Spring 2009 Syllabus

Physics Tutoring

The UCA Chapter of the Society of Physics Students usually offers group tutoring sessions as a Society of Physics Students fund raiser. Dates and fees will be posted as information is available.

How to Find Me

Telephone: 501.450.5910
FAX: 501.852.2286
E-Mail: njaustin@uca.edu
Office: Room LSC 176B
Office Hours: MWF 8:00−9:00
MWF 10:00−11:30
or by appointment

Point Distribution

Pop-Ups 150 points maximum 150 15%
Lab Quizzes ten 30 point quizzes 300 30%
Error Analysis one 50 point report 50 5%
Midterm Exams three 100 point exams 300 30%
Final Exam 200 point final exam 200 20%
TOTAL   1000 100%

Grading Scale

Grade Minimum
A 885 1000
B 795 884
C 695 794
D 595 694
F 0 594

Need Another Syllabus?

Click here for a printer−friendly .pdf of the syllabus.

Objectives:  The purpose of this course is to provide an overview and in-depth understanding of the physics of Newtonian mechanics.  Additionally,  you will be expected to exercise and improve your critical thinking and problem solving skills by participating in discussions, demonstrations, and laboratory activities.


Calendars:  Check the on-line calendars for reading assignments and announcements about in class activities.  All the important dates (exams, quizzes, etc.) are already scheduled, but you should treat the calendar as a dynamic document, and check frequently for updates or changes.


Lecture:  Lecture time will be spent involved in discussions,  questions-and-answer sessions, group activities, demonstrations, and some traditional lectures.  You are expected to come to each lecture on time and well prepared: read the appropriate material from the text and have questions ready, bring the necessary supplies (paper, writing utensils, calculator, clicker), and be ready to participate in whatever activity is scheduled.


Pop-Ups:  You will need to purchase an InterWrite PRS RF radio-frequency responder, or clicker.  These are available at the UCA Bookstore. They are in stock at Textbook Brokers and Campus Bookstore as well.  Do not try to find this at the Office Depot or the Wal-Mart, then complain to me that you looked everywhere but could not get one.

At the beginning of each lecture, there will be a brief quiz consisting of one or two questions.  These will refer explicitly to the reading assignment posted on the course calendar.  The assignment posted on a specific day should be read as preparation before you come to class that day; it is not homework for the next class meeting.

During each lecture session, there will also be pop-up questions scattered throughout the presentation.  You will be asked to respond using your clicker.  Your responses will be recorded, and points will be awarded. You will receive 3 points for a correct response, and 1 point for any response at all.  You can accumulate a maximum of 150 points in this manner.

You will be required to click in to have your quiz and pop-up points recorded.  No one will receive  credit by coming up to me after class and asking to be marked in by hand.  You are responsible for remembering to bring your clicker, and you are responsible for keeping it in working order.


Exams:  Three midterm exams are scheduled over the semester. Exams will be administered during the lab period and in the lab room. You should expect exams that are approximately 50% conceptual or qualitative problems, and 50% quantitative.  Exam dates are tentatively scheduled on the calendar, and any changes will be reflected there.  The final exam will be comprehensive.  An archive of past exams is online for you to use as a study guide.


Grades:  The grading scale will be determined in part by the overall performance of the class.  Once a scale has been finalized, there will be no curving. Points are points and you get what you earn.  A baseline scale will be close to scale shown on the table on the left.

You are expected to keep all graded material and keep track of your own point progress over the course of the semester.  I will be happy to correct any bookkeeping errors, but  you must be able to document the error with the original graded work.  You will be given your point total and grade average after each exam.  If you need to know your grade at any time, e–mail me, and I will send you your point total.


Attendance:  Attendance of both lecture and laboratory is required, and you must attend the lab section in which you are enrolled.  Attendance is your responsibility, and you are responsible for any material missed through non-attendance.  Make-up work is not available.  If you must miss class for any reason, you must notify me  within 24 hours of the missed class.  Failure to notify the instructor will result in a score of zero for any assignments, quizzes, or exams which are due or which occur during the missed class period.  You will be required to provide documentation (i.e., doctor's note, accident report, traffic citation) before any make-up exams will be scheduled or late work will be accepted for credit.  Attendance will be taken in lab, and an accumulation of three  lab absences will result in a grade of F for the semester.  Any abuse of this policy (i.e., providing false information) will result in, at the minimum, a course grade of F, and referral to the Dean of Students for further disciplinary action.


Academic Integrity:  Collaboration is encouraged on homework and labs.  However, the work you submit must be your own. Any collaboration on exams is strictly prohibited, and will result in, at the minimum, a course grade of F, and referral to the Dean of Students for further disciplinary action.


Personal Electronic Devices:  Cell phone use is strictly prohibited during lecture and lab time.  You are not permitted to use either a cell phone or a PDA as a calculator during labs, quizzes, or exams.  You must turn your phone, pager, and PDA off for the duration of class time.  This does not mean switch silent ring; it means off.  If your cell phone rings during an exam, you will be required to turn in your exam and leave the room immediately.  You will not be allowed to complete your call, then return to taking your test.  In the event that cell usage becomes problematic, I reserve the right to implement point penalties for repeat offenders.  The number of points per penalty is left to my discretion.  No exceptions to this policy will be made for any reason whatsoever.