PHYSICS 151 - Spring 2011

University of Hawaii, Manoa
Dept. of Physics & Astronomy
Instructor: Michael Nassir
Office: Watanabe Hall, Rm. 426, (808) 956-2922
E-mail: nassir @

Spring 2011 SYLLABUS
with Reading Assignments



Spring 2011

Physics Links & Software

(most recent first)

Friday, February 4, 2011 — Computer Accounts in Watanabe 421

All of you now have accounts on the four computers in Watanabe Hall Rm. 421 (Physics Learning Center). You can log in anytime using your UH username and UH password.

These computers are good for launching Firefox and accessing webpages (including Mastering Physics), but other than that, they are pretty "dumb" -- there are no printers or USB ports, and there is very little other software installed. But at least they provide a way to quickly look at Mastering Physics problems and other Web resources if you don't have your own laptop/smartphone handy.

Sunday, January 23, 2011 — Supplemental Instruction (SI) Sessions Thursdays 12-1pm in Sinclair Library; Free Individual Tutoring in Sinclair Library

The Learning Assistance Center (in Sinclair Library) has two more ways that you can get help on material for PHYS 152 and many other courses:

(1) Free Supplemental Instruction (SI) sessions are being offered this semester for PHYS 151 (and eight other large lecture courses). SI sessions for PHYS 151 are Thursdays 12-1pm, in Sinclair Library's Learning Arena 2. These small-group sessions are free and will be led by Todd Kawamoto, a senior with substantial experience as the PHYS 151 SI facilitator/tutor during recent past semesters. Todd's sessions are based on topics from my lectures and homework, but are not intended as a replacement for attending lectures.

Click here for a list of all courses that have Spring 2011 SI sessions, plus more information about Supplemental Instruction in general.
Click here for a weekly calendar of SI sessions & other Learning Assistance Center events.

(2) FREE individual tutoring is available for PHYS 151 (and MANY other courses)! Click here and follow the instructions to choose a tutor and make an appointment.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 — Tutoring Hours in Watanabe 421

Our Physics Lab TAs have arranged free drop-in tutoring hours in Wat 421 -- two or three hours are available each day of the week.

TAs will give first priority to their own lab students with lab-related questions, but beyond that, they are happy to answer questions about homework problems for any lower-division PHYS course.

The current schedule is posted outside Watanabe 421, and is also linked here (PDF file) -- look for the blue and green blocks with the TA's name and "Wat 421." (Ignore the time blocks that say "lecture.")

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 — Weekly Help Sessions

Given the large size of our class, in lieu of traditional "office hours," I will be holding weekly homework-related help sessions in PSB 217 (our regular lecture hall):

Wednesdays, 4:30pm to approx. 6pm
Thursdays, 4:30pm to approx. 6pm

Each session will review the formulas and methods for the Paper HW questions due the following Friday, and for the more challenging questions of the Online HW due the following Monday. I will also take general questions about any other problems (Tutorial questions, other book questions, etc.). Thursday's session will be largely a repeat of Wednesday's session.

Friday, January 14, 2011 — Mastering Physics initial announcements

Our Mastering Physics course is now set up! Here's some info that you might need when registering and joining the PHYS 151 "course" online:

UH Manoa ZIP code: 96822
Course ID: UHPHYS151S11
Student ID: *** please use your PHYS 151 roster number ***
(If you have already entered a different student ID, you can change this with "Edit Profile".)

Here is a handout about how to log in to MP for the first time -- NOT distributed in class, to save paper.

The "zeroth" assignment ("Introduction to Mastering Physics") has no due date and is not worth any credit... it just there for you to get an introduction to entering answers and using the system.

Your first assignment ("Online Homework #1") is now available for you to start. Normally, I'll make MP Online Homework assignments due on Mondays at 12:30pm (start of lecture).

You can see the details of my scoring policy when you're in MP, but here are some highlights:

* Most assignments will have roughly 5 multiple-choice questions (worth 2 points each) and roughly 5 numerical questions (worth 5 points each). For example, Online Homework #1 is worth 35 points total. Longer assignments will be worth more, and shorter assignments less. (Our Paper Homeworks are all worth 30 points each, so each Online and Paper assignments is worth roughly similar weight.) ALL homework will be combined and re-weighted to become 20% of your final course grade.

* I have NOT set a limit on the number of times you can attempt a numerical question, and there should be no penalty for wrong answers. (Multiple-choice questions DO have limits and penalties for wrong answers, of course.) There is no penalty for using Hints, nor is there any bonus for leaving Hints unopened.

* Late submissions on MP are deducted a penalty of -5% per day past the due date/time.

Friday, January 14, 2011 — PHYS 151L Lab TAs

Each TA's name is followed by office location, phone (if known), and "" e-mail address -- e-mail is probably the best and easiest way to reach them:

Sec. 1 Mon 9:30am - Mr. Kevin Croker - Wat 430 - 956-2937 - kcroker
Sec. 2 Mon 1:30pm - Ms. Brianne Hackett - Wat 431A - 956-2937 - bhackett
Sec. 3 Tue 9:00am - Mr. Alejandro Ludert - PSB 204 - 956-0857 - aludert
Sec. 4 Tue 12:00pm - Mr. Leo deCandia - PSB 203 - 956-0857 - decandia
Sec. 5 Tue 3:00pm - Ms. Erin Edkins - Wat 431A - 956-2937 - eee
Sec. 10 Wed 9:30am - Ms. Erin Edkins - Wat 431A - 956-2937 - eee
Sec. 6 Wed 1:30pm - Ms. Alison Leake - Wat 431 - leakea
Sec. 7 Thu 9:00am - Ms. Brianne Hackett - Wat 431A - 956-2937 - bhackett
Sec. 8 Thu 12:00pm - Mr. Alejandro Ludert - PSB 204 - 956-0857 - aludert
Sec. 9 Thu 3:00pm - Mr. Leo deCandia - PSB 203 - 956-0857 - decandia

Monday, January 10, 2011 — PHYS 151L LAB Announcements
There are NO PHYS 151L Lab classes during the first week of the semester (Jan. 10-14). Also, labs do NOT meet on Martin Luther King Day [Monday, Jan. 17] or other state holidays.

PHYS 151L Lab classes will begin on Tuesday, Jan. 18. (If you are enrolled in a Monday section, your first lab meeting will be on Monday, Jan. 24.)

If you need to enroll in a lab section that is full:
(1) keep checking MyUH for a spot to open up (as other students rearrange their schedules this week); and/or
(2) contact the TA for that lab section and explain the urgency of your situation -- our Lab TAs may choose to over-enroll up to 1 or 2 extra students at their discretion. Show up to the first lab meeting of your desired section if you are unable to contact your TA beforehand.

If possible, it is easiest if you conduct the section change yourself in MyUH before the online deadline for switching sections (Tuesday, Jan. 18, 4:00pm). However, our Physics Dept. office can switch your lab section AFTER the deadline, after you get approval from the TA.

Once TAs are assigned to their respective lab sections later this week, I will publicize their names and contact information.

Monday, January 10, 2011 — Registration Deadline Reminders
Keep in mind the following UH Manoa registration deadlines on MyUH:

Tuesday, Jan. 18, 4:00pm
-- deadline to DROP courses (without "W" grade on transcript)
-- deadline to switch sections
(Our Physics Dept. office may be able to help you to switch lab sections AFTER the deadline, after you get approval from the TA.)

Wednesday, Jan. 19, 4:00pm
-- deadline to ADD courses
-- deadline to change grading options (letter grade vs. Credit/NoCredit)

Friday, March 11, 4:00pm
-- deadline to WITHDRAW from courses (with "W" grade on transcript)

Monday, January 10, 2011
Welcome to PHYS 151!