The course during this Semester commences on Wed., Jan. 22 and concludes on
Wed., May 7. A schedule of lectures, examinations and homework
assignments is distributed with this syllabus.
LECTURES are on MWF from 1:40 until 2:30 in PSF-173. Role is not
taken, but attendance is strongly advised. Students are responsible for any
information imparted to the class during lectures.
RECITATION sections occur weekly as scheduled, beginning Jan. 23.
The purpose of the recitation section is to give the student an
opportunity in a small class environment to learn essential concepts and
problem-solving strategies. Each recitation period, beginning the second
week of recitation, will open with a short quiz. Once during the
semester each student will be required to explain a
DEMONSTRATION PROBLEM to his/her recitation section. You will be
asked to sign up for your demonstration problem during the first recitation
meeting. Your performance on the demonstration problem will be evaluated by
your recitation instructor and will count 5% of your final grade.
HELP-STUDY Sessions are for the students' benefit, but participation
is optional. The Help-Study Hall (PSH-563) will be staffed by volunteer
faculty and Teaching Assistants several hours each day. Teaching Assistants
associated with this course will keep some of their office hours in the
An E-MAIL account is available for every student enrolled at ASU.
Instructions for obtaining an e-mail account can be obtained at the ASU
Computer Commons. Important class information will be disseminated regularly
through e-mail. The student will be responsible for receiving it. Exam and
term grades will be published by e-mail or web page as soon as they are
available. Each student should send the instructor a message at the address
email@example.com. The subject of the message should be
"PHY 121" and the body of the message should include your name and your
recitation section by time and line number. Your e-mail address will be
copied from your message and added to the class list. The deadline for
submitting your e-mail address is Friday, Feb. 7.
A list of assigned HOMEWORK problems is distributed with this
syllabus. There is one assignment for each lecture. Two to four such
assignments are grouped together by a common due date as a single
"homework set". Each homework set will be handed in at the beginning
of the lecture period on the date due. LATE HOMEWORK WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
[Please do not fold your homework. It should be contained in a report cover
or stapled together. Please use only one side of the paper.] Your recitation
section TA will grade one problem from each homework set for 10 points.
The problems to be graded will be selected at random but will be the same
for all recitation sections. The remaining problems will be counted for
1 point each if there has been a good faith attempt to solve them. There
are currently 220 assigned problems in 37 assignments grouped into 10
homework sets. A total of 310 homework points are possible. The final
homework grade will be determined as a percentage out of 250 points, i.e.
there are essentially two drops built into the homework system. Your
maximum homework grade is 100%, i.e. more than 250 points will not be
counted as extra credit. A minimum of 25% of all possible homework
points is required for a passing grade in the course.
The following policies govern homework:
Assignments will be accepted only at the beginning of the lecture
hour on the days they are due. LATE HOMEWORK WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
Study groups are strongly encouraged. For most people, talking
about physics is an essential part of understanding physics and
developing an accurate and useful physical intuition. However,
written homework solutions should be one's own. Homework that has
obviously been copied will not receive credit and the students involved
will be subject to charges of academic dishonesty.
Quizzes will be given during the first 10-15 minutes of each recitation
beginning the second week, i.e. Thurs. 1/30, and not including the final
week, i.e. ending on Wed. 4/30. This results in 12 quizzes for each
recitation section. The highest 10 quiz scores will be counted.
Quizzes will be similar to simpler problems, and will be on material
already covered in the lectures and homework assignments.
The five tests will cover material indicated in the schedule by
lecture numbers. Each test will consist of 2-3 problems and 10-12
multiple choice questions. The problems may be similar to homework, but
they may also represent applications of principles in entirely different
circumstances. The multiple choice questions may cover conceptual
questions as well as "quicky" problems. The final examination will
consist entirely of multiple choice questions. In addition to being
comprehensive, the final will also cover the lectures at the end of
the semester not covered by the fifth test. For the test dates, see
lecture schedule which accompanies this syllabus.
Examinations are governed by the following policies:
THERE WILL BE NO MAKE-UP TESTS. The lowest score of all
five tests will be deleted in the final course grade calculation.
Academic dishonesty on an examination will result
automatically in a failing grade for the course and referral to
the Dean for further sanctions. Cheating in any form will not be
The use of hand calculators is permitted.
Test paper (including scratch paper) will be provided. Bring
only your pencils and calculators.
Formula sheets will not be used in tests. Understanding a
concept of physics is tantamount to knowing its mathematical
expression and how to apply it to a given physical situation.
Non-trivial derivatives and integrals, numerical values of
physical constants, and some case-specific formulas will
be provided when their use is required. A short formula sheet will
be provided for the final examination.
Partial credit is given. Arithmetical errors will be treated
charitably, but for answers that do not make physical sense
(wrong dimensions, deviation by several orders of magnitude, etc.)
no credit will be awarded. In general, you must get the PHYSICS right
to receive any partial credit. Wrong physics = no credit.
In the event of a fire alarm occuring during an examination,
students will be asked to close their examination booklets, gather
their belongings and leave the room as expeditiously as possible,
leaving their examination booklets on the tables where they were
working. The booklets will be gathered and graded as they are.
Unless the alarm proves to represent a bona fide emergency, there
will be no make-up examination.
If a student believes there to have been an error in grading
his or her examination, the complaint should be put in writing and
handed, together with the examination, to the course instructor. The
problem will be regraded by the individual who graded it originally.
If the student is not satisfied with the grader's response to the
complaint, he or she may appeal to the course instructor. In this
event, the instructor reserves the prerogative to regrade the entire
examination. (Simple errors, such as point addition, can be corrected
by contacting the student's recitation section instructor.)
E. Final Grades.
The final course grades will be determined with the following weights:
Quizzes (best 10 of 12): 10%
Demonstration Problem: 5%
Tests (best 4 of 5): 60%
Final Examination: 15%
A minimum of 25% of all possible homework points is
required for a passing grade in the course. The scale for final letter
grades will ultimately be determined by the overall class performance.
However, any student who earns 90% of all possible points can expect
to receive an A. Don't depend on your instructors to figure your
grade correctly. For a more detailed explanation see
HOW TO FIGURE YOUR FINAL GRADE.
Withdrawal policies are established by the University (see page 16 of the
Spring 1997 Semester Bulletin.) The deadline for unrestricted course
withdrawal is Feb. 14. Other deadlines are also given in the Bulletin.
The important point to remember is that after Feb. 14 (and before any
other withdrawal deadline) one will receive either a W or an E
depending respectively upon whether or not one is "passing" the
course at that time as certified by the instructor. In particular, a
cumulative homework score of less than 20% at the time of withdrawal
will be interpreted as failing. Performance on examinations will also be
taken into consideration.