Office: RLM 16.332,
Hours: M-Th 2-3,
& by appointment
Phone: (512) 471-1469
Office: RLM 16.220
Hours: W & Th 4-5
Phone: (512) 471-3447
Review Session: RLM 15.216B, Th 6-7
Horizons, by Seeds, 6th, 7th, or 8th edition
No prior college science or math courses are required. We will use high-school algebra in class and on homework.
The emphasis in this course will be on explanations for the phenomena and objects that occur in the Universe and
how astronomers learn about them. This is a course for non-science majors, and no knowledge of physics is
assumed, but we will discuss physical laws and how astronomers use them to explain their observations.
In-class interactive learning activities will be an important part of this course. Consequently, attendance and
participation is required. You are also required to finish each week's reading assignment before class on Monday,
so that you are prepared to participate in discussions. A weekly reading quiz and credit for assignments done
during class will help encourage you to do the reading and participate in class.
A homework assignment will be handed out each Friday, due the next Friday at the beginning of class. Some assignments will involve
simple observations of the sky. You are encouraged to work together on homework, but you must write out your
own answers in your own words. Duplicate homeworks will not receive credit. Late homeworks will receive half credit.
There will be a quiz each Monday on the reading for that week and the topics covered the previous week. There
will be two in-class exams, on Feb 18 and Apr 1, and a final exam on May 14. Late exams will be given only with
a written doctor's note. Exams will emphasize material discussed in class, but will include topics covered only in
the text. All quizzes and exams will be closed-book and closed-notes, and calculators will not be allowed (or needed).