January 29, 2020


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Physics 207-02 – Introductory Physics I
Nazareth College
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
Robert F Szalapski, PhD – Adjunct Lecturer
Fall 2011

§ 1. Contact Information


244C Smyth Hall




Use e-mail instead.

Office Hours:

Both time and location will be determined during the first week of class after discussion with the students.

Web Site:
www.CallMeDrRob.com will be used to provide additional content including solutions to homework problems.

§ 2. Lecture Schedule

Class meets each Monday, Wednesday and Friday in Smyth 247, 9:30–10:20 AM, from 29 August until 7 December 2011 followed by exam week. The following are exceptions to the schedule:

  • 5 September is Labor Day.

  • 6 – 7 October are Undergraduate Reading Days.

  • 23 – 25 November are excused for Thanksgiving.

We have 14 weeks of actual class after subtracting breaks.

§ 3. Textbook

We will be using Physics, Principles with Applications, Sixth Edition by Douglas C. Giancoli, Pearson, ISBN 9780130606204. You will need to have access to Mastering Physics for completing on-line homework. You may purchase your access code bundled with your text book, or you may purchase it separately if you already have a used copy of the text. You will also need the following course code to access Mastering Physics specific to this course: PHY207SZALAPSKI2011. We will be covering the first ten chapters.

§ 4. Course Description

This is an introduction to classical Newtonian physics without calculus and with an emphasis on solving quantitative and deterministic problems. The language of physics is mathematics, and a knowledge of algebra, geometry, trigonometry, vectors and graphing is essential. These concepts will be reviewed and sharpened as a part of the course as needed. Introductory Physics I focuses on mechanics including the motion of objects under the influence of forces, energy and momentum with associated conservation laws, and fluids.

For many students this is the most challenging class they will take in college. Physics deals with very concrete phenomena, such as a ball tossed through the air. The concrete is represented abstractly using mathematics, and the student must learn how to perform this translation between the concrete and the abstract. This is more or less challenging based upon each student’s abilities and background. Probably this is the biggest leap most students have undertaken since initially learning to read and to do basic math. For most adult learners this feels like a loss of control, and it can be a bit scary. I do my best to guide each student to successful completion of the course. For students who embrace the opportunity, this course can be a transformational experience.

§ 5. Learning Outcomes

Goals of this course include but are not limited to the following:

  • The student’s ability to apply mathematics from earlier courses will improve significantly.

  • Students will develop analytical-reasoning and problem-solving skills.

  • Students will gain an appreciation of Newtonian Mechanics.

  • Students will be exposed to quantitative and deterministic science.

  • This course is the theoretical complement to laboratory component helping students to appreciate the relationship between theory and experiment.

  • We live in a very technologically intensive society, and students’ scientific literacy will expand.

§ 6. Grading

I hope that you will pursue this course with a spirit of exploration and wonder. An all-time favorite quote of mine is by Samuel Clemons, “Don’t let school interfere with your education.” Unfortunately grades are somewhat of a necessary evil, so we will do the following:

Homework +40%
Exam 1 +12%
Exam 2 +12%
Exam 3 +12%
Exam 4 +12%
Final +12%
Final +12%
Worst Exam -12%

In other words you are allowed to toss out your worst exam score. Normally the final counts as double, but if it is your weakest exam score, then it counts as a regular exam. With a class of approximately 21 students we cannot expect a bell-curve distribution of grades. As a starting point:

A \ge 90%
B \ge 80%
C \ge 70%
D \ge 60%

where “+” and “–” grades are at the discretion of the instructor. The cut-off points for each grade may be lowered solely at the discretion of the instructor. Typically this would not be done until the final grades are assigned. I like to offer some feedback as each exam is graded and returned.

§ 6.1. Attendance

Attendance will be taken in every class. Students are expected to be in class and participating. Students who do not attend will be at a disadvantage for homework and exams. Attendance may be utilized when determining whether a grade should be rounded upwards or not. If a class is missed for a College sanctioned sporting event or equivalent, then the instructor should be notified in advance and reminded by e-mail; homework is still due at the specified date and time and may be scanned and e-mailed. Exams will be taken in advance. If a student is ill, then notes should be obtained from other students. Illness may be documented by a doctor or the campus nurse as appropriate.

§ 6.2. Reading the Text

Reading the text is very important. Students should read the text prior to lecture, and review of the text is very useful while working problems.

§ 6.3. Homework

It is assumed that every student will optimize the homework score getting perhaps 95% or better. Exam scores will typically be lower, so it is exams that will determine the final letter grade.
Homework will be assigned every week, and in some cases the assignments may be broken into multiple smaller assignments. You may work in groups, but your write-up must be your own. For every assignment:

  1. Complete the assignment on-line using Mastering Physics. The course code is PHY207SZALAPSKI2011.

  2. Hand-in a written version of the homework in class. If you cannot make it to class, scan the homework and send it as an e-mail attachment.

  3. Print only the summary page from Mastering Physics and staple it to your hand-written solutions.

A portion of the problems will typically be hand graded with the remainder of the points determined by the on-line scoring. I have found this to be the best way to give both meaningful and timely feedback to students. A pop quiz would be an alternative way of grading a homework set also determining which students complete homework independently.
With regard to the problems handed in:

  • Use good quality paper such as printer paper or loose leaf. Do not use paper with ragged edges.

  • Write on one side only.

  • Use a single-column format.

  • Place name, date and problem-set identification on cover page.

  • Write your name and date on every page.

  • Circle your final answer.

  • Clearly show your work and your reasoning. Use mathematics, English, graphs as appropriate.

  • Use significant figures where appropriate.

  • Staple sheets together with the summary page from Mastering Physics on the bottom. The staple is the only accepted way for attaching papers.

  • No late homework will be accepted, but one assignment may be dropped for the term.

Non-compliant homework will be penalized. This is for efficiency so that time may be focused upon physics instruction as opposed to clerical distractions.

§ 6.4. Exams

For each exam you will be allowed one standard printer sheet of paper (one side only) to prepare as a formula sheet. You will also be allowed a calculator with scientific and math functions including graphing. Each exam will present a few problems of varying levels of difficulty to be solved. Tentative dates are as follows:

Exam Day of Week Date Time
1 Friday 23 September 2011 09:20 – 10:30 AM
2 Friday 14 October 2011 09:20 – 10:30 AM
3 Friday 4 November 2011 09:20 – 10:30 AM
4 Monday 21 November 2011 09:20 – 10:30 AM
Final Wednesday 14 December 2011 01:20 – 03:50 PM

There will be two or three chapters worth of material on each exam. Each chapter builds on the previous chapters. The content of each exam will be discussed prior to each exam. The final will include both new and review material helping prepare students for the second semester of physics.

§ 7. Physics Workshop

The workshop segment is managed separately from the lecture. Be certain to attend and to participate. This is a very challenging course, and understanding should be pursued from many different angles. Between reading the book, attending lecture, working problems, participating in workshop, performing experiments in the laboratory and meeting with the instructor during office hours you will come to understand physics in ways that are not easily predicted.

§ 8. Web Site

Please go to my web site, www.CallMeDrRob.com, and create a (free) account. When you have created your account, please send an e-mail to DrRob@CallMeDrRob.com, and I will grant you access to the page Students/Physics 207. This page will be password protected, and it will be a place where you can find course-related materials. For this class I may post some things which are not course specific in the open area accessible to anyone.

§ 9. Students with disabilities

Any student who needs any accommodation in accordance with the Americans Disabilities Act of 1990 and/or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 should discuss this matter with the course instructor during office hours or by appointment. The only way that students are able to receive official accommodation at Nazareth College is by registering with the Office for Students with Disabilities and providing official documentation of their disability. Special accommodations may be provided only by the official direction of the Office for Students with Disabilities. For more information go to http://www.naz.edu/student-disabilities/office-for-students-with-disabilities.

§ 10. Academic Integrity

Academic dishonesty is discussed in the Undergraduate Catalog, though hopefully this is clear to everybody. There will be zero tolerance for cheating. With regard to homework, students may work together, but your write-up must be your own. Be prepared to defend your work, possibly with a pop quiz, written or oral. For exams students are allowed one sheet of paper as a formula sheet. Each student must create his or her own sheet. A standard calculator, pens, pencils and erasers are allowed. All other possessions, including cell phones and PDA’s, must be inaccessible, ideally placed in a closed bag under the students seat. The accessibility of inadmissible items will be interpreted as cheating. Additionally students must be very careful not to look in the direction of other students as this will be interpreted as cheating; students may look at their own exam, directly ahead or at the ceiling.

Penalties for Cheating
first offense score of zero (0) for exam or assignment
second offense F for course, ejection from class

I do not presume to read the hearts or minds of others. If the rule is broken, then penalties follow. There will be absolutely no discussion as to intent or whether the student benefited or misunderstood the rule, etcetera. Do not allow even the perception of an impropriety.

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