|AST 301 · Introduction to Astronomy
Although I will not take attendance records, you should keep in mind that the exams are based
heavily on the lecture material (as well as the textbook), and that the "notes" that I will usually
make available to you are only bare 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
Suggestions for success
Read ahead before each lecture: take class notes: after studying the material, do assigned
"homework" questions: and most importantly, look at material as often as possible, even if
it means 15 minutes every day.
Dropping the course
and General Information, ch.4, for details of required approvals).
The 12th class day, Sept.15 is the last day to add or drop courses without penalty and to
receive a refund; you can drop by phone but must add through the department. Wed. Sept. 27 is
the last day a Q drop may be obtained (with Dean's approval) without the instructor's permission,
except for urgent and substantial nonacademic reasons. After the end of the 4th week of class,
and until the deadline for dropping courses (Wed., Oct. 25), a student wishing to drop a course
will ask the instructor to complete a drop form that assigns a Q (ONLY if average grade is D or
better) or an F. After Oct. 25, students are only allowed to drop for urgent and substantial
nonacademic reasons (e.g. extended health-related problems or family emergencies). For
non-academic reasons, a written appeal must be presented in the Student Division of the Dean's
Office. The College of Natural Sciences does not in general honor the "one free drop" policy of
some other colleges (e.g. Liberal Arts), so do not ask me for a Q drop after Sept. 28 if your grade
is failing, or after Oct. 25 for academic reasons (i.e. because your grade is low), no matter what a
counselor in your college may have told you. The only possible exceptions are first-semester
freshmen who are allowed to drop a single College of Natural Sciences course.
An incomplete (X) will only be considered for students who cannot complete the required course
work for reasons other than lack of diligence (illness or other imperative nonacademic reasons),
but only if the student has a passing grade on the work completed.
Academic dishonesty will result in failure of the course and a report to the Dean of Students, who
will decide on further action. Because of the large size of this class and the temptations involved,
it will be important to keep your eyes from wandering and to guard your own exam. Also, bring
your UT ID card with you to exams and be prepared to show this card if asked.
Student observing opportunities
(schedule is tentative--call 471-5007 for Monday updates)
Students interested in observing the night sky through small telescopes have several opportunities.
1. The Painter Hall Observatory has UT Student/Staff Night on Fridays from 9:30 to 10:30. Public Night
is on Saturdays, 8:30 to 10:30. These sessions are free and open to all ages; no reservations are required.
2. The Astronomy Department sponsors weekly "Star Parties" on the 18th floor observing deck of R.L.Moore
Hall 30 minutes after sunset (8pm, probably 7pm until the end of daylight saving time) on Wednesdays this fall.
This is free and open to the public. Call 471-5007 for a list of all Astronomy
Department public events.