)
· 40 points for oral presentation (data aq, prep, & present)
· Missing a day of oral presentation dta aq, prep, or the presentation itself carries extra penalties.
· Other labs worth 10 points each.
· WATCH OUT! Some labs may require pre-labs worth 2-4 points (out of 10).
My pet peeves are as follows:
· Students showing up without an appropriate scientific calculator for exams
· Students disrupting lectures (chronic lateness, chit chatting off-topic, using devices off-topic, doing homework for another class, etc)
· Students missing multiple lectures (miss 1 no biggie)
· Students who procrastinate with reading/problem sets
· Students who do not put in any outside of class effort (read a book & do at least 15 problems a week OUTSIDE OF CLASS)
· Students who watch videos thinking it is a substitute for actually DOING problems.
Students are responsible for dropping the course should they choose to stop attending. That said, students who miss three or more classes may be dropped from the course without notice. This includes any combination of lecture or lab absences.
Student Learning Outcomes
1. Recognize and apply fundamental physical concepts.
2. Determine values (using calculus, trigonometry, and algebra) given a set of physical conditions.
3. Synthesize physical principles to analyze complex or novel situations using calculus, trigonometry, and algebra.
4. Record and analyze observations of physical systems (perform and discuss lab experiments in written format).
Preparing for exams:
· Do homework and reading at least 10 hours a week. Physics is not learned in a single evening.
· Get a good night’s sleep before the exam. Eat something (not too heavy) the day of the exam.
· I gave you old exams so you could time and grade yourself. Use the workbook to learn and the practice tests to assess yourself.
Tips to cope with science test anxiety.
· If you get stuck on something, skip it and come back to it. If you are still stuck, try for partial credit on that problem.
· Breathe in slowly for seven seconds then out slowly for seven seconds a few times. Close your eyes and visualize a calming scene.
· Don’t expect perfection. Trust in yourself and your preparation. Even with some mistakes you will still be ok.
Take the number of credit hours you are taking and multiply by 3. Add to this the number of hours you are working, volunteering, etc. If the number is above 60 you are overextended. Overextended students often earn grades below their initial expectations. Students with overloads (more than 18 units) often earn grades below their initial expectations.
Special Needs Students
If you believe you may require special accommodations for this course please contact either the instructor or the appropriate campus contact immediately. If you are unsure what accommodations should be available to you it is a good idea to contact the instructor or the appropriate campus contact to assist you in making that determination. USE ANY ADVANTAGE YOU CAN GET! This includes asking for more time or alternate locations for exams.
LAP students will not be given special arrangements without regular class attendance. LAP students must take the entire exam in a single location OR be under constant supervision while changing locations. No exceptions will be made. An exam lasting x hours (x is a number) may be started up to 2x hours prior to the start of the in class exam. The latest an exam can be started is at the regularly scheduled completion time.
Tutors are sometimes available in the Tutor Center, STEM center, and MESA Workshops. Office hours are available. If you only ask questions the week before the exam, it is often too late to help you effectively.
There is no curve for this class. Your performance will be indicated by a percentage. 93% or higher is a guaranteed A, 83% or higher is a guaranteed B, 73% or higher is a guaranteed C, 63% or higher is a guaranteed D. I reserve the right to soften the grade scale based on class statistics. For example: If the top scores in the class were 96, 95, 94, 93, 90, 89, 88… I would see the logical split in the grades between 93 and 90 and make 93 or higher A’s for the semester. If instead the grades looked like 96, 94, 92, 91, 88, 87, 85, … the logical split comes between 91 and 88 so I would make the A’s be 91 and higher. Similar reasoning applies to the other borderlines between grades. The following chart explains the weighting of grading items:
Attendance & Late Work
Students are responsible for dropping the course should they choose to stop attending. Students who miss three or more classes may be dropped from the course without notice.
Please note that any student who provides adequate documentation of a legitimate and acceptable absence will be given special consideration. Please discuss these matters with me in person outside of class; my brain can’t handle impending lecture and student requests at the same time.
1) Medical appointments such as medical or dental visits are not acceptable excuses. These must be arranged outside of class time.
2) Medical emergencies of friends or family members are not acceptable excuses. I don’t expect you to stick around if one of those things happens (I wouldn’t either) but you should be ready to accept the consequence of a lower grade or possibly having to retake the course.
Look in the class schedule above in the rightmost column. There you will find information about the week’s lab. WATCH OUT! Some labs require pre-labs worth 2-4 points (out of 10). Any pre-labs are expected to be turned in at the start of class. Late work receives no credit. There may also be a link to an Excel sheet in the schedule.
Pre-labs, if assigned, are submitted at the start of class. The instructor will lecture anywhere from 10 minutes to 40 minutes depending on what needs to be covered. Students perform the experiment and record their data together on a single Excel spreadsheet. They print a single copy of the data/graphs for the instructor to look over and catch as many errors as possible (circling items that need fixing). When the data and calculations look good, the instructor then has the group print a copy of the data/graphs for each person. At this point attendance is complete and these students are checked out for the day.
Instructors typically grade some subset of the submitted materials. For example an instructor might grade the conclusion questions 2 & 3, check their diagrams, and look over the introduction. The pre-lab is typically worth 2 points, each of these four items would be worth 1 point, and the remaining four points would be for successful collection of data and participation. Note: students with missing or incomplete sections will have a reduction of score.
Lab points will be assigned as follows: 30 points for lab exam (if in syllabus), 40 points for oral presentation (data aq, prep, & present), other labs worth 10 points each. Read the section on Lab Rules below.
Please note that the lab portions of class adhere to different attendance standards as follows:
If pre-labs are being used, anyone late to class will not be allowed to make up the pre-lab.
If you are late to lab by 10-20 minutes you will lose 5 points off your lab score that day.
If you are late to lab by more than 20 minutes, you will be counted as absent and receive a zero for that day.
If you are absent for 2 labs, your overall grade in the course is reduced by 5% in addition to any missed lab points.
If you are absent for 3 labs, your overall grade in the course is reduced by 15% in addition to any missed lab points.
If you are absent for 4 or more labs, your overall grade in the course is an F. If you want to switch sections for the week you must get prior approval from the instructor.
No food or drink is allowed in lab. Do not come to class and expect to eat lunch or dinner.
Your materials from the lab are due AT THE TIME AND PLACE SPECIFIED BY THE LAB INSTRUCTOR. Late materials receive a very harsh penalty. It is better to turn in a partially completed lab (or even a lab consisting of only the data sheet) to get some points rather than take a zero.
If the lab includes a multi-day project (i.e oral presentation projects), absences and tardiness have an outsized impact on your lab partners. As a result, penalties for tardiness and absence increase.
Phones or Other Electronic Devices
I get distracted by cell phones in class. Cell phones distract students as well. Turn off the ringer in class. Please refrain from texting under the desk nonsense. When you are in class, be present. Avoid social media, texting, random web surfing, etc.
Students should be aware of the Student Code of Conduct. The instructor will pursue appropriate disciplinary action for anyone believed to be in violation of the code.
Food in Class
No food is allowed in class. Don't come to class or lab and expect to eat dinner.