Physics 218 Lecture 1: Introduction Alexei Safonov Today Lecture • Structure of the class • Organizational issues – Instructors, textbooks, meeting times • Course requirements and grading • Practical details – Exams – Homework and quizzes – Reading assignments – Recitations Physics 218: Basics • Content: – Introduction to Classical Mechanics – Concepts, Problem Solving, and Labs – Requires high school level calculus • Structure: – Lecture (2 per week) – MPHY205 (here) – Recitation (1 per week)- MPHY 234/335 – Lab (1 per week) – MPHY 234/335 Instructors • Lectures (ENPH 202, MW 5:45pm): – Prof. Alexei Safonov (me) – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • Put PHYS-218 first in the Subject line!!! – MIST M319, 979-845-1479 • The “tower” portion of the Physics Building – Office hours: W 3:45-5:00 PM • Tentatively, may change later • Recitation and labs: – TA’s will provide contact info at your first meeting – First meeting on the week of Sept 5-9 • No lab this week! Online Info • Main link: – http://elearning.tamu.edu/ • Has links to everything else you may need Syllabus Online Info about PHYS-218 • PHYS-218 main web-site: – http://physics218.physics.tamu.edu/ • My web-page (available from elearning): – http://faculty.physics.tamu.edu/safonov/ • Then click “Teaching” tab on the left – Will include syllabus, and important announcements • Will also try to keep there schedule reminders, due dates, homework info, these notes etc. Pre-Requisites • MATH 151 – It is a GOOD idea to take it before this class – If you do well in MATH 151, you will survive here too, but you are in somewhat disadvantaged position as many of your classmates took calculus in high school • Test Yourself: – There are 10 math quizzes on my web-page – They are not mandatory, but try them: • If you can relatively easily get 80+% of the problems within 15 minutes, you are ok • If not, consider coming back next semester Materials • Get them right now or the bookstore may run out of them: – Buy and Register your clicker ASAP! – Register for Mastering Physics (MP) ASAP! • MP packet often comes with new textbooks, also available separately in the bookstore, also can pay online at www.masteringphysics.com – Textbook and lab manual (see syllabus) • Clickers are registered through elearning.tamu.edu Grading • Grading will be based on the following scales: – Exam1: 75 points – Exams 2&3: 100 points each – Final: 200 points – Lab: 100 points – Recitation: 100 points – In-class Quizzes and Lecture Assignments: 50 points – Homework: 75 points – Total: 800 points • I will curve all scores AFTER the final, but will give you feedback along the way – If your final score is higher than average of exams 1- 3, final will be re-weighted to have 275 max and exams 1-3 will be re-weighted to give 200 max Lecture Structure • You will have to routinely read material of each new Chapter before lecture! • Clicker Quizzes: – In-class quiz at the end of the lecture using “clickers”: • 2-3 multiple choice questions about the material of the lecture – Several mini-quizzes during lecture • Quizzes contribute 50 points to your final score • Typical average from past years: 25 Lectures, Recitations and You • In lectures, I focus on teaching you: – Concepts and underlying physics – Application of concepts for solving problems – Methodology of solving problems and common mistakes – All of the above illustrated on typically simpler example problems • Recitations focus more heavily on practical problem solving • Both can only send you in the right direction, but the real learning happens when you work our the homework problems Homework • Weekly assignments on Mastering Physics web-site (check often): – Need to get 70%+ on each individual weekly assignment AND 70% average final homework score to pass the course – Each late portion of HW gets 10% reduction in score PER DAY, so if it’s 3 days late and you did not yet start working on you assignment, you are done with this class • Important: – There is an option to “give up” on a problem in MP. Don’t use it! • If you “give up” on problems, it’s irreversible and it can bring your score below 70%! • Instead, move on to another problem and go back to this problem later (you don’t have to do them in order) • Important: start working on HW problems early!!! • Last year average student’s score about 90% (of 75 points maximum towards final score) Homework - 2 • If at the end of the course your average score across the entire set of homework assignments is less than 70%, you final grade will be F. • If your average score is 70+%, but not all of your weekly assignments are above 70% – Make-up assignments for the ones where you did not meet 70% threshold – Comparable to the failed assignment in difficulty and material. – If you meet the 70% threshold on all make-up assignments, the automatic failure rule will be waived for you, but your final homework assignment score will not be changed by these make-up assignments Recitations Quizzes • You have to do most of the work on your HW before the recitation • At recitations, you will have a chance to ask questions about the HW problems • Your instructors will walk you through 2-3 problems that attracted most questions • In the last ~10 minutes you will take a quiz – Usually one of the problems in the current HW (typically one of the difficult ones) • Average score from last year ~80 out of 100 Labs • Lab policies are uniform and set by the Department • Implementation is in the hands of your TAs and they will inform you of all the details at your first session. – As a general rule, no labs are to be dropped and you need an officially recognized excuse to re-do a lab – You need to get at least 70% for labs to pass the course • If you are re-taking this course and have received 80+% for labs on your last attempt, I may accept your old score. – You need to submit a written request (talk to people at Physics Front Office Window, 4th floor of the office wing of ENPH) – Even if approved, you still need to attend recitations, do quizzes etc. !!! • Average score for lab is about 85 points out of 100 (last year) Lab Score Transfer Exams • 3 midterm exams: – Will be administered during regular class meetings times – General structure: • Problem 1: about 10 multiple-choice problems • Problems 2-4: full size problems – Different in difficulty, but at least one typically harder than others (similar in quality to the more difficult problems from the homework assignments). • Final exam: – 2 hour long, schedule set by the University – 6-8 full size problems covering entire course. How to Pass This Course • In order to pass this course you must: – Take all the exams and the final AND – Pass the Lab part with >70% AND – Get 70+% on homework (each weekly assignment and the average over all assignments) AND – Have your total score above the F range (60%) How to Fail This Course • In order to fail this course you should: – Miss one of the exams or the final OR – Pass the Lab part with <70% or fail it in any other way OR – Get less than 70% on any weekly homework assignment of less than 70% average of the course homework section OR – Have your total score in the F range What to Expect: PHYS-218 • Be prepared that this is one of very hard and time consuming classes – Need typically 10 hours of hard work a week besides classes • Inter-relation and intensity of the material makes it harder: – You miss one thing, but it will come and bite you several times as the same concepts repeat throughout the course • If you can’t afford that much time, take this class next semester Schedule • We will generally follow this sequence: – Week 1: material X is covered in the lecture – Week 2: material X is covered in recitation – Week 3: Monday at noon full HW assignment on material X is due • Read material before the lecture and prepare for reading and lecture quizzes • Start working on your HW early, definitely before recitation How To Do Well in PHYS-218 • Maximize scores in all “service” categories – Labs, recitations, HW, clicker quizzes, some (very limited) extra credit opportunities • Do your best on the exams – They are what really matters most to your final grade!!! • You won’t do well on exams unless you train yourself in solving HW problems – Do problems yourself: if someone explains you the solution and you “understood” it, that’s not good enough – If you are stuck, ask for help with a similar problem; if you had to get help with a HW problem, solve 5 more similar ones from the book yourself – Really helps to go beyond HW assignments and do more problems from the book – You likely will have to struggle through some of the problems, but that’s the only way, you will notice that soon things will start coming to you easier Tutoring • Not a bad idea, but be careful: – You do not want a tutor who is solving problems for you and trains you to solve “standard exam problems” – You want someone who will: • spend time finding your weak spots • help you understand concepts • teach you how to solve problems • check that you figured this material by letting you solve several problems on the same subject while watching your steps and logic Your TO-DO List Clickers • Get them now before the bookstore ran out of them! • Register your clicker at elearning.tamu.edu – Log into elearning.tamu.edu with your NEO login and password – Go to this class (Physics 218) – Click on “Course Content” and follow the link to register your clicker • Will use it first time this Wednesday! Register Your Clicker Homework • Register on www.masteringphysics.com • Course ID: MPSAFONOV2011FALL • First assignment is due Monday at noon – Introduction and Preliminary Material – Points will not count towards your final score, but you need to get 70+% right, just as for any other assignment or you will fail this course! Register on MasteringPhysics Prepare for Lecture • Read material of Chapter 1 before the lecture • “Trial” reading quiz at the lecture – We will use the system, but the questions will be trivial this time (and for the last time) • There will be lecture quizzes on Monday – You will need your clicker up and running!
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