Physics 221 – Fall 2015

General information

Course expectations


Welcome to the sophomore-level comprehensive physics course, part 1. The following class policy is designed to make your learning as effective and pleasant as possible. If a particular aspect of the policy is not working, I retain the right to change it as we go along. However, I will try my best to be fair in the event of any changes.
You are urged to communicate with me if you need to discuss class material. I maintain an open door policy in addition to the posted office hours. A text message to my cell phone is usually the quickest and easiest way to contact me. Please see me immediately if you feel you are having trouble with the class.
Learning is not a passive experience. You will be expected to participate actively in all aspects of the course. I expect you to learn the basics of physics. Perhaps even more importantly, I expect your abilities in critical thinking to increase as a result of the work you will do in the next 4 months. This includes your ability to set up and solve problems and your skill in expressing your thinking in written and verbal form. To this end, you will frequently be asked to present and defend your reasoning, both on paper and in front of your classmates. I don't want this to be a frightening or humiliating experience, so I will do my best to maintain a friendly, supportive atmosphere in the classroom. I ask you to do the same.
Attendance at all class meetings is highly recommended. You are responsible for all information imparted in class whether you are there or not. The recitation in particular is extremely useful for sorting out any difficulties you might be having. Missing a test or not handing in the paper will result in a grade of -2 on the 0-4 (F to A) scale, unless you are excused. Makeups will be given if you were sick or couldn't attend a test for some other sensible reason. However, I must be informed of the need for a makeup test at the earliest possible time.
The following written and oral work will be assigned:
Your grade will be derived as a composite of your performance over the semester, as specified below. (There will be no final exam.) Remember, if you don't understand something, an intelligent explanation of your difficulties is as good as a correct answer during oral classwork. In thinking about problems and lab reports, by all means discuss the material with your friends. However, once the discussion is over, write up the material yourself. Test papers are, of course, expected to be entirely your own work.
Grades will be weighted as follows:

Study aids

OSL tutoring for physics 221

Summaries of chapter contents

Old tests

Extra problems

Interesting information

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Counseling and Disability Service information

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Academic honesty

New Mexico Tech’s Academic Honesty Policy can be found in the Tech catalog. You are responsible for knowing, understanding, and following this policy.