Office: RLM 17.220
Phone: (512) 471-6446
Where all handouts can be downloaded and exam scores checked
Office: RLM 16.308
Hours: T 1-3,
Th 3-5, or by appt
Phone: (512) 471-3453
Office hours M 4:30-5:30, W 4:30-6, or by appointment (my hours are very flexible). However I urge you to feel free to call me at my
home or office, or to talk to me after class
(outside the classroom, if necessaryI have free time after most of our classes except on Wednesdays); for
short questions there is usually no need for you to walk all the way to my office, and I welcome phone calls at home.
Chaisson, E. and McMillan, S., Astronomy Today, 5th Edition. It is important that you purchase the 5th Edition (new).
It is not essential that the book contains its cd-rom. The textbook is essential, but several Astronomy Department faculty members
use this book, so it has resale value.
Course Web Page
The course website will contain the syllabus, an outline of most class lectures, and perhaps an outside reading assignment or
two (you can read them online or print them); a way for you to easily check your exam scores; and a simple way for me to
distribute handouts or make slight revisions to the reading assignments or subsections covered on exams. I urge you to
check the website often.
100% of your grade will be based on 7 exams (about one every two weeks, starting with the 3rd Friday of the course, Sept.13),
all of which will be weighted equally. All exams will be weighted equally except that your lowest exam score will only receive a
weight of 1/2 compared to the others. So you have to take all the exams, but if you have an off day (or week, etc.) it won't hurt
your final grade too much. The topics and dates of the exams (tentativeany changes will be announced heavily in class
and at the class website) are listed below. There will be no required comprehensive final. The exams will consist entirely of multiple
choice questions, depending on class size. I will try to prepare you for the nature of the exam questions by occasionally giving sample
questions during lectures, by trying to point out the types of information that I expect you to understand or remember, and giving examples
on review sheets. There is an excellent multiple choice interactive self-testing part of the text web site
that I urge you to use, since the exam questions will be of that form, and some will be taken from this source. (Click on Astronomy
Today 5/e, then Study Guide for each chapter.)