Introductory Astronomy 2

Spring, 2017 

WEBSITE: All course information will be placed here.

TIME AND PLACE: TR 11:00:12:15     DUANE G1B20

INSTRUCTOR:     Webster Cash                                 TA: David Schenck
OFFICE:                 Duane D245                                  Duane D232             
HOURS:                 TuTh 10:00-11:00                          TuTh 2-3 in Duane D142
                                 or by appointment                         TuTh 3-4 in Duane D232

TEXT: The Cosmic Perspective, Bennett, Donahue, Schneider and Voit  8th Edition
                   (note: earlier editions are useable but care must be taken in matching to Mastering Astronomy)

Mastering Astronomy: We will use Mastering Astronomy as exercises to help you understand the material.  MACASH72777

LECTURES: There will be two lectures per week given by the professor. Use of phones and laptops is not allowed during lecture.  If need to use one arises, please just step outside the classroom.  Calculators are allowed and will be needed for the exams.

EXAMS: There will be three in-class exams plus a final exam that will be comprehensive in nature. Your poorest in-class exam will be dropped. If you miss an exam (for whatever reason) that exam will be the one dropped. THERE WILL BE NO MAKE-UP EXAMS. The final exam is required of all students and will be given 4:30-7:00pm on Monday May 8 in Duane G1B20. All exams will be graded on a curve.

HOMEWORK: There will be six written homeworks through the semester. They will be graded and will count toward your course grade. Solutions will be discussed in recitation..

OBSERVATORY: The Sommers-Bausch Observatory on the CU campus will be available on several nights during the semester. Use of the Observatory will count as homework. Observatory dates will be announced in class and elsewhere on this site.  You only need to attend once.  I suggest you go early in the semester.  While it is colder on the deck, we cloudiness increases as we move from winter to spring.

COURSE GRADE: Your final grade will be based on the sum of the final exam (200 points), your two best in-class exams (100 points each), homework (100 points), recitation participation (50points) and Mastering Astronomy (50points). Thus the maximum possible score will be 600 points.

RECITATIONS: You will have a recitation once per week, led by a Learning Assitant. These recitations are mandatory because this is a four unit course and the recitation makes the difference from a three unit course. You will do exercises in the recitation section, designed to help you better understand the material..

DROP: I will allow a drop "passing'' without conditions until the day before the second exam; after that you must have a passing grade (D or better) or you will have a drop "failing''. 

The highest priority of this course is to give you, as non-science majors, some sense of the size and complexity of the universe, and how that information is obtained. In particular we also hope to give you a feel for the role that the space program plays in astronomy. These are valuable areas of knowledge for the well educated citizen.

The next priority is to give you some feel for the techniques of modern science. In particular, we hope to demonstrate the role that mathematical predictions play in the advancement of science. It is for this reason that we insist that some algebra be used in the course. It will not be extensive, or at a high level, but it will be used.

The third goal is to teach some facts about the universe.