|Add/drop deadline||5:00 pm||Fri Aug 28|
|Exam I||8:30 pm||Thu Sep 17|
|Exam II||8:30 pm||Thu Oct 15|
|Q-drop deadline||5:00 pm||Tue Nov 10|
|Comprehensive||6:00 pm||Fri Nov 20|
Course Core Objectives
At the end of the semester a student is expected to master the following core objectives:
- Critical Thinking: the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication.
- Communication: to include effective development and interpretation and expression of ideas through written, oral, and visual communication
- Empirical and Quantitative Skills: to include the manipulation and analysis of numerical data or observable facts resulting in informed conclusions
- Teamwork: to include the ability to consider different points of view and to work effectively with others to support a shared purpose or goal
Physics 206, Newtonian Mechanics for Engineering and Science, is the first semester of a two-semester sequence in introductory physics, intended to introduce students to the basic principles of Newtonian mechanics and harmonic motion. We will cover topics in mechanics, Newton's Laws, the concepts of energy and work, conservation of energy and momentum, rotational motion, gravity, harmonic motion and waves. This corresponds to chapters 1–12 and 14 of Mosca and Tipler's Physics for Scientists and Engineers. The course is taught with pre-lectures, lectures, recitations and in-class particpation. The pre-lectures present the core concepts prior to class and allows more time for problem-solving strategies in class as compared to traditional lectures. The recitation is meant to practice problem-solving and to sharpen your reasoning about physics in a smaller class-size setting than the main lecture (which will have close to 150 students in it). The material is presented at a level that requires signficant algebra and trigonometry, as well as some basic calculus.
Upon successfully completing this course, you will have come to understand the basic principles governing the motion of objects, learned to think more critically/scientifically, and developed the skills needed to attack difficult problems. These are all skills that will serve you strongly in your future courses and careers, even if you never again consider a block sliding down an incline.
The weekly class schedule gives an outline of the course, but is by no means definitive; check with your professor for a more complete schedule of your specific sections. Your weekly homework, pre-lecture and bridge assignment due dates are listed on Sapling's calendar and may be adjusted as the semester progresses to accomodate the pace of the class; you should refer back to that calendar often. Information about the format of the recitations as well as problem sets used by your recitation leader may be found here.
Instructors[ click to expand the list of this semester's instructors][ hide]
|Kamon||525–530||MIST MB01||MWF||8:00 am||–||8:50 am|
|Melconian||531–536||MIST MB01||TR||9:45 am||–||11:00 am|
|Mahapatra||537–542||MPHY 204/5||TR||6:45 pm||–||8:00 pm|
All information/links for the online component of the course (lectures, recordings of lectures, recitations, exams) may be found here: zoom-info-2020C.php. You will need to authenticate with your TAMU NetID to access any Zoom meetings or videos.
To promote public safety and protect students, faculty, and staff during the coronavirus pandemic, Texas A&M University has adopted policies and practices for the Fall 2020 academic term to limit virus transmission. Students must observe the following practices while participating in face-to-face courses and course-related activities (office hours, help sessions, transitioning to and between classes, study spaces, academic services, etc.):
- Self-monitoring: Students should follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for self-monitoring. Students who have a fever or exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 should participate in class remotely and should not participate in face-to-face instruction.
- Face Coverings: Face coverings (cloth face covering, surgical mask, etc.) must be properly worn (see the infographic to the right) in all non-private spaces including classrooms, teaching laboratories, common spaces such as lobbies and hallways, public study spaces, libraries, academic resource and support offices, and outdoor spaces where 6 feet of physical distancing is difficult to reliably maintain. Description of face coverings and additional guidance are provided in the Face Covering policy and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) available on the Provost website. If a student refuses to wear a face covering, the instructor will ask the student to leave and join the class remotely. If the student refuses to leave, they will be reported to the Student Conduct Office for sanctions, the in-class lecture will be canceled, and an asynchronous (recorded) lecture will be delivered instead.
- Physical Distancing: Physical distancing must be maintained between students, instructors, and others in course and course-related activities. There will be a red line in front of the first row of seats separating the student and instructor spaces; do not cross that line and avoid approaching the podium before or after class, instead discussing any items with your instructor online through Zoom office hours.
- Classroom Ingress/Egress: Students must follow marked pathways for entering and exiting classrooms and other teaching spaces. Leave classrooms promptly after course activities have concluded. Do not congregate in hallways and maintain 6-foot physical distancing when waiting to enter classrooms and other instructional spaces.
- Taking your seat: To maintain physical distancing and avoid students crawling over other each other, the central seats available for that class should be filled first, then the next available one towards the side walkway, then the next and so on until the row is filled. When leaving, the outer seats should be vacated first, then the next seat in toward the centre, and so forth.
- Only in the case of officially excused absences will a student be allowed to remedy a missed exam or recitation.
- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the "Explanatory Statement for Absence from Class form" (which is generally not sufficient) will be accepted.
- Consistent with Rule 7.3, students are required to notify their instructor and/or their T.A. by the end of the second working day after their absence, and documented proof must be presented within one week of the last date of the absence. Otherwise, the student will receive a zero for the missed exam and/or recitation.
- Note: very few conditions qualify as an authorized excused absence, so avoid missing an exam at all costs!
- If you miss an exam without a valid and accepted University-excused absence (see above), you will receive a "fail" on all learning objectives tested.
- There will be no make-up examinations for missed exams in this course, except for the comprehensive test. Consistent with Rule 7.3, the satisfactory alternative to a make-up exam will be to have the student's exam grade based on the smaller subset of learning objectives which don't include the ones they weren't tested on. If it a learning objective was tested in another exam, the performance on the other exams will be used to determine if the learning objectives on the missed test were achieved.
- Unlike previous semesters, you will be expected to provide numerical answers on the online midterm and comprehensive exams. Physical calculators, however, are not allowed to be used. The Respondus LockDown Browser has a built-in scientific calculator you will use, and as a back-up there is also a white-listed link in eCampus to an online scientific calculator.
- Unless you have a valid and accepted absence (see above) for missing a full week of class, you will not get an extension on the homework. You should start working on the weekly assignment as soon as we start covering the material to avoid last-minute complications; if you wait until the night before to do the homework, you are much more likely to run into problems, either concept-related or from technical issues!
- Each weekly assignment is due at a specified time, depending on your individual instructor's schedule; you can see when they're due via the calendar in Sapling.
- Late submissions are accepted, however full credit will not be given. The penalty is –10% per day past the deadline. We are working to try and make it so there is a maximum penalty of 50%, but currently the software does not allow this option; after 10 days past the deadline, you will not be able to get any credit for doing late homework.
- Each incorrect answer to a problem reduces your credit for that problem by 3%. You have a maximum of 10 attempts per problem.
- Your final homework grade is based on your average grade over all homework assignments.
- All recitations will be delivered online through Zoom. You should be contacted by your Teaching Assistant for the meeting ID.
- It is required and important that you go to the recitation in the first week of classes; you will be introduced to how they will be run throughout the semester.
- If you miss a regularly scheduled recitation for a valid and accepted absence (see above), it is your responsibilty to inform your T.A. immediately and promptly to make sure you do not lose points for your recitation grade. Please do not contact your instructor before contacting your T.A.; they run the recitations so, barring extenuating circumstances, we will leave this up to them.
- You are required to watch all pre-lectures and answer the bridge assignment questions on Sapling Learning. See the schedule on Sapling for your specific due dates and times.
- Once you have answered the bridge assignment questions, you will not be able to view them again until after the deadline has passed.
- Late submissions are not accepted.
- Due to the hybrid approach this semester, we will use the iClicker Cloud for polling this semester (2020C). It is your responsibility to have an account and hardware necessary to answer polling questions during lectures for your participation grade.
- The use and implementation of in-class clicker quizzes may vary instructor-by-instructor; you should receive all policies by the first day of classes.
If you encounter technical issues with the Sapling Learning website, the most common solution is to disable blocking of pop-ups. If this doesn't fix it, perhaps try another browser (e.g. Chrome). If you still have issues, you can search their Knowledge Base and/or contact Sapling's Technical Support team via the link on your homepage of Sapling or with this link: https://macmillan.force.com/macmillanlearning/s/. The components integrated with Sapling Learning are:
- The textbook:
- Physics for Scientists and Engineers, vol. 1, 6th edition, by Mosca & Tipler, published by MacMillan. The bookstore has a customized loose-leaf version (ISBN: 978-1319334420) which includes single-term access the eBook and Sapling Learning for $80. This is certainly your cheapest option, but you may find another copy if you like and pay online to gain access to Sapling Learning.
- Sapling Learning will be used to submit the homework assigments on a weekly basis. It is included in your textbook purchase. Since this is a new textbook, from a different publisher, there is no accommodation possible for those that have previously taken this course. Your eCampus page has a link to access the site under "Sapling Learning" in the content menu.
- There are weekly pre-lecture assignments which involve watching videos that introduce you to the topic we will later discuss in class. At the end of the videos are "Bridge" assignments which are short quizzes on the material you just watched. This component too is included in your textbook purchase.
- iClicker Reef:
- If you don't already have access for other classes, you will need to purchase access to iClicker Reef for in-class and remote participation during the lectures. We will not use the physical i>clicker2 (physical) remote this semester; the Reef system allows students to answer whether in class or at home using a laptop or smartphone app.
There are 2 common midterms on the evenings of Thu Sep 17, and Thu Oct 15.. In addition, we will be having a common comprehensive exam covering all of the material in the course on the Fri before classes end, Nov 20. All exams will be online, begin at 8:30 pm, and are multiple choice. Exams are graded in terms of learning objectives. The complete list of learning objectives that a student is expected to master at the end of the semester is posted at mechanics.physics.tamu.edu/los.html. In the end, the final exam grade will be based on the fraction of learning objectives achieved. Any LO with a passing grade in the comprehensive exam will trump the results for that LO from the 2 midterms. However, if a LO is not passed in the comprehensive exam, it will count just like other midterms in the cumulative passing criteria.
Submitted and graded using Sapling Learning
The grade for recitations is based on participation. See this page for more information. We strongly suggest you be an active learner and actively participate in the discussions of these smaller class-sized recitations.
|Pre-lectures and Bridge assignments||5%
In Sapling Learning, there are pre-lecture videos to introduce concepts followed by Bridge assignment questions to assess how well you grasped the core physics concepts.
A personal response system used for in-class participation and/or quizzes.
Resources available to you
|Course strategies:||A link to (Dr. Melconian's) advice you may find useful …?|
|Office hours:||Hopefully all of you feel comfortable taking advantage of your professor's office hours if you have any questions.|
|Supplemental Instruction:||The Academic Success Center at TAMU will be providing free weekly supplemental instruction led by a student who recently completed (and
did well in!) PHYS 206. Quoting a pamphlet about this
SI is a program in place to help students succeed in historically difficult courses (no, this isn't an "easy A" course). It has been proven that students who regularly attend SI sessions score 1/2 to a full letter grade better in the course.
Specific information about the SI program this semester:
|Recitations:||Your teaching assistant (TA) should be an invaluable resource for you! Go to recitations armed with questions (just like you should come to the lectures!) and get the TA to help clear up any misconceptions or difficulties you may have. Another person explaining another way (and also who was more recently in your shoes) may resonate better with you; this is, after all, the whole point of the recitations.|
Mechanics Scholars Competition
Every semester there is a challenge exam given at the end of the term which is open to all students in all sections of Physics 206. The exam covers material from the first three exams: Chapters 1–10, 12 of Mosca and Tipler's Physics for Scientists and Engineers, or equivalently Chapters I–XVII of Bassichis' Don't Panic. The exam is typically held just before (or during) Reading Days, right before finals.
The top three winners will be presented with the Dr. Phyllis Toback Award, given a textbook for PHYS 207, the sequel to PHYS 206 (depending on which flavour they plan to take, the winners may choose between the 2nd volume of Bassichis' Don't Panic and the 2nd volume of Mosca & Tipler's Physics for Scientists and Engineers), and a monetary award for their accomplishment. As an added incentive, all students who perform well on the challenge exam will be named a MacMillan Mechanics Scholar (which includes a certificate suitable for framing), and will be invited to a catered luncheon in their honour. In addition to lunch, we will have presentations by faculty members regarding potential careers for people with high levels of physics problem-solving skills.
More information will be posted here as we near the end of the semester.
|Math readiness:||link to some simple quizzes to test how prepared you are in math.|
|Formula sheets:||link to the formula sheets that will be provided to you for each midterm and the comprehensive exam.|
|Previous exams:||link to the midterms and finals from PHYS 206 last year (with answer keys). Note that this course adopts a common midterm exam policy: all sections of PHYS 206 will write the same midterms at the same time; your professor is only one of a number of faculty that will be contributing problems to the midterms.|
|Academic calendar:||link to the Registrar's academic calendar. Includes important dates, holidays and deadlines. Note that all sections of PHYS 206 write a comprehensive exam the evening of Fri Nov 20 (7:30–10:30 pm). Therefore we will not be having a final exam during finals week.|
|eCampus:||Texas A&M's centralized learning management system, powered by Blackboard Learn.|
Academic Integrity Statement and Policy
"An Aggie does not lie, cheat or steal, or tolerate those who do."
"Texas A&M University students are responsible for authenticating all work submitted to an instructor. If asked, students must be able to produce proof that the item submitted is indeed the work of that student. Students must keep appropriate records at all times. The inability to authenticate one's work, should the instructor request it, may be sufficient grounds to initiate an academic misconduct case" (Section 126.96.36.199, Student Rule 20).
You can learn more about the Aggie Honor System Office Rules and Procedures, academic integrity, and your rights and responsibilities at aggiehonor.tamu.edu.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Policy Statement
Texas A&M University is committed to providing equitable access to learning opportunities for all students. If you experience barriers to your education due to a disability or think you may have a disability, please contact Disability Resources in the Student Services Building or at (979) 845-1637 or visit disability.tamu.edu. Disabilities may include, but are not limited to attentional, learning, mental health, sensory, physical, or chronic health conditions. All students are encouraged to discuss their disability related needs with Disability Resources and their instructors as soon as possible.
Title IX and Statement on Limits to Confidentiality
Texas A&M University is committed to fostering a learning environment that is safe and productive for all. University policies and federal and state laws prohibit gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment, including sexual assault, sexual exploitation, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.
With the exception of some medical and mental health providers, all university employees (including full and part-time faculty, staff, paid graduate assistants, student workers, etc.) are Mandatory Reporters and must report to the Title IX Office if the employee experiences, observes, or becomes aware of an incident that meets the following conditions (see University Rule 08.01.01.M1):
- The incident is reasonably believed to be discrimination or harassment.
- The incident is alleged to have been committed by or against a person who, at the time of the incident, was (1) a student enrolled at the University or (2) an employee of the University.
Mandatory Reporters must file a report regardless of how the information comes to their attention – including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Although Mandatory Reporters must file a report, in most instances, you will be able to control how the report is handled, including whether or not to pursue a formal investigation. The University's goal is to make sure you are aware of the range of options available to you and to ensure access to the resources you need.
Students wishing to discuss concerns in a confidential setting are encouraged to make an appointment with Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).
Students can learn more about filing a report, accessing supportive resources, and navigating the Title IX investigation and resolution process on the University's Title IX webpage.
Statement on Mental Health and Wellness
Texas A&M University recognizes that mental health and wellness are critical factors that influence a student's academic success and overall wellbeing. Students are encouraged to engage in proper self-care by utilizing the resources and services available from Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS). Students who need someone to talk to can call the TAMU Helpline (979-845-2700) from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. weekdays and 24 hours on weekends. 24-hour emergency help is also available through the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (800-273-8255) or at suicidepreventionlifeline.org.