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AST 309L · Search for Extraterrestrial Life    1   2   3   4   5  


Just under the cutoff?
If at the end of the semester you are just under the cutoff for a grade (by, say, one, or two, or 0.3, percentage points), whether you are just under a D, say, or an A, do not call or write asking me to lower the cutoff--this is unfair to all concerned. Cutoffs will not be lowered to accommodate your individual score. Scores at the end of the semester are not rounded up, so, for example, a 77.7 will get you a C.

dna Special requests
If you have any special request of any sort (excluding those not allowed, like lowering the grade cutoff), please put the request in writing, preferably by email, or call me on the phone. Please state clearly and explicitly your request and why it is reasonable. Include a phone number so that I can contact you about your request.

Obviously (I hope) this procedure does not apply to minor requests such as "Could you write a little larger on the board?" etc. Any suggestions for improvement of the class as we proceed will be greatly appreciated, either in person, by phone, or by email.

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 any other readings), and that the "notes" that I will make available to you are only outlines or abstracts of my lectures. The biggest single danger in this course is that you fall far enough behind, either through lack of reading or spotty attendance, that you cannot really understand the material being covered. In addition, I often try to give examples of future exam questions during lecture. I therefore urge you to attend all classes, and ask questions if you don't understand something.

Dropping the course
(see http://registrar.utexas.edu/calendars/08-09/index.html and General Information, ch.4, for details of required approvals).The College of Natural Sciences adheres strictly to the published deadlines.
Sept 2: Dropping courses electronically: During the first four class days, students may add and drop courses...
Sept 12: Last day to drop a class with possible refund: During days five through twelve students may drop courses by phone, but must go to the department offering the course to seek permission to add a course. Be advised that some departments do not allow adds/drops after the fourth class day. For those departments that do allow adds/drops, the add-transactions before the twelfth class day will be processed by terminal in the respective department.
Sept 24: Deadline for dropping a course without possible academic penalty: The deadline for dropping a course without possible academic penalty is the end of the fourth class week. During this period a Q is automatically assigned but no refund is provided. If at all possible a substantial course grade should be assigned by this deadline to assist students in making an informed decision about dropping a course.
Oct 22: Last day to drop a course, except for urgent and nonacademic reasons, with Dean's approval: After the end of the fourth week of class, and until the deadline for dropping courses, a student wishing to drop a course will get the forms from the Dean's Office (WCH 1.106) and ask the instructor to complete the drop form that assigns a Q or an F. The symbol Q indicates an average of C or better at the time of the drop, or that no grade has yet been assigned, or that due to the student's performance and the nature of the course, no academic penalty is in order, or that for documented non-academic reasons, no academic penalty is in order. Also last day to change to or from pass/fail or credit/no credit basis.



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26 August 2008
Astronomy Program · The University of Texas at Austin · Austin, Texas 78712
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