syllabus2011 - Discovering the Universe AST 1002 —...

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Unformatted text preview: Discovering the Universe AST 1002 — Section 6032 Spring 2011 ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Instructor: Prof. Fred Hamann Office: 210 Bryant Space Science Center Office Hours: MWF after class, or by appointment Phone: 392-2052 ext.245 Email: [email protected] Lecture Times: MWF 7th period (1:55pm – 2:45pm) Location: FLG 280 Course Web Page: Required Text: Astronomy: A Beginner’s Guide to the Universe, Sixth Edition, by Chaisson & McMillan, Pearson Press. You can also use earlier editions of this text. There is a less expensive electronic (eBook) version available at Mastering Astronomy: You must obtain an access code to use the online tools called Mastering Astronomy ( provided by the textbook publisher. This is essential because your homeworks must be completed online using the Mastering Astronomy web site. Access codes can be obtained in one of the following ways: (1) purchase the textbook with Mastering Astronomy, (2) purchase of an e-book version of the text with Mastering Astronomy, (3) purchase a stand alone Mastering Astronomy code without the book. To obtain an access code online, go to the link above, click on “Students” in the Register box, and follow the instructions to purchase a code. Once you have an access code, use it to register on the Mastering Astronomy web site. Please provide an email address that you check regularly because I will use that to send email announcements and reminders throughout the semester. Once registered, go to the web page for our course using the course ID: MAHAMANN48357. Here you will find Announcements about this course and a list Homework Assignments. The first assignment will appear there for you to work on at noon on Friday, Jan. 4. It will be due one week later, at noon on Friday, Jan. 11. The Mastering Astronomy web pages also contain other resources that can help you in this class, .e.g, in the “Study Area”. See the announcement “Welcome to AST1002” on the Mastering Astronomy main page for this course for more tips and information. Clickers! : You must purchase a “Turning Technologies” RF (radio frequency) clicker from either the campus bookstore (ask at any register) or from your favorite vendor (such as These devices will allow you to give anonymous answers to questions I pose during lecture. We will then discuss the answers before moving on to the next topic. If you are really adventurous, you might try one these options instead of buying the clicker: (1) purchase an app for your iPhone or Blackberry phone (if you have one) to use it as a clicker, or (2) register for access to a web page that will accept you answers live using any device with a browser (laptop, phone, iPad, …). You can learn more about these alternate options at: However, I strongly recommend that you purchase a clicker. It is simpler, it can be used for other courses on campus, and you can resell it when you’re done. Course Objectives: This course provides a broad survey of the universe beyond our own Earth. We will look at how experiment, observation and exploration have led to our present understanding of the world around us. A major theme throughout the course will be to look behind the facts and figures to understand more deeply how the methods of science have enabled us to learn what we know so far. Course Info: The lectures will follow the textbook fairly closely. The Outline & Critical Dates table below shows the approximate dates when each topic/chapter will be covered. The textbook sometimes covers more material than we will cover in lectures. You are responsible for knowing only the material covered in lecture and/or on the assignments. Your grade for the course will be based on the following: Homeworks (8 out of 10) Observing/Research Project (2) Exams (3) 40% 15% 45% 100% There will be 3 exams, each counting 15% toward your overall grade. There will be 2 projects counting 7.5% each. There will be 10 homework assignments, but I will throw out the lowest 2 scores. The remaining 8 homeworks will count 5% each. The observing/research projects will involve i) going to one of the Friday “Open Nights” at our campus observatory (near the Physics building), and ii) a simple web-based research project that we will discuss in class. See their due dates in the table below. The homework assignments must be completed online using the Matering Astronomy pages described above. Each assignment is due at noon on Friday and may be completed anytime within one week prior to the due date. The exams will each be in class, 50 minutes long, multiple choice, closed book and closed notes. You will not need a calculator. The last exam will not be a cumulative final. You are responsible for knowing when things are due. There will be a homework, exam or project due EVERY FRIDAY (excepting Jan. 7 and spring break, Mar. 11). The exam dates and project due dates listed in the Outline & Critical Dates table below are firm. I will not accept late assignments and I will not grant “make-ups” for missed exams except for illness or other emergency for which you have written documentation. If you have a conflict with a scheduled exam due to an unavoidable circumstance, please let me know as soon as possible before the exam. Cheating is not tolerated at UF. If you are caught cheating, a first offense will result automatically in a full grade reduction in this course and a report to the university committee on academic misconduct. Study Tips: There will be a number of study aides available to you: (1) I will post my PowerPoint lecture slides on the course web page soon after we complete each chapter. (2) I will also post review sheets approximately 1 week prior to each exam. (3) Read the text! Reading a science textbook is not like the usual sequential page-by-page method used for reading novels. Your mind needs a framework on which to hang the new information presented in each chapter. Therefore, before reading, I suggest that you read the “Learning Goals” at the beginning of the chapter and look ahead at the section titles and general content of the chapter. I encourage you to read everything in the text, but you are only responsible for the topics covered in lecture. After reading each chapter, look at the Chapter Review, particularly the Summary, and quiz yourself or a classmate (it can be fun!) using the “Review and Discussion,” “Conceptual Self-Test” questions at the end of the chapter. (4) Use the tutorials and self-test resources available in the “Study Area” on the Mastering Astronomy web page. (5) Most importantly, come to lecture and study your own notes! Attendance is not required, but students rarely do well without attending lectures. I will do my best to make the course fun and interesting, but what you get out of it will depend mainly on your own efforts. Outline & Critical Dates DATE TOPICS January Charting the Heavens 0 January Copernican Revolution 1 January Light & Matter 2 February Telescopes 3 February The Sun 9 February Measuring the Stars 10 Feb. 11 EXAM #1 (in class) All of Above February Measuring the Stars 10 February Interstellar Matter/Star Formation 11 March Stellar Evolution 12 March Neutron Stars & Black Holes 13 March The Milky Way Galaxy 14 Mar. 18 EXAM #2 (in class) Mar. 25 PROJECT #1 (due in class) CHAPTERS Since Exam #1 -- April Galaxies & Quasars 15&16 April Dark Matter & Cosmology 16&17 April The Solar System 4+ April Life in the Universe 18 April 15 PROJECT #2 (due in class) -- April 28 EXAM #3 (5:30 – 7:30pm) Since Exam #2 ...
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