|AST 301 · Introduction to Astronomy
In case of medical or other non-academic emergencies or situations, contact me as early as possibleit will usually be possible for you
to take an exam a day or so early or late in these cases (but not for academic reasons).
We will try to get exam grades available to you through the UT e-Gradebook system
(at https://utdirect.utexas.edu/diia/egb/) within one or two days of the time of the exam.
Usually you should be able to get your exam grades on the same day (or evening) as you take the exam.
There is homework in this class, but it won't be turned in. Instead the homework consists of a subset of the questions at
the end of each chapter and especially on the interactive multiple choice self-testing part of the text web site. The purposes
of the homework are to give you a way of testing your understanding of the material, to provide a guide to the most important
concepts, and to force you to keep up with the material. Although the homework will not be turned in or graded, you will find
that your exam grades suffer significantly if you do not attempt to work through these assignments, especially since I will
include some of them on each exam.
Final grades are assigned on the basis of A=87-100, B=78-86.9, C=67-77.9, D=55-66.9, F<55. Final percentages will not be
"rounded up." For example, if you end up with a 77.8, you will receive a C.
Please download and read the "Memo to Undergraduate Astronomy Students regarding Astronomy Courses"
if you did not receive it in class.
Just Under the Cutoff?
If at the end of the semester you are just under the cutoff for a grade (by, say, one, or two, or 0.3, percentage points), whether you
are just under a D, say, or an A, do not call Prof. Scalo asking him to lower the cutoff--this is unfair to all concerned. Cut-offs
will not be lowered to accommodate your individual score. Scores at the end of the semester are not rounded up, so, for example,
a 77.7 will get you a C.
If you have any special request of any sort (excluding those not allowed, like lowering the grade cutoff), please put the request in
writing. Please compose a written (email preferred) document, addressed to Prof. Scalo, clearly and explicitly stating your request
and why it is reasonable. Include a phone number so that I can contact you about your request.
Obviously (I hope) this procedure does not apply to minor requests such as "Could you write a little larger on the board?," etc.
Although I will not take attendance records because of the class size, you should keep in mind that the exams are based heavily
on the lecture material (as well as the textbook and other readings), and that the "notes" that I will make available to you are
only outlines or abstracts of my lectures. The biggest single danger in this course is to fall far enough behind, either through
lack of reading or spotty attendance, that you cannot really understand the material being covered. I therefore urge you to
attend all classes.