Paul Mikulski
CH255 (near Bancroft/Chapel corner)
SP211 General Physics I
Content Areas: kinematics, forces, momentum, energy, rotation, gravitation, fluids, waves.

Learning Outcomes:
  1. Know General Physics I concepts and use them qualitatively to draw general conclusions about physical situations.
  2. Apply General Physics I concepts to solve technical problems quantitatively using both symbolic variables and numeric values.
  3. Use vector mathematics reliably as a natural part of your approach to physics.
  4. Use mathematics from your Calculus I, II, III sequence reliably as a natural part of your approach to physics.

Your average:

Each quiz problem and each lab is an "out of 5 points" element and is recorded individually (total scores on quizzes don't carry any special significance). For every 10 elements accumulated, everyone earns one drop. The final exam is common and consists of 50 mulitple choice questions.

It is possible to increase your personal number of drop elements by maintaining a highly organized and well-documented notebook and keeping in dialog with me on your efforts to find approaches that help you improve. A suitable notebook will include minimally your solutions to worksheets and online homework, corrections to quizzes and exams, and lab documentation.

EI: By appointment. The default duration of EI is for half a period. When you schedule EI, you can schedule for the first half or the second half of a period. Each week, I will also hold an open evening session. We'll schedule each week which night works best.

In-class worksheets: Each of the 42 topics for the course gets its own worksheet, and each worksheet gets its own class day. Most of class time will be spent working with your classmates to solve the worksheet problems. Answers appear on the worksheet; my hard-copy solutions are available during class for reference; and after class, my solutions are posted on my homepage.

Warning!!! Studying solutions can feel very productive, but it is just an early step at best towards being able to do physics yourself.

Wileyplus online homework: Each topic gets its own small homework set comprised of only the course-wide suggested problems for that topic. The due date for each topic is one week after the topic is listed in the reference syllabus (or a bit later if "one week after" falls on a no-class day) at 11:59 pm. The reference syllabus doesn't fit exactly with our 5-days-a-week schedule exactly, but the one week window is wide enough for this to not be an issue. Any points earned after a due date take a 30% deduction. For example: if you complete 3 out of 4 points before the due date and then finish the set later, your final score for the set would be 3.7/4.

Weekly quizzes: There will be a quiz each week, usually 4 problems and never more than that. The main focus will be on recent topics for which the wileyplus due date has past, but there can also be review problems. I will look to worksheet problems when thinking about how to design a quiz, though you will want to master most of the online homework problems before the topic is quizzed on.

Quiz problems are each graded out of 5 points, and individual problem scores are recorded in my grade book rather than the total. Flaws are at least a single point deduction; flaws related to the understanding of the problem are usually two point deductions. Poor documentation can result in a deduction. No credit is given if work is not documented.

Make-up of a missed quiz can happen outside of class before your return to class, or at the latest on your return to class. If you are going to be on an MO on a quiz or lab day, then your make-up needs to be arranged before you leave. If you fail to do so, I may not allow a make-up.

Warning!!! This structure is designed to help you work consistently on physics, but for this to work you must take prep for quizzes seriously. Quiz problems are the biggest chunk of your course grade.

Labs: Labs are to be done in groups of 2, though if your partner is absent you may join another group to form a group of 3. We will not be doing any formal write-ups, but each group will need to check out with me in person and each member will need to have work documented at a level that allows for a review of the lab.

Calculator, Equation Sheet: On quizzes and the final you may only use the TI-36X Pro. For quizzes you may use your own copy of the course equation sheet (personal annotations are OK). For the final exam, the equation sheet is provided with the exam (you will not be able to use your personal copy).