Prof. Roberta M. Humphreys, McNamara Suite 160, Office 146-1, tel. 624-6530
Lectures: 2:30 – 3:45 am Mon., Wed. West Bank Skyway 20.
Office hours: by appointment
-- I will usually be in class at least 5 minutes before lecture and can stay afterwards for
several minutes. These are good times to take care of most questions.
For routine questions about course material and labs, please ask a TA first (see below).
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Warning: Don’t rely on e-mail for important or urgent
questions. The inflow rate has become far too large.
TA office hours, Hours will be posted on the doors outside lab rooms.
Textbook: Recommended Book – Discovering the Essential Universe by Neil Comins.
Any recently published introductory astronomy text however will be satisfactory. I recommend
used and paperback copies for the best price.
Note that exams are based on my lectures. So attend class and take notes. The textbook is useful for studying and review.
Web page for Ast 1001 http://www.astro.umn.edu/courses/1001/
Book for the lab exercises: Astronomy 1001/1011H Laboratory Manual 2016-17, a local
production available in the university bookstore.
Concerning the lab part of this course:
1. Labs are quite separate from the lectures.
2. Get a copy of the Astronomy 1001-1011H Laboratory Manual 2016-17, at the
university bookstore. Since this book is a local production, other stores won’t have it.
3. Important: Part of the lab course is an “observational project” concerning the Moon.
Read about it and start observing the Moon as soon as possible! If you fall behind
in this project, there honestly is no way to catch up.
(Note that the Moon is FULL on Sept 17 and will be visible in the east at sunset. )
4. A schedule for lab activities is appended to this syllabus.
Grading: Officially we use the following recipe for final scores and grades.
First mid-semester exam … 160 pts.16%
Second exam … 160 16 %
Final exam … 300 30 %
12 labs … 240 24 %
Observational project … 140 14 %
However, in effect the exams are even more important than these score-numbers indicate, for a statistical reason that will be mentioned in class.
Grading will be based on a “modified curve”. Anyone earning 90% or better will earn an A- or higher. 50% is required to pass (D or better) and 60% for a C- or better. If you’re taking the course S/N, then a grade of ‘S’ will mean “C- or better (60%).
Note: Furthermore, to get a passing grade you must earn 50% of the lab points (120/240) and 50% of the Obs. project points (70/140) and take all 3 exams.
Exam dates: Dates for the two mid-semester exams have not been finalized yet but they will most likely be Oct 19 but could be the week after, when I have finished the solar system and the week of Nov 21, when I have finished lecturing on stars. The correct dates will be announced in class at least a week in advance. In each case the rooms used for the exam will be announced in class.
The final will be given ; Mon. Dec 19, 1:30 – 3:30 pm, room TBD
Academic standards: The CLA and CSE scholastic conduct and classroom procedures will be followed. You are responsible for knowing these, see the university website. Students are welcome to work together, exchange ideas, etc. But for the Observational Project you must do your own measurements and calculations.
Exam procedures: Room assignments for the exams will be announced beforehand in class, Bring two pencils and a photo ID to each exam! Exams may include multiple-choice, short- answer, and essay questions. If you miss an exam, see the professor.
All makeups are given on the same day. Date, time and place to be determined. Exam scores will be posted by your course and ID# on the web. If you feel there’s a mistake on the multiple-choice part of an exam, please see the secretary in the astronomy department office, Fraser 345. Questions about essay questions should be directed to the professor.
Environmental theme: This course satisfies the “environmental theme” specified on the university website. It introduces students to a wide range of topics, including physical principles and not just astronomy. One goal is to show the Earth in a broad context with a unique perspective on our home planet and its environment in the universe. In this course we’ll see how science views and interprets the physical world around us.