|Add/drop deadline||5:00 pm||Fri Jan 21|
|Exam I||7:15 pm||Mon Feb 14|
|cancelled due to a tornado warning|
|Exam III||7:15 pm||Mon Apr 11|
|Q-drop deadline||5:00 pm||Tue Apr 19|
|Comprehensive||6:00 pm||Fri Apr 29|
Your info: my206.
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 1–11, 13 and 14 of Young and Freedman's University Physics. 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 online homework and pre-lecture assignments are listed in Mastering; the homework will generally be a chapter a week, while the pre-lectures will likely be due closer to your class (due dates will depend on your section/instructor). These assignments may be adjusted as the semester progresses to accomodate the pace of the class, so you should refer back to these calendars often to make sure you don't miss a deadline or extension. Information about the format of the recitations as well as problem sets used by your recitation leader may be found here: recitations.shtml.
To be determined
- Only in the case of officially excused absences will a student be allowed to remedy a missed exam or recitation.
- 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.
- Calculators are not allowed to be used in the midterms and comprehensive exam. You will only be expected to perform very simple arithmetic and will not need a calculator to answer the (mostly symbolic) questions.
- 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 MyLab & Mastering in Canvas.
- Late submissions are accepted, however full credit will not be given. The penalty is –10% per day past the deadline. To encourage doing the homework (which is necessary to succeed in the course!), the maximum penalty—no matter how late—is –50%.
- Each incorrect answer to a problem reduces your credit for that problem by 3%. You have a maximum of 10 attempts per problem. For multiple choice problems, incorrect answers are reduced by 100%/(# of options – 1), e.g. if there are four options, you lose 33.3% per wrong guess.
- As described in Mastering, adaptive follow-up assignments are a chance for you to improve your grade, if you choose to do them. They are due two days after the assignment is over, and Mastering attempts to ask targeted questions to address your shortcomings in the corresponding assignment. It contains up to 3 sets of questions and is worth 2 additional (i.e. bonus) points. If you do well enough on the initial assignment, specifically ≥95%, you will automatically receive the bonus without having to do the adaptive follow-up questions.
- Your final homework grade is based on your average grade over all homework assignments. This may be >100% with the adaptive follow-up bonus points.
- All recitations will be led by your Teaching Assistant (TA); if you have questions about recitations, you should start by contacting your TA.
- 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.
- Separate from the homework, but still within Mastering, you are required to watch "pre-lecture" videos and answer some conceptual quizzes before your instructor goes through the material.
- The exact schedule will depend on your instructor/section, but generally there will be about one assignment per week, due a little before the material is covered in class.
- Bringing a fellow student's i>Clicker2 to class is cheating and a violation of the Aggie Honor Code. If you are caught with a remote other than your own or have votes in a class that you did not attend, you will forfeit all clicker points and may face additional disciplinary action.
- Please remember that it is your responsibility to come prepared to participate with a functioning remote every day; your instructor will not be handing out loaners.
- However, we do realize that difficult circumstances sometimes arise. For this reason your instructor will be allotting free absences so that if you have to miss class a couple of times for illness or personal reasons, it will not be a problem. Your instructor will tell you his/her specific policy on missed days.
- Overall, participation is valued more than the actual answer. The specifics will vary with each instructor, but generally anonymous polling will be used and you will not face significant penalties for incorrect answers.
If you encounter technical issues with the Mastering 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). Further information is in this handout. The components integrated with MyLab & Mastering are:
- The textbook:
- University Physics, vol. 1, 15th edition, by Young & Freedman, published by Pearson. The bookstore has a customized loose-leaf version (ISBN: 978-0137638468) which includes 24-month access to the eBook and Mastering for $166.67. This is likely your cheapest option, but you may find another copy if you like and pay online to gain access to Mastering. Older editions are not significantly different and may be used.
- Mastering 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 Canvas page has a link to access the site under "MyLab and Mastering" 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 short quizzes on the material you just watched. This component too is included in your textbook purchase.
Recitations are limited to 24 students to clarify concepts from the lectures and to practice problem-solving strategies in small groups. Your recitation is led by a graduate student Teaching Assistant; your lecture instructor has very little to do with recitations, so contact your TA if you have any issues regarding recitations (e.g. absent due to illness). Each recitation is 80 mins (1h20m) long and active participation is highly encouraged.
More information about recitations can be found at the recitations page, and details such as days/times, your TA, his/her email, etc., can be found at .
If you don't already have access for other classes, you will need to purchase or rent a physical iClicker remote (either the iClicker+ or iClicker2) or purchase access to the iClicker Student App for active participation during the lectures. If you purchase a (new) remote, iClicker is now including five year of access to iClicker Student App (which you will use to register your remote). The TAMU bookstore has the iClicker2 for $57.32 (or $47 used, but then no free access...) or a 6-month subscription to the iClicker Student App for $17.33. If you go to Macmillan's site, www.iclicker.com/pricing, you can find slightly cheaper options (a new iClicker2 for $53.99 or 6-month Student App access for $15.99).
Below are links from iClicker to help you register and get started with the iClicker:
- Checklist: Getting Started with the iClicker Student App – How to create an account and get the apps for your phone
- How to Register an iClicker Remote in the iClicker Student App
- Student Guide to Roster & Grade Sync – How to update your current profile to include your University email
As listed on the class schedule, there are 3 common midterms on the evenings of Mon Feb 14th, Mon Mar 21st, and Mon Apr 11th. In addition, we will be having a common comprehensive exam covering all of the material in the course on Apr 29th, the Fri before classes end. All exams will be in person 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 overall 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 3 midterms. However, if a LO is not passed in the comprehensive exam, it will count just like other midterms in the cumulative passing criteria.
|Online homework||5% (3% for honour sections)
Submitted and graded using MyLab & Mastering.
|Recitations||5% (all sections)
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||5% (3% for honour sections)
This course uses the pre-lecture videos and follow-up assignments from within Pearson's MyLab & Mastering. The online videos are meant to introduce you to upcoming concepts, and follow up with short conceptual questions to assess how well you grasped the core physics concepts.
|i>clickers||5% (3% for honour sections)
A personal response system used for in-class participation and/or quizzes.
|Honours assignments||6% (honours only)
Only applicable to sections 213–218. The instructor will provide details in class.
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.
Information regarding this year's SI leader and sessions will be posted here once the schedule has been finalized.
|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.|
|The Help Desk:||The Physics Help Desk, typically located in MPHY 103 in the the foyer of the first floor starting the second week of the term. It is open from 9am to 4pm Mon through Thurs, and 9am to noon on Fridays. The Help Desk is staffed by physics graduate students knowledgeable in mechanics who can help if you are stuck solving the homework or on a particular concept. No appointment is necessary.|
Mechanics Scholars Competition
Unfortunately, due to the ongoing pandemic, it is unclear yet whether the Mechanics Scholars Competition will be held this semester. If not, those enrolled in PHYS 206 may take it next time it is offered. This page will be updated as soon as there is any more information.
|Math readiness:||link to some simple quizzes to test how prepared you are in math.|
|Custom pre-lectures:||videos we made to supplement the ones you normally do. We cannot embed them in Mastering, so these are not worth points; but you may find them useful. They follow Prof. Melconian's lecture notes very closely.|
|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 exams 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 Apr 29 (6:00–9:00 pm). Therefore we will not be having a final exam during finals week.|
|Canvas:||Texas A&M's centralized learning management system.|
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 188.8.131.52, 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.