Physics I

Fall 2004

Course Overview

Instructor: Dave Feldman Email:
Office: Second floor, Turrets Annex Phone: x249, 276-5284
Mailing List: Office Hours: TBA
Tutors: Ian Mohler, Tom Poirier, others TBA Help Sessions: Wednesdays, 6:30 -- 8:00 pm

Course Overview

I have several main goals for this course:

  1. I want to help you improve your quantitative literacy, problem solving skills, and mathematical confidence.
  2. I want you to learn several big physics ideas: conservation of energy, momentum, and angular momentum; and Newton's Laws.
  3. I want you to gain experience working effectively and solving problems in groups.

As our primary text we will use the Six Ideas books by Tom Moore. I would like to cover all of unit C and about a quarter to third of unit N.

Important Note: Be sure to get the second edition of the text. If you're purchasing the book online, be sure to check the ISBN. This is usually the most reliable way to see what edition of a book you're getting; each edition has a unique ISBN.


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

Policies, Advice, and Stuff:

  1. Homework will be due Fridays at the end of the day. 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.
  2. You are strongly encouraged to work together on homework. You can also consult me, 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.
  3. Exams will be open notes, open book, and (essentially) untimed. You may not, however, get any help from any humans during the exam.
  4. I will almost always assign reading for each class. You should do the reading, and come prepared with some written questions or areas that you want to discuss. More info about class preparation can be found here.
  5. More than two missing homework assignments will result in a grade no higher than a C.
  6. You'll want a calculator that can handle scientific notation, trigonometry, and logarithms. There's no need to buy an expensive graphing calculator.
  7. I expect you to attend class and labs.
  8. Information about labs can be found here.
  9. I will be sending out class info via email. Thus, it's important that you check your email.
  10. Academic misconduct -- cheating, plagarizing, etc. -- is bad. Any cases of academic misconduct will result in a judicial hearing, as per pp. 14-15 of the COA handbook. Possible consequences range from failure of the assignment to expulsion. For more, see the revised statement on academic integrity passed by the faculty winter term, 1999.
  11. A more informal description of this course can be found here.

[ Dave ] [ Physics I ] [ COA ]

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