Basic Info

Instructors: Anna Demeo and Dave Feldman
Emails: annaedemeo[at]yahoo.c0m and daveAThornacekDOTcoaD0Tedu
Offices: Faculty Hut and Second Floor, Turrets Annex
Office Hours: TBA and by appointment.
Mailing List: energyAThornacekD0TcoaDOTedu
Tutors: Adrianna Beaudette
Help Session: Thursdays, 6:30-8:00pm Deering Common


Your evaluation will be loosely based on the following:

  • Weekly Homework Assignments: 60 percent.
  • Lab Participation and Write-ups: 20 percent.
  • Final Project: 20 percent.

I (dave) recommend against grades; I believe they are more likely than not to interfere with genuine, reflective learning. We will assign grades (for those who so opt) by following the guidelines in the COA Course Catalog. We do not have any quota of A's, B's, etc.

Class Structure and Policies

  1. The final version of this and related documents can be found on the course web page.
  2. Homework will usually be due at the end of the day on Friday. More than one unexcused late homework assignment will result in me mentioning this in your narrative evaluation and may result in a lowering of your grade.
  3. If you need extra time for one or two of the homework assignments, it's not a big deal. But be very careful to not fall farther behind every week.
  4. I will accept late homework assignments. However, I may not be able to grade these assignments thoroughly. Multiple late assignments will result in a lowering of your grade and mention in your narrative evaluation.
  5. More than two missing homework assignments will result in a grade no higher than a C.
  6. You are strongly encouraged to work together on homework. You can also consult us, class tutors, other faculty, friends, and family. However, the homework you hand in should represent your own understanding. This means that if your friends get a homework problem and you don't understand how they did it, you shouldn't photocopy their solution and turn it in.
  7. As we plan on sending out homework assignments and other information via email, it is important that you check your email regularly.
  8. Unless we have made arrangements in advance, you are expected to come to class and lab and participate in discussion and group exercises.
  9. Academic misconduct -- cheating, plagiarizing, etc. -- is bad. Any cases of academic misconduct will likely result in a judicial hearing; see the academic handbook for details. Possible consequences range from failure of the assignment to expulsion.

Other Thoughts about the Class

  1. This is the second time we've taught the class, so we're fairly certain how it will go, but there are still some things we are experimenting with.
  2. In particular, we're not sure how much material we can cover. And it will take us a week or so to get to know you and figure out the pace of the class.
  3. We are also still experimenting with some of the lab exercises.
  4. This class is a lot of work, but it's spaced fairly evenly throughout the term. It's very important to not fall behind.
  5. There may be a temptation to delve too deep into particular technology to the point that we're swamped with facts and details. There is also a temptation to get bogged down in debates about policy. We should collectively resist these temptations.

What this Class Isn't

This course is not about the following things, although this course should help you do/think about the following things better and smarter.

  • Energy policy
  • Social impacts of energy technologies
  • Environmental impacts of energy technologies
  • Weatherproofing your house
  • Building your own wind turbine
  • An encyclopaedic coverage of everything about energy
  • Climate change and global warming