AST 301: Our Violent Universe       Class Log

Class Schedule: T Th 2pm-4:50pm Professor: Steve Liebling
Classroom: Pell Hall 302 232 Office:  Pell Hall 210
Text: Arny & Schneider Explorations: An Introduction to Astronomy (5th Ed.) w/ web component ARIS Student Section Code: 6A4-E7-3CD Office Hours: T Th M W 12:30-1:30pm
Web: Phone: 299-3439

Course Goals: Grading Policy: Grades will basically follow the traditional divisions at 90% (A or A-), 80% (B+, B, B-), 70% (C+, C, C-), and 60% (D), with minimal adjustments based on how the class proceeds.
Labwork 15%
Project (details) 15%
Quizzes & Homework 15%
Classroom Participation 10%
Test 1 15%  
Test 2 15%
Final Exam 15%
Extra Credit: There will be no extra credit or extra credit papers, Do the homework, labs, and take the quizzes and tests. As the semester progresses, there is less and less to be done to increase your grade.

Class Participation: Everyone starts with 90%. Subtractions are made for being disruptive (excessive talking, ringing phones, being late, etc) as well as excessive absences. Additions are made for contributing (questions or answers) to class discussions.

Homework: Homework will be assigned in class, usually every week or two. Often the homework will consist of assignments from the publisher's class web page (ARIS)

Quizzes: The online, "basic" quizzes for each chapter that we cover (ARIS) is due by the date of the test which covers that chapter. You will be responsible for taking these quizzes online (and outside of class) before the deadline.

Labs: This class has an integral lab component which counts toward your grade for the course. We will have various types of labs: computer labs, DIY labs at home, observations, and in class labs.

Tests: The class will have two tests on the dates indicated on the syllabus. The tests will be given during classtime.

Final: The final will be held at the time dictated by the Registrar during Exam Week.

Academic Honesty: You are encouraged to work on homework problems with others. However, you must work alone on quizzes and tests. On quizzes and exams you may use only a calculator and writing utensils (no cell phones, PDAs, etc). All the work you turn in must be your own.

Other Resources: Tutors, library books, office hours, supplemental texts, and study groups.

Syllabus: Below is the anticipated schedule of what we'll cover. The dates of the tests are fixed; on principle I do not change them so that students can plan for them. Near the end of the semester, I generally have flexibility in what we cover. If you have a preference for what we might cover, please feel free to provide feedback.

Week 1 Sept. 2 The Cosmic Landscape   Course Overview; Preview
Sept. 4 History of Astronomy   Ch. 1  
Week 2 Sept. 9 Backyard Astronomy   Essay 1  
Sept. 11 Gravity and Motion   Ch. 2 
Week 3 Sept. 16 Light and Atoms   Ch. 3  
Sept. 18   Chs. 2 & 3  
Week 4 Sept. 23 Telescopes   Ch. 4  
Sept. 25    
Week 5 Sept. 30 NO CLASS   Rosh Hashanah  
Oct. 2.   Test 1
Week 6 Oct. 7 The Earth  Ch. 5   Project Part 1 Due
Oct. 9 NO CLASS   Yom Kippur  
Week 7 Oct. 14 Keeping Time   Essay 2  
Oct. 16 The Moon   Ch. 6  
Week 8 Oct. 21   Chs. 5,6, & Essay 2  
Oct. 23.    
Week 9 Oct. 28 Survey of the Solar System   Ch. 7  
Oct. 30 The Terrestrial Planets   Ch. 8  
Week 10 Nov. 4 NO CLASS   Election Day 
Nov. 6   Test 2
Week 11 Nov. 11 The Outer Planets   Ch. 9  
Nov. 13   Ch. 9  Project Part 2 Due
Week 12 Nov. 18 Meteors, Asteroids, and Comets   Ch. 10 
Nov. 20.    
Week 13 Nov. 25 Space Travel and Special Relativity   Essay 4  
Nov. 27 NO CLASS   Thanksgiving 
Week 14 Dec. 2 Our Star   Ch. 11  
Dec. 4   Project Presentations  
Week 15 Dec. 9   Project Presentations  
Dec. 11   Review  
Week 16 Dec. 16 (1:50pm-4:30pm)   Final Exam Period  

Last updated August 30, 2008.
Steve Liebling (home)