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Physics & Astronomy

Materials Simulation Group

Physics of Life (PHSCS 313R)

Instructor: Gus Hart
Text: Biological Physics by Philip Nelson
Class time/place: TTh 3:00--4:15, C460
Office: N249 Eyring Science Center
Contact: 422-7444
Office Hours

Course Structure:
Before each class period, you will read the assigned sections from the textbook and respond to questions about the reading in a "warm-up" exercise on the web. See course schedule.

Class time will not be spent on lecturing, but rather in discussion of the day's reading so come to class prepared and participate.

HW is due before class starts on the day it appears on the course schedule.

Exams will be given twice during the semester. There will be a final exam and/or project during the final period as well.

Your grade will be determined from the average of your HW, warm-up and class participation, and exam scores with the following weight: HW 30%, Participation (primarily Warmups) 10%, Exams/Projects 20% each; letter grade cut-offs will be 100-90, A; 89.99-80 B, 79.99-70, C; etc.

Your HW is your product as a student and reflects upon you. Be neat. Be thorough. Make it a learning experience, not merely a To Do item in your planner.

Working together on assignments is strongly encouraged.

Please do not print out the HW solutions or copy or save them in any form---just look at them.

Warm-up exercises will generally be available two days before class and are due before 1 pm each day before class. Warm-ups may not be taken late for any reason, but your lowest 4 scores will be dropped. This is intended to provide a convenient solution for illness, network problems, adding the class late, login problems, etc. Generally, the warm-ups will be graded solely by your participation.

Lecturing is an activity which is good for the lecturer's learning but which science education research shows is not good for the student's learning. In class we will spend our on activities and discussions that engage the student with the material. Time will be used discussing the topics in the reading and the questions from the warm-ups, as well as items that come up in the free response section of the warm-ups. What you get out of class will depend critically on your preparation and participation, so come to class prepared and participate.

Late HW will not be accepted, but your your lowest 3 scores will be dropped. This is intended to provide a convenient solution for travel, emergencies, illness, forgetting to bring your HW to class, university-sanctioned absences, getting a flat tire on the way to class, showing up late, buses delayed by snow, etc. So I suggest that you don't waste these dropped assignments on senioritus, class fatigue, etc.

As of this writing, the midterm exams will be in the Testing Center, and there will be no class on the day of the exams.

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