Ants really know their physics! These ants are making a catenary curve. (Photo by Yanuar Akbar,

Academic Honesty | Attendance | Auditing | Calendar | Catalog Description | Class Times | Complexity of syllabus | Copyright |
Disabilities (Accommodations) | Evaluations | Exam Dates | Final Examination | Goals | Grading | Homework | Instructor | Make-ups |
Meeting times | Missing Class | Privacy | Professional Behavior | Religious Holidays | Canvas | Schedule | Textbook | Website

  • Dates, Calendar and Website
    All dates and announcements will be posted on the
    Canvas site. The Canvas website has the course calendar in addition to the syllabus, homework and quiz problems and solutions, exam solutions, and various other timely information. The instructor will assume that all students check the site regularly and are familiar with the information and announcements posted there.

    Obviously we follow the University of Florida academic calendar. There are several holidays in Fall 2015 that affect our class: Labor Day (Sep 7), Homecoming (Nov 6), Veterans Day (Nov 11) and Thanksgiving (Nov 25-27). Note that the official UF calendar indicates that classes will meet on the Monday (Nov 23) but not the Wednesday (Nov 25) before Thanksgiving.

    The Midterm and Final Examination dates are as follows:

    The weekly course schedule of topics will be approximately the same as last year. You can view last year's lecture notes, sorted by date, at the Files link in Canvas: Files/2014 Lecture notes.

  • Homework and Quizzes

    It is often helpful to work with a friend on the homework, and I encourage you to do this if possible. But make sure that you understand each problem and that you have written out your own solution in your own words. Solutions will be posted online after each assignment is collected.

    Homework (HW) will be collected in class on the due date. It will not be accepted out of class. Please do not slide it under my office door, place it in my mailbox, email it to me, etc. Each homework assignment will be graded on a 4-point scale (0-4 points). Late homework will not be graded and missed assignments cannot be made up. If you miss a homework deadline for any reason, there is no need for you to provide an excuse because there is no possibility of a makeup or extension. Instead I will drop the two lowest homework scores at the end of the semester.

    We will have frequent short quizzes in-class - usually once per week. These quizzes are designed to assess whether you have read the textbook, followed the lectures, and understood the homework problems. Therefore most quiz problems will closely resemble recent homework problems, or examples discussed recently in class. Each quiz will be graded on a 4-point scale (0-4 pts). If you have been coming to class and you can do the homework, you should find the quizzes to be easy. If you are struggling on the quizzes, then it is most likely that you are not spending enough time with the homework.

    Quizzes will usually be announced in advance on the Canvas site, but these announcements may be posted on rather short notice.

    The last quiz of the semester, Wednesday December 9, 2015, will be the mechanics portion of the "physics field test" that is required by UF and by the State of Florida. This quiz will have a different format (scantron, 30 minutes, no solutions posted, and comprehensive) than the other quizzes. Because it is somewhat more complex than a normal quiz but less than a midterm exam, it will count as both a quiz and a homework. It is not the instructor's decision whether or not to give this field test. Instead it is a graduation requirement for the physics major. Read about this graduation requirement at the ALC website. This quiz cannot be dropped or made up.

  • Exams and Grades
    The final course grade will be determined by

    • 10% - Homework assignments
    • 20% - In-class quizzes
    • 20% - Midterm exam #1 - in class
    • 20% - Midterm exam #2 - in class
    • 30% - Final Examination
    • 100% - Total

    Quiz and exam grades will be provided as numerical (not letter) scores only. The only letter grade provided will be the final course grade. This approach minimizes roundoff errors in your final grade, so it is ultimately more fair, even if it causes some anxiety at times. The letter grade scale applied at the end of the semester will be subject to adjustment based on overall class performance. However the following minimum scale is assured:

    ≥ 90	A
    ≥ 86.67	A-
    ≥ 83.33 B+
    ≥ 80	B
    ≥ 76.67 B-
    ≥ 73.33 C+
    ≥ 70	C
    ≥ 66.67 C-
    ≥ 63.33 D+
    ≥ 60	D
    ≥ 56.67 D-

    This means that a student who earns 86.67% average on all graded work (and meets other requirements described in this syllabus) is assured at least an A-, etc.

    The midterm exams are given in class. The final exam is an assembly exam. All topics covered in the assigned reading and HW, or presented in lecture, are fair game for the exams and quizzes. Most of the exam questions are usually similar to previous quiz and HW questions. Most of the quiz questions are similar to recent HW questions. Therefore, you may potentially encounter the same problem three times during the semester: Once as HW, once as quiz, and once on the midterm or final exam.

    During the exams and quizzes you will be provided a copy of the "official" Phy3221 formula sheet, but you may not use any other notes or books. You may bring a calculator (but not a phone, tablet, etc.).

    If a graded homework paper is returned to you and you feel that your work was not graded correctly, you may ask the HW grader to review the paper and reconsider your grade. To request this review, please write a brief (1-2 sentence) description of the problem on a separate sheet of paper, attach it to your (entire) HW assignment, and return it to me (SJH). I will pass it along to the grader, who will make the decision on whether to adjust your grade. Keep in mind that the grader may review any and all parts of the relevant assignment, and consequently your overall assignment grade may go either up or down upon regrading. Also keep in mind that the grader is doing you a courtesy with this service, and you should not abuse this courtesy. Any requests for review should be prompt and reasonable. The grader is not obligated to regrade an assignment a couple of weeks or months after having graded it the first time. And naturally, do not even think about changing or tweaking any part of your homework paper before requesting regrading of any part. (See Academic Honesty, below).

    Please plan carefully. Check the midterm and final exam dates (see above) carefully before you make any plans to travel away from campus during the semester. If you purchase an airline ticket to travel during the semester, and you later realize that your travel conflicts with a scheduled exam, you will have a problem.

  • Final Examination
    The final examination is comprehensive - it covers the entire semester. The date and time is fixed by the
    UF Registrar as Wednesday December 16, 2015 at 10:00 am - 12:00 pm. Mark your calendar.
  • Make-ups
    The Instructor believes that make-ups are intrinsically unfair. This unfairness can be mitigated (but not eliminated) by keeping the number of make-ups to an absolute minimum. Therefore there will be no makeups for missed quizzes or homework. A make-up for a missed exam will be granted only in a truly
    dire situation. (A student who lacks diligence in contacting the instructor once this dire situation arises is unlikely to be granted the make-up.)

    Some students may nevertheless suffer from a severe personal or family emergency that forces them to miss a quiz or homework deadline. If that happens you will not need to produce an excuse or documentation of your emergency, as we have an alternative system: Each student automatically receives two 'free drops', meaning that your two lowest HW and two lowest quiz scores will be omitted from the final grade calculation. There is no need to notify the instructor in the event that you miss an assignment.

  • Attendance
    Regular class attendance is definitely expected. Mastery of the course material will require each student to make a sustained and consistent investment of effort throughout the semester. Class attendance is part of that effort. Poor attendance or frequent lateness will result in a reduced final grade, or even a failing grade. A student who stops participating in the class - i.e. who ceases attending class, doing homework, communicating with the instructor, taking quizzes/exams - should drop the course, because otherwise a failing grade is certain. No special end-of-semester arrangements (such as make-up work, late-drop petitions, incomplete grades, signatures on various forms, etc.) will be provided to any student who simply disappeared for a substantial portion of the semester. Such accommodations are only available to students who have participated in class and kept in regular contact with the instructor during the term.
  • Auditing the course
    Unfortunately the instructor cannot approve requests to audit PHY3221. Every student must register formally and take the class for credit.
  • Privacy
    Student academic records are confidential, under
    federal law. I will not answer emailed questions about your grades or other academic matters, unless the email comes from your UF email or Canvas account. Parents (and others) cannot ask instructors for information on a student's attendance, grades, performance, etc, either by phone or email. Even your UFID is confidential.
  • Disabilities (Accomodations)
    Students who will require a classroom accommodation for a disability must contact the Dean of Students Office and request proper documentation. Upon bringing that documentation to the Instructor, the student will be given the appropriate accommodations. No accommodations are available to students who lack this documentation.

    It is the policy of the University of Florida that the student, not the instructor, is responsible for arranging accommodations when needed. The instructor will not remind the student to schedule accommodations prior to each quiz or exam. If you require extra time for in-class work, you must initiate this request at least seven days before the exam or quiz.

  • Professional Behavior
    This is an upper-division, university classroom and so we expect professional behavior from everyone. Frequent lateness, entering and leaving the classroom during the lecture, listening to headphones or reading the ALLIGATOR during class, texting, websurfing, emailing during class, cellphone rings, etc. ... are all rude and disruptive behaviors. They distract the teacher and the other students in the classroom - a direct violation of the
    Student Conduct Code. In fact this instructor believes that clasroom use of laptops, iPods, phones, tablet computers, and virtually all other electronic devices is almost always detrimental to student learning and attention. Please show courtesy and respect for yourself, your colleagues, and your institution by putting away all your electronic devices at the start of class, and by avoiding other distracting behaviors.
  • Academic Honesty
    All students are required to abide by the principles of academic honesty expressed in the
    Student Honor Code. Consistent with university policy, any incident of academic dishonesty in this course will be reported to the Dean of Students Office. No warnings and no exceptions. If the incident is the student's first offense at UF, the student will receive a failing grade in PHY3221. If not, the Dean of Students Office will decide the appropriate sanction.

    What does "academic dishonesty" mean? As in most physics courses, it is normal and appropriate for students in PHY3221 to work together on homework assignments. However certain other activities are inappropriate: these include plagiarism, fabricating data or information, giving or receiving any unauthorized assistance on quizzes or exams, and interfering with the academic work of other students. These acts are dishonest. Supplying a false or fabricated excuse for missed academic work is also academic dishonesty. Students are often tempted to plagiarize small amounts of material from various sources - but any amount of direct copying or plagiarism in any assignment is regarded as a deliberate violation of the academic honesty code. Submitting homework solutions that were simply copied or transcribed from another student, a book, or a website is clearly dishonesty, because it is not your own work. If you collaborate with a friend on the homework, you must still write up your solution in your own words, in a way that you understand. Most students have no trouble understanding the difference between collaboration on homework (which is okay) and copying homework (which is not okay) -- but if you find it confusing just let me know.

    The Dean of Students Office website has further details on academic honesty policies at UF.

  • Religious Holidays
    Major religious observances will be accommodated. It is university policy, however, that the student must inform the instructor of religious observances that will conflict with class attendance or other activities, prior to the class or the occurrence of that activity. Since major religious holidays are usually based on astronomical calendars - which (thanks to the Newtonian mechanics that we study in this course) can be calculated hundreds of years in advance - the instructor will expect the student to provide at least 7-14 days of advance notice of any upcoming religious observance.
  • Evaluations
    Students are expected to provide feedback on the quality of instruction in this course by completing online evaluations at Evaluations are typically open during the last two or three weeks of the semester, but students will be given specific times when they are open. Summary results of these assessments are available to students at
  • Copyright
    UF Code of Student Conduct (6C1-4.041, section 3(i) Unauthorized Recordings) prohibits a student from making any type of recording of any class or activity without express authorization from the instructor and from other participants. Please also note that the instructor of this course holds the copyright to all course materials other than the textbook and the associated homework. That includes lecture notes and classroom audio/video. The textbook, homework questions, and written homework solutions are the intellectual property of the textbook author and publisher and others. Permission to redistribute, reuse, recycle, share, upload, copy, buy, sell etc. any course materials in any form is denied. Period. That means for example that it is illegal to copy or upload homework solutions or classroom audio/video to any website or distribute them to any third party for any purpose.