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dr. phil on science education
Dr. Phil does not assign regular homework problems.
Which problems should you do for homework? Well
all of them.
Or at least all that you need to do. Its part of the daily work you need
to do to keep up. The study of Physics at this level is also a study of problem
solving and practicing the manipulation of variables and formulas. This H.W.
will not be turned in, but you will be responsible for it. Later on, you will
start receiving Sample Exams actual Dr. Phil exams given to actual Dr.
Phil students. You are expected to be able to do all these, but do not waste
too much time if you cant see how to solve a problem. Odd-numbered
textbook problems often have answers given in the back of the book; but you can
always ask Dr. Phil to check out specific questions. It does no good to just
hand out detailed solutions for all the problems, because then people tend not
to actually work on the H.W., they just study the solutions. Thats like
reading in order to run a race.
A Checklist of things to work on.
PHYS-1130, PHYS-1150, PHYS-2050 and PHYS-2070 are four credit courses which
meet five times a week. You need to be doing something with your studying time
outside of class, typically at least two hours of work for every hour in the
- Review your notes each day. Make sure your notation makes sense and you can
recreate any problems worked on in class. Between my handwriting and yours, if
you're not sure what something says, make sure you get it checked the very next
- Some people find it helps to copy over your notes, but that can be a chore,
too, and so don't just copy your notes to copy your notes.
- Actually open your textbook and match what we covered in class with its
matching section in the textbook. Try to understand issues of units and
notation. Work out Examples as needed. Dr. Phil considers the textbook to be a
"second voice" in this class -- a chance to see the material
presented in a different way with different examples.
- Keep your Formula Card up to date every day. Update it every time you do a
problem and have to look up an equation. Remember that Formula Cards can be
used on all In-Class quizzes and Exams. Using your Formula Card to work out
problems while studying means that you get used to using your Formula Card and
that it is written in a way useful to you.
- Take-Home quizzes. Do NOT work on Take-Home quizzes during Physics
class. They can always be turned into Dr. Phil's mailbox at the Physics Office
-- 1120 Everett Tower -- before 5pm on the day they are due. (You can also FAX
them to 269-387-4939 if you're out of town.)
- Problems mentioned in class "for homework." Sometimes we're in
the middle of something at the end of a class -- it can be useful to have you
continue working on the problem in preparation for the next day.
- Sample Exams will be distributed before every exam. These are a mixture of
problems, mostly taken from real Dr. Phil exams. For regular Fall/Spring
semester classes, the standard 100,000 point Hour Exams consist of 2 problems
with 5 parts each -- so each part is worth 10,000 points. You have
approximately five minutes to work each part. Final Exams are twice as long --
4 problems worth a total of 200,000 points -- and are given a full two hours.
- Topic Assignments -- Topic 1 is the science literacy paper, Topic 2
(PHYS-1070, PHYS-1130, PHYS-1150) consists of a series of worksheets you'll get
to look at some real world data. These Topics are worth the same as an Hour
Exam, 100,000 points, so don't put them off forever.
If You Aren't Doing These Things · Then What Are You
Doing To Earn 4 Credits?
Other Ways To Help Yourself
The Small Study Group
Dr. Phil can't set this up for you, but small study groups of 3-4 students
are very useful in working this material, because you'll be with other students
in the same class working on the same problems. Don't know anyone else?
Stand up and ask to join/form a
study group. You'll be amazed at how many other people "don't know
Last year I wrote a couple of webpages on Studying and Group
Studying. You might want to look at them.
Dr. Phil gets so lonely, sometimes... Office Hours are posted. Dr. Phil's
office is located at 2203 Everett Tower, tucked into the Northwest corner of
the second floor.
Physics Help Room
The Help Room normally lives in 0077 Rood -- sort of underneath the lecture
halls. Help Room Schedule is posted.
In class, after class, office hours, phone or e-mail. If you don't ask, you
won't get answers.
Last Update: 15 September 2006 Friday.