MWF 9:00-10:00 · WEL 3.502 · Unique No. 49440


John Scalo

RLM 15.204 · (512) 471-6446 [office], or 478-2748 [home] · email

Courses - Fall '09  |  Course Website

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Classroom and time: Welch Hall 3.502, MWF 9-10

Professor: John Scalo; Office R.L. Moore 15.204; Phone: 471-6446 (office), or 478-2748 (home); email:; Office hours: M 10:30-12:00, T 3-4 (or Th when Friday exam).

My schedule is probably more open than yours, so if those times interfere with classes or work, just tell me a time that would be convenient if you need to talk to me about course material. If you don't have a 10am class, we can also talk outside the classroom (in the foyer) after class. For short questions there is usually no need for you to walk all the way to my office. 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. I usually cannot give adequate answers to questions by email, but it is fine if you have non-subject matter comments that do not require a reply.

Teaching Assistant: Julie Krugler Holleck; Office: R. L. Moore 16.212; Phone: 471-8443; email:; Office hours (tentative): M 1:30-3:30, T 12:00-2:00.

If office hours require revision, we will send out a group email as well as announce it repeatedly in class. Before each exam we will shift office hours if necessary so that some occur on the day before the exam. Changes like this are ordinarily posted in the "announcements" box at the course web site (see below).

Textbook: Chaisson, E. and McMillan, S. Astronomy Today, 6th Edition Vol. II, Stars and Galaxies.

It is crucial that you purchase the sixth edition, and that you buy volume II of the two-volume version, which comes bundled with an online access cd-rom. To compensate for the steep price of the onevolume textbook, I am using only the second volume of the two-volume version, but this will require that students study for one of the exams using the textbook web site--so you do need the cd-rom. (Details later.) Basically, you purchase an expensive text, but only have to buy half of it.

Cost: $76.60 new, $57.45 used at the Co-op new, bundled with student online access cd-rom. I saw it as $60-85 new at online booksellers about six months ago, with no indication of whether the cd-rom is included. Make sure you find whether it comes with the cd-rom. There is a chance you will find a good deal, but chances are slim, and it is risky. I once saw a used copy (linked through for $0.97 that was the correct edition and included the cd-rom, but not recently.

It is important that you have the textbook in hand by Friday Aug.28, and that you take a little time to look through it to see the layout, level of math, and generally get familiar with what this course is about. The only real danger in this class is getting behind in the reading, and that does include the first few days.

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