Switch branches/tags
Nothing to show
Find file Copy path
Fetching contributors…
Cannot retrieve contributors at this time
163 lines (114 sloc) 9.87 KB

College Physics 1 - Spring 2018

Course syllabus

note that this is a working document and is subject to changes. Newest version will always appear on the course website. By being registered for this course you accept and adhere to the contents of this syllabus

Instructor: Dr. David Urminsky
office: ORN-1318

office hours:

Tuesday 1:00-1:50pm GOS-3345
Wednesday 1:00-2:00pm ORN-1318
Thursday 1:00-1:50pm GOS-3334

note: email is the best way to contact me. If you do not receive a response in 24 hours during the week, please re-send the email. The system is not always reliable and sometimes your emails will go into my spam folder. It is unlikely you will recieve a response on the weekend or after 5pm during the week.

Course Description

This is an introductory course in algebra-based physics focusing on mechanics and waves. Topics include kinematics, planar motion, Newtons laws, gravitation; rotational kinematics and dynamics; work and energy; momentum and impulse; conservation laws; simple harmonic motion; waves; data presentation/analysis and error propagation. The course is taught using both traditional lectures and a workshop format that integrates material traditionally found in separate lecture, recitation, and laboratory settings.

Prerequisites: Competency in algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. These math competencies are critical and will be tested on the 1st Monday of classes, Jan 22/18 . This gives you 1 week to review math basics. NOTE: If you do not receive at least 11/12 points on the quiz on Jan 22th, you may take a make-up quiz the following week. Everyone who does earn 11/12 the first time, will be given a score of 100% and may come to lecture 20 minutes late the following week.

Course Materials

Textbook: There is no required textbook for this course. However, we will be following: Physics by James S. Walker (5th edition, Pearson, 2015).

Activity Manual: The College Physics I Activities Manual which is purchased at the Bookstore. You are required to bring this manual to every class.

Scientific Calculator: (graphing calculator ok) You will not be permitted the use of a phone, table or other device to use as a calculator for exams

Modified Mastering Physics: You are required to purchase modified Mastering Physics access (see below for a description of Mastering Physics). Access codes are available in the RIT bookstore and online by the publisher. Detailed instructions are given in a document on the course website. In brief... You need the access code for: Modified MasteringPhysics for Walker, Physics 5 ed. Your username MUST be the part of your RIT email address preceding the ‘at’ symbol.

Access to the internet in class: You will sometimes (more often then not) need access to the internet during class and workshops. A smartphone will suffice, but you are welcome to bring tables or laptops.

Assessments and Activities

Grade Calculation

3 midterm exams (approx 1 hour) ...... 57%
Final exam (approx 2 hours) .......... 19%
Mastering Physics .................... 10%
Activity Manual ...................... 5%
Labs .............................. 5%
Quizzes .............................. 4%
Extra Credit ......................... There is no extra credit so don't ask

Midterm Exam Dates:

Exam 1 - Monday 2/19/18
Exam 2 - Monday 3/26/18
Exam 3 - Monday 4/16/18

Final Exam - See Student Information System.

The combined average of all exams (midterms & final) must be greater than 60% in order to pass the course.

Exams: There will be a total of 4 exams: 3 during the term and 1 during finals week. The final exam grade, as a percentage, will replace the lowest midterm test grade, if it is to the student’s advantage. Midterm exam makeups are granted only in exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of the School of Physics and Astronomy (NOT your instructor)! All make-up requests must be submitted in writing to the School of Physics and Astronomy office using the Make-Up Exam Request Form available on the course website. All make up exams must be written within 1 week of the missed exam.

The final exam is required and must be taken during the scheduled period – early or late exams will not be offered.

Tests are closed book, but a course formula sheet will be provided for each exam. The sheet will be posted on the course website

You will need your own scientific calculator for all exams. You cannot share. No cell phones, laptops, PDAs, MP3s or headphones are allowed.

Activity Manual: You need to bring your activity manual to every class. Your activity manual will be checked and graded for completion periodically throughout the semester (approximately once a week).

Labs: You will have several Labs with equipment throughout the semester. You will be permitted to make up Labs that you miss. Your lowest lab grade will be omitted. The Lab Make-up period is

Thusday 4-7pm, GOS-31-25

You have 1 week to make up any missed labs. Any labs turned in more than 1 week late will not be accepted.

Mastering Physics: It is your responsibility to be aware of the Mastering Physics assignment deadlines. There will not always be in-class reminders regarding outstanding assignments so check the site daily.

Mastering Physics assignments may consist of a mix of multiple choice, numerical, and short response questions. The number of submissions and the maximum points per problem, both of which may vary from question to question, are indicated with each question. Make sure you click ‘submit’ for each part of a question

Partial credit can be earned for late submissions. There is a 10% reduction per day up to a maximum of 50%. Because of this generous policy, there will be no individualized deadline extensions granted for Mastering Physics assignments.

Quizzes: You will NOT be permitted to make up any missed quizzes. This is for any reason. What I will do is drop your lowest 3 quizzes.


Attendance is mandatory for this course. Attendance records will be kept. You will be given 2 absences for which no excuse is necessary, after which any absence will require some form of written note from doctor, police officer, etc. If you have any unexplained on top of the allowed 2 you will lose 2% off your final grade per absence to a maximum of 10%.

Grades Scheme

A type grade .............. > 90
B type grade .............. > 80
C type grade .............. > 70
D type grade .............. > 60
F type grade .............. < 60

Exact grade boundaries for +/- will be determined after all grades have been finalized. The above boundaries are guidelines to guarantee a certain type of grade.

Other information

Things to Avoid:

  • Having things around which will distract you. For example, cell phone, friends, computer et.
  • Cheating. It will not be tolerated. Anything you are caught cheating on will be given an automatic zero. You may also be subjected to RIT's academic honesty policies.
  • being be late for class. You will miss important information if you miss class.
  • Skipping class. If you miss class you miss important information. Do not ask me if we covered anything important during the class you missed. If I am talking then it is important.
  • Expecting to be treated differently from other students.
  • Being a passive learner. You must be active and participate in class and keep up with the homework.
  • Disrupting class by any means including (but not limited to), talking while I am, watching videos, distracting other students, treating other students or instructors with disrespect. If you are causing a disruptence you will be asked to leave the class. If you are asked to leave 3 times you will be docked a whole letter grade from your final grade

Things to Embrace

  • ASK QUESTIONS AND PARTICIPATE FULLY! Any question about physics or math is not stupid.
  • Calculators should be brought to class every day.
  • Support your fellow students, TA, instructor and treat them with respect
  • Spend time outside of class working and and learning physics. You cannot do well in the class by not keeping up with course work.
  • Study with others outside of class but hand in your own work.
  • Come to my office hours. Ask questions. Work through things with me.

Extra Help:

  • Please don’t hesitate to come to my office during office hours, by appointment, or to knock anytime.
  • If you have any special needs, YOU MUST INFORM ME DURING THE FIRST WEEK OF CLASSES. Otherwise, I may not be able to make arrangements in time to help you.
  • There is a Physics Study Center on the first floor of the College of Science. A schedule posted outside
    the room lists times at which someone will be available to help with questions.
  • You may also want to consider the free tutoring offered by RIT. Information on this is available at:

Course Content

Topics from chapters 1 to 14 of Walker’s Physics, 5th ed. will be covered in the course. A detailed schedule of topics will not be distributed but the following chapters will be covered in some way or other.

Chapter 1 Introduction to Physics
Chapter 2 One-Dimensional Kinematics
Chapter 3 Vectors in Physics
Chapter 4 Two-Dimensional Kinematics
Chapter 5 Newton’s Laws of Motion
Chapter 6 Applications of Newton’s Laws
Chapter 7 Work and Kinetic Energy
Chapter 8 Potential Energy and Conservation of Energy
Chapter 9 Linear Momentum and Collisions
Chapter 10 Rotational Kinematics and Energy
Chapter 11 Rotational Dynamics and Static Equilibrium__ Chapter 12 Gravity
Chapter 13 Oscillations About Equilibrium
Chapter 14 Waves and Sound