December 14, 2008

Final and the weather

Unless the university is officially closed on Monday morning (there is no indication so far that this will happen) the final will run from 10-11:55 Monday morning as scheduled. There is another final in the room after us, so if you want the full two hours to work, please make accommodations to get to the final on time!


December 12, 2008

Practice exam key

Hello everyone-

I've posted a key to the hot air balloon problem we did yesterday, as well as to the practice exam we worked on today.

I managed to pretty badly mangle things on the second problem of the practice exam today, as several of you pointed out. I over-specified information in the thermodynamic cycle problem, so that the problem was internally inconsistent. I've revised the problem and written up a solution. I rushed preparing the problem this afternoon before class and I didn't think it through thoroughly. I apologize for the oversight and hope that the explanation in the key will assure that you come out of the practice exam experience more, rather than less, prepared for the exam.

With regards to studying: The cumulative multiple choice part of the exam covers kinematics and linear dynamics (no rotational dynamics or statics). It really focuses on your conceptual understanding of concepts like velocity, acceleration, force, momentum, energy, and the relationships between these. It doe not call for a calculator.

The rest of the exam is a bit more traditional. It will cover fluids, temperature and heat (and the relationship between them), the First Law of thermo and ideal gases. One of the problems asks for an explanation rather than a calculation; the rest are fairly straightforward (and well-posed) calculation problems.

See you Monday, 10:00, in MWAH 195!


December 5, 2008

Final Exam Schedule

The syllabus incorrectly states the time of the Final Exam. The final exam for PHYS2011, Fall 2008, is 10:00-11:55 on Monday, 15 December. We will meet in MWAH 195, as usual.


November 20, 2008

Practice exam

The practice exam (with some annotations) is posted on the website. Also, a cheat-sheet for tomorrow's exam.


October 30, 2008

Practice exam

Hello everyone-

I hope the practice exam session was helpful for you. I've posted the exam and an abbreviated key on the website.


October 29, 2008

Cheatsheet 2

Hello everyone-

I've posted a cheatsheet for exam #2 on the website.


October 23, 2008

Exam II delayed (Again)

Hello all-

In order to give people a chance to finish an assignment on momentum, hand it in, and see a key before taking the exam, I am postponing Exam II until 31 October. Homework 8 will be due on 29 October (Wednesday) as originally scheduled.

One day next week, we'll do a review and a mini-practice exam.

For tomorrow, I'll start with a discussion of 9.56, an inelastic collision problem.


October 13, 2008

Exam II delayed

Hi Everyone-

Since homework 7 will have just been turned in, I think I'd like to delay exam II for just a few days. My current plan is:

* Homework 7 key distributed 23 or 24 October
* Homework 7 returned on Monday, 27 October
* Exam II delayed until Wednesday, 29 October
* Homework 8 due date delayed until 30 October.

If you have a conflict with the new exam date, let me know immediately. Exam 2 will cover everything so far through chapter 9.

Just for fun, I've posted a short writeup off my experimenting with the rowing machine. It can be found in the list of documents to the right, or click :

October 6, 2008

Exam 1 supplemental

I've posted the scores for the extra credit portion of exam 1; add this to your original score and that's your exam 1 grade, out of 100.

They seemed to go much better than the equivalent problem on the exam. I hope this gave some people a chance to solidify their understanding of 2D kinematics.

The class average was about 14 out of 24; this sounds low, but I graded these fairly strictly, unlike the exam which was graded fairly easily. This brings the class average up to about 75, which is where it should be.


October 1, 2008

Exam points

I neglected to put point values on the exam problems:

1A-D: 10, 10, 5, 5
2A-D: 10, 10, 5, 5
3: 20
4A, B: 10, 10

September 30, 2008

Exam 1; Homework #4 postponed

Back from Madison. Hope the lecture on Monday went well. I'm getting a lot of panicky e-mails regarding the results on the first exam.

First thing: don't panic. Deep breath.

Second: I've posted an exam key on the blog site. I strongly, STRONGLY suggest you go over this key very carefully, try to understand how I approached the problems.

Third: For those of you wondering what to do: One thing is to please take advantage of office hours! A very small subset of you it taking advantage of a chance to discuss this stuff one-on-one with me.

I am considering a way to pull up the class average- My goal is to provide some mechanism to boost the exam average by about 20 points. Which is not to say that I'm going to just add 20 points to everyone's score; rather I am considering ways for you to earn said 20 points. More on this later as I work out details.

Finally, I would like to postpone the due date for homework #4 until Thursday, so that I have a chance to talk about the sorts of problems on the homework a bit more in class.

I will be in my office most of the day tomorrow if you would like to drop by and discuss any of this.

September 28, 2008

Exam scores posted

Hello everyone-

The scores from the first exam have been posted. The exam average was about 62%- significantly lower than I would have liked. I will consider a mechanism for providing people an opportunity to boost their score.

I've given similar exams in the past and have had significantly higher means- Apparently the minor changes I made to the exam made more of a difference to the difficulty of the exam than I anticipated.

I will discuss this briefly on Wednesday.