|AST 301 · Introduction to Astronomy
Attendance: 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. Subsequent
chapters will almost certainly seem obscure. I therefore urge you to attend all classes.
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. Finally, attempt to talk about the material, to yourself or someone else or an inanimate object if necessary.
Dropping the course (see http://www.utexas.edu/student/registrar/07-08long.html
and General Information, ch.4, for details of required approvals).
The 12th class day, Friday Sept. 16, 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. 28 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. 26), 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. 26, 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 less than you would like, or after Oct. 26 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.
Incompletes: 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.
Cheating: 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. First Wed. night will be Sept. 5.
Call 471-5007 for a list of all Astronomy Department public events, since this schedule may have changed.