dr-phil-physics.com

· home · news · bio · blogs · writing · publications · stories · stuff · about · · events · physics ·

dr. phil on science education

Which problems should you do for homework? Well… all of them. Or at least all that you need to do. It’s 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 can’t 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. That’s like reading in order to run a race.

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 classroom.

- 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 class day.
- 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.

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 anyone else".

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.

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.