The topics and dates of the exams (tentative--any changes will be announced heavily in class and at the class website)
are listed below. There will be no comprehensive final. The exams will probably 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
(http://www.prenhall.com/chaisson) 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.) I will suggest which questions to try on review sheets
before each exam.
In case of medical or other non-academic emergencies or situations, contact me as early as possible--it 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. Often 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. There is no possibility of "extra
credit" in any case because of the class size--I would have to offer the same opportunity to all students.
Please read the "Memo to Undergraduate Astronomy Students regarding
Astronomy Courses" here 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.
Cutoffs 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, preferably by email, or call me on the phone.
Please state clearly and explicitly 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. Any suggestions
for improvement of the class as we proceed will be greatly appreciated--an email is usually the