Transport Policy and Grading
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  • Attendance and Responsibility

    Class attendance is mandatory. If you must miss a class for a legitimate reason please inform me early as possible so that we can plan appropriately and provide you with makeup materials.

    Laptop Use

    Student laptops may not be open during class unless specifically requested.

    Grading Policy

    • 40 percent of your grade will be determined by your HW assignments, including corrections.
    • 40 percent for your grade will be determined by the quizzes.
    • 20 percent of your grade will be determined by a project report.


    The best tip I have for doing well in the course is keeping up with the weekly assignments. The best way to do poorly is to not do the work.
    • Homework will be graded only on effort and timeliness. We will only check that you are working with the problems, we will not grade whether each problem is correct or not.
    • Homework due dates will be listed on the website though the dates may change in realtime. Any changes will be announced in class and I will not promise to always update such changes on this website.
    • Upon completion, place your completed homework organized neatly in a three-ring binder.
    • After the due date, solutions will be posted on the website. Within one week of the due date, self-grade your homework using a red pen to make corrections. Write a very brief summary of your own assessment of your work and understandingof the assignment. Include a bullet list summary of each problem (note if you got it correct, made a minor mistake and now understand, did not have time to complete the problem, were completely confused, etc). Also include in your summary an overall assessment of howyou feel you did, what concepts are still confusing, and note about how much time outside of class you spent. Since this homework is graded only on effort it is important that you are honest in your assessment. Place this summary statement with your homework in your notebook. I will use these self assessment to guide the pace of the course.
    • Your HW notebook will be spot checked throughout the semester. If your assignments and grading are up to date, you will recieve full credit for HW regardless of whether your work was all correct. The grade is based on spending a reasonable amount of effort on the course and keeping everything up to date.
    • All notebooks will be collected at the end of the course for a final evaluation.


    There will be about 6 quizzes throughout the semester. These will be done in class. Each quiz will consist of short problems or qualitative questions. For each quiz you will have 40 minutes to complete your individual work. You will then be assigned to a small group. You will then have 30 minutes to complete a collaborative group quiz (same questions). We will the use the remaining time to go over the answers. You will mark up in red pen your own quiz. You will turn in your individual quiz and the group quiz at the end of class. Your final quiz grade will be 2/3 individual and 1/3 group.

    Project report

    Throughout the semester you will conduct an "original" research project. Project ideas will be discussed in class. The idea is to define a scientific question (related to the course), conduct a simple experiment, and explain the data using either qualitative or quantitative models. This is not a design project where you will build a "thing". Simple is better. Ordinary phenomena is perfect. The timeline and intermediate due dates will be discussed in class. Over the first few weeks you will decide your project idea and team. We will then meet periodically throughout the semester to guage progress. This is a project that should be spread over the extent of the semester, not all done in the final closing days of the semester. Team size can vary from 1 up to the entire class. You will self select your team. Expectations will scale linearly with team size. I think pairs is probably perfect for this assignment.


    Collaboration Policy

    You are encouraged to work with others, but please do your own work. Please write the names of people you collaborate with on each of the assignments. It is expected that you could explain everything in your notebook.

    Sept 2015.