Office: RLM 15.204
Hours: M 10:30-12, F 3-4, or after any class, or by phone
Phone: (512) 471-6446 (office), or 478-2748 (home)
Printable Syllabus (
Office Hours (tentative)
MW 1:30-3, W 5-6, or by appointment (my hours are very flexible, and I am more
than willing to come in at other times). However I urge you to feel free to call me at my
home or, or to talk to me after class (outside the classroom, if necessary-I 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-it is
an extremely efficient way for us to communicate while a particular question or problem is
on your mind. Email is much less efficient and I usually cannot take enough time to give
adequate answers to scientific questions by email, although it is fine for non-subject matter
Chaisson, E. and McMillan, S., Astronomy Today, 5th Edition
It is important that you purchase the 5th Edition. There are some used copies available, or try
bestbookbuys.com to shop around online. It is not essential that the book contains its cd-rom.
The textbook is expensive, but several Astronomy Department faculty members use this book,
so it has resale value.
Course web page
You can navigate to it through the
on the departmental site, or from the link at left above.
The course website will contain the syllabus; an outline of most class lectures (usually as pdf files); a way for
you to easily check your exam scores (link to eGradebook); 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, and keep the url in a handy place.
100% of your grade will be based on 7 exams (about one every two weeks, beginning with Monday, Sept. 18).
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.