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AST 352K · Stellar Astronomy    1   2   3   4  


The projected enrollment in Ast 352K this semester is fairly small, so RLM 15.216B, the Astronomy classroom, provides lots of room to spread out. However, I ask that you sit in the front half of the room, in order to promote interaction. Furthermore, it is hard to hide distracting behavior in such a small classroom. Please be courteous to the instructor and your fellow students: turn off your cell phone ringer before the beginning of class. (The first time your phone rings, I will just make faces at you; subsequent incidents 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 to class business, save it for later. Finally, I find it distracting to face a room full of laptop lids. Please keep your computer stowed away during class.

The University now encourages the use of e-mail as a primary form of communication for university business. Among other things, they have made it easy for a student to send email simultaneously to everyone registered in the class. I want to make it clear that I do not approve of your use of this group email function, unless I have specifically given my approval for the message. I will gladly answer questions, set up appointments, etc., if you email me directly; the same goes for the Teaching Assistant. But I do not want to see emails being sent to the whole class discussing homework answers, conducting opinion surveys for an unrelated class, or looking for someone to sublet an apartment to (all of which has happened in classes of mine!).


It's never fun to bring up this topic, but I have been told that it should be part of any UT course syllabus. I will not tolerate scholastic dishonesty in Ast 352K. This can encompass copying or plagiarism on homework or other course work, collusion (working together on an assignment for which it was forbidden), bringing unauthorized materials into exams, etc. The University has an Honor Code, but it is rather general and vague. More specific information can be found at: and Be warned: I have encountered cases of scholastic dishonesty in my classes, and have responded with appropriate academic penalties, including filing cases with the Dean of Students Office.


Upon request, the University of Texas at Austin provides appropriate academic adjustments for qualified students with disabilities. Contact the Office of the Dean of Students for information on how to register for a qualified disability (note: you can have a temporary disability, as well as a permanent one). Their phone number is 471-6259, or see the following website for further contact information: (I will make accommodations for an officially approved disability, but not for undocumented claims.)


I expect homework to be turned in at the announced time, generally before the start of class on the due date. It is inconvenient for us to grade a homework paper that is not turned in with the others, and hearing another lecture may give the student who does the homework late an unfair advantage. In order to have a chance at full credit on homework, it must be turned in on time. If you turn in a homework late, but within 24 hours of the deadline (by 9:30 AM the next day), we will take off a fraction of the total points; no homework will be accepted for credit if it is more than 24 hours late. You are also expected to attend class regularly. (Note: I do keep track of attendance!) The penalty for excessive absences is loss of participation credit.


The University respects the fact that students may wish to observe religious holidays that occur on a class day. If such a conflict arises, the student is responsible for notifying the professor at least 14 days in advance. If the holiday occurs during the first two weeks of the semester, notification is due on the first class day. Because of my flexible policies regarding exams and homeworks (dropping the low scores), I will not assign make-ups for the missed work. However, I will try, to the best of ability, to avoid scheduling exams or due dates for significant assignments on known religious holidays. Please let me know as soon as possible if you have these kinds of problems with particular dates.

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31 August 2007
Astronomy Program · The University of Texas at Austin · Austin, Texas 78712
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