General Physics with Calculus I
This class is a calculus based introduction to general physics, comprised
of a lecture and a lab segment. It is aimed at students who have
It will introduce scientific
methods for finding and reporting facts about nature.
The laboratory part of the class will introduce you
to measurement techniques (the fact finding), you will learn about data handling
and analysis. In physics, observations are reported using mathematics
as language. The lecture sections will emphasize this approach.
It will further be practiced in the homework. The lecture
part will be a formal but brief introduction of the class
subjects and will contain worked out examples (problems), similar to
those assigned in the homework and exams.|
During this course, successful students will develop a qualitative and quantitative
understanding of basic mechanics, conservation laws, oscillations, waves,
and thermal physics; phenomena encountered in daily life. The quantitative
treatment of these topics will be emphasized.
This approach should help students to develop their general problem solving
Click here to get a class schedule.
The understanding of basic mathematics, as covered e.g.
is an essential class pre-requisite.
It is expected that the students are familiar with algebra,
quadratic equations, systems of equations,
trigonometry, powers, logarithms and vectors. Knowledge of calculus
such as derivatives, integrals will be needed.
Advanced mathematical concpets like differential equations will
be used. However, it is not assumed that you are familiar with them.
The course will emphasize fundamental concepts and problem-solving
techniques in physics, using interactive instruction, computer-based
techniques, and cooperative learning. There will be no separate
lab and lecture section. The course will be team taught by a faculty
member (Piepke) and a graduate teaching assistant (Stough). During classes
on Tuesday and Thursday there will be a mix of short lectures
and group activities.
Electronic lecture notes
will be provided on the web as
the class goes on. The lecture notes will not cover all class room examples,
some of which will be presented on the white board. It is a good idea to
keep notes as some of the in-class examples will be similar to
the exam problems. This should encourage class attendance.
It is expected that the students read the appropriate textbook sections
class. This is essential for being able to follow the class and for achieving a
good grade. The lectures will not cover all the class material.
Because of the time
limitations lectures are necessarily brief. The students should use the class
time to clarify questions regarding the reading material. This can happen
through discussion with their peers or the instructor.
Short quizzes will be administered on a regular basis to reinforce this learning concept.
Quizzes will be administered using electronic clickers. The average result of the
clicker tests will count 5% of the final grade. A clicker test may precede a
class to test whether the students have read the appropriate textbook
The group activities will include
lab experiments, mostly using the computer for data acquisition and
analysis, and other short `exercises'. The exercises will consist
of real-world problems and computer simulations. The one-hour Friday
class will be a `recitation' devoted to problem solving and preparation for
the lab experiments.
Students are expected to find and print out their own copies of each
activity before the class period.
The manuals can be
down-loaded from the web site of PH105.
Students should not expect to be
able to print out a copy in the classroom. It is very important
to read and understand the experiment instruction before coming to class.
A clicker test may precede the lab section.
Experience shows that the students typically need some time to
understand how to properly use the equipment. There is just not enough time to also
study the physics content of the labs during class time.
Every student has to turn
in a written lab report describing the results of his/her experimental
work. These reports will be graded. Lab reports are due one week after the activity,
unless otherwise noted.
Problems are assigned weekly (usually on Tuesday) and are due Tuesday 4:00 pm. This gives
the weekend after recitation to work on the homework.
Late work will not
be accepted. Every set of homework problems will count 1 point.
The problem solutions must be submitted on the web, using
a service called Web Assign.
You can access Web Assign using any web browser.
page choose Log In. You will be prompted for your username (same as your username
on bama.ua.edu, all lower case), your institution (this is ua), and your
password. Your initial password is equal to your username. Please make sure to change
it when you first log in. If you have used Web Assign before your previous
password will be valid.
Web Assign is free with a new textbook. If you didn't
buy a textbook you need to buy an access code (available on their web site).
Click here to get a brief tutorial on how to get started.
Web Assign will give you instant feedback on the correctness of your solution.
Students can resubmit solutions up to a maximum of 3 attempts. The
numerical values of the problem are different for each student and will be changed
when a solution is resubmitted. The first Friday recitation session will be
devoted to explaining how to use Web Assign.
It is important to understand how to work a problem and not just check
the boxes. Students must keep a notebook of how they work each problem
and be prepared to turn this in for spot grading if requested. Although students
may collaborate when working problems, each student must keep a record of
problem solutions (not just answers) and should submit their own answers-
based on the particular numbers in their problems.
It has been observed that some students were able to obtain a solutions manual
for these problems. This will, of course, improve the homework grades, counting 15%
of the final grade. However,
it has also been observed that these students perform very poorly in the exams,
counting 55% of the final grade,
as they have not really learned how to solve problems. Such a homework
strategy will thus lead to failure and is strongly discouraged. The homework
is there to help you learn the class subjects. You can only do so by
confronting your problems. In case of trouble with the homework feel free
to see me in my office.
Multiple choices quizzes will be administered during class using electronic clickers.
The clickers will be provided free of charge for your use in this class.
are located in room 203 and are to remain there at all times.
The clickers are in a numbered shelf. At the beginning of the semester one clicker will
be associated with each individual student. You will need to write down the number of
clicker in order to receive credit for you quizzes and class attendance. If you forget
your clicker number you will not be able to participate in the quiz and cannot receive
During the clicker registration, at the beginning of the semester, you will have to
write down you name, the clicker number and serial number on a paper and hand it
to your instructor. This way there will be a double record of the clicker
Each answer to a clicker quiz can receive 3 points credit. One point will be given for
any answer, to acknowledge class attendance. A correct answer will receive a 3 point
credit. The average point score, received divided by the total possible will enter into
your final class grade. Each student is to use his or her clicker only. Any
use of additional clicker e.g. for a friend will be counted as academic misconduct.
Attendance and Makeup Policy:
Students are expected to attend the classes. Regular attendance is a crucial element in
being able to pass the exams.
Studies have shown a clear and direct correlation of attendance with grades.
Graded clicker quizzes will be administered regularly to encourage attendance.
No makeup of in-class work or exams will be given. If you have a legitimate reason
for missing a major exam, then you must inform the instructor as soon as possible.
If the reason is acceptable, then the final exam will count proportionately more.
The two lowest grades on in-class exercises, recitation work and homework will be
dropped. This will allow a limited number of missed classes regardless
of the reason.
Two exams will be administered:
Tuesday, September 22, (9:00 am to 10:50 am)
Tuesday, October 27 (9:00 am to 10:50 am).
The comprehensive final exam is
Monday December 7 (8:00 am to 10:30 am). The exams will take place
in room 203 of Gallalee Hall. In all exams
all work must be done in pen in an exam book that will be provided.
Any work in pencil will be discarded. Students may use a pocket calculator
and one equation sheet (letter size).
The exam results will be published in the glass box in the second floor
hallway of Gallalee Hall.
Homework problems will be submitted electronically each Tuesday.
work will be collected at the end of each class period and will count as part of the
course grade. Not all in-class work will be graded in detail.
Short quizzes will be administered during each recitation class. They will be based on
in-class work done during the week
and the most recently submitted problem assignment. Problem notebooks may be
collected occasionally on Friday for spot-checking.
There will be no makeup of missed class work.
There will be no scaling or curving of grades in this class. To add some flexibility
the two lowest lab, homework, recitation and clicker quiz grades will be dropped.
All grade bonuses are thus given up-front.
- In-class activities (lab reports): 20%
- Homework problems (Web Assign): 15%
- Recitation (Friday) quizzes: 5%
- In-class clicker quizzes: 5%
- First exam: 15%
- Second exam: 15%
- Final exam: 25%
Students are expected to follow the
Code of Student Conduct,
as laid down by The University of Alabama. All acts of dishonesty in any
work constitute academic misconduct. In particular each student is expected to
do his/her own work on quizzes and exams. Misuse of the clickers will
be treated as an act of dishonesty. Suspected
violators of this policy will be referred to the Dean's Office in the College
of Arts and Sciences. Students are encouraged to work together when studying
and preparing for homework.
To request disability accommodations, please contact Disability Services (348-4285).
After initial arrangements are made with that office, contact Dr. Piepke.