Astronomy 301 - Spring 2009
INTRODUCTION TO ASTRONOMY
MWF 9:00-10:00 · WEL 3.502 · Unique No. 48450
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: email@example.com; Office hours: M10-11, F 2-4
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, and 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. Email is much less efficient and I usually cannot take enough time to give adequate answers to scientific questions by email, although it is fine for non-subject matter communication that does not require replies (e.g. "Please write more legibly on the board," "Please stop mumbling"…Such suggestions or comments are very useful, so don't hesitate to send them.)
Teaching Assistant: Julie Holleck; Office: RLM 16.212; Phone: 471-8443; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Office hours: MW 3-5
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 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 one-volume 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: $74.40 at the Co-op new, bundled with student online access cd-rom. I see it as $60-85 new at online booksellers, with no indication of whether the cd-rom is included. Make sure you find whether it includes the cd-rom. I saw at least one used (linked through amazon.com) for $0.97 that was the correct edition and included the cd-rom. If you don't mind a marked-up book, If you intend to buy online, I suggest you immediately purchase the new version at the Co-op, take good care of it, order online, and return the Co-op version if you later receive a used very low-cost copy that really is the correct version and does include the cd-rom. However be careful! At other meta-sites for used books I see used copies only from $50.
It is important that you have the textbook in hand by Friday Jan. 23, 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!