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AST 352K · Stellar Astronomy    1   2   3   4   5  

Participation: A significant portion of the grade will be determined by presentations in class, mainly from an in-depth presentation on a topic of special interest to you. (Of course, it must be relevant to stellar astronomy, and approved by the instructor!) The presentation grade will be based on written materials prepared for distribution to the class, as well as on the quality of the slides and effectiveness of your delivery. Students working on presentation topics related to each other will be encouraged to consult together while preparing their talks. Another aspect of the "presentations" portion of the grade will be an occasional assignment to prepare a 2-3 minute summary of a particular class and to present it at the beginning of the next class meeting. Finally, regular attendance and participation is expected, and constitutes a small part of the grade.

Grading Breakdown: The basic grading scheme is as follows:

In-class exams (& final) 
(3 equally weighted exams, each 20%)
of grade
Class presentations
General Participation

Important Dates for Fall 2006:
  • First day of UT classes: Wed., Aug. 30
  • First meeting of Ast 352K: Thurs., Aug. 31
  • Last day of official add/drop period: Tues., Sep. 5
  • Last day an undergraduate may add a course (or drop a course with a possible refund): Fri., Sep. 15
  • Last day to drop a course with an automatic Q: Wed., Sep. 27*
  • Last day to drop a course, except for a documented, non-academic reason: Wed., Oct. 25
    This is also the last day to change from a letter-grade to pass/fail grading basis or vice versa.
*In practice, I will grant a Q-drop up until Oct. 25, or a week after the first hour exam is graded and returned, whichever comes first. (It will probably be the second of these two cases.)
  • Last class meeting: Thurs., Dec. 7
  • Final Exam: Thurs., Dec. 14, 2:00 - 5:00 PM
red giant cluser Classroom Policies and Expectations:
Thanks to the recent acquisition of new furniture, our classroom, RLM 15.216B, is now provided with reasonably comfortable chairs, and long tables that are convenient for taking notes in class. However, the aisles are narrow, and latecomers to any lecture or seminar tend to cause a commotion as they climb over other people in order to get to an empty chair. To avoid this distraction, please come to class on time. When you enter the classroom, be prepared to write your name on a sign-in sheet, collect or leave off homework or other papers, and take a seat promptly.

The classroom is fairly small. The good news is that this will - I hope! - promote an informal atmosphere in which students feel free to ask questions and express opinions. The bad news is that you cannot hide distracting behavior. Please be courteous to your fellow students and the instructor. This means that you will not use cell phones in class, and must turn off your cell phone ringers. (The first time your phone rings, I will just make faces at you; repeat offenses will have more serious consequences.) Also, the classroom is no place for private conversations. If you have a comment or question about what is being said in class, everyone can and should hear it. If you want to talk to a fellow student about something unrelated, save it for later. Finally, I find it disconcerting to face a wall of laptop covers. Please keep your computer stowed away during this class. I realize that some instructors permit and even welcome student use of laptops during class, but it is far too tempting for you to multi-task and check email, browse other websites, iChat, play games, etc.

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5 September 2006
Astronomy Program · The University of Texas at Austin · Austin, Texas 78712
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