PHYS 191 - 01 SCALE-UP

Instructor: Dr. Rhett Allain
Office hours: M,W,F 8:00 - 9:00; Tues 8:00-11:00; Tues 1:00-3:00
Office: 115 Pursley Hall
Phone: 549 - 2894
Course page:

Course Description


This is a special section of both PHYS 191 and PLAB 193. In this course, the two course, lecture and lab, are combined together. Thus, this is a four credit-hour, algebra -based physics course. The content covered in this course includes kinematics, forces, energy, and waves. Besides content, the course will also focus on problem-solving, concept evaluation, as well as writing and communication skills. This course is not designed to have you memorize formula and facts and reproduce them on the exams. This being the case, you will not be required to memorize formulas for the tests, they will be provided for you. What the test will do is examine how well you can apply these formulas.


The basic premise behind this course is that students learn by doing, not by listening to an instructor. This course will provide you with the opportunity to acquire a good physical understanding fo the material. There will also be emphasis on qualitiative physical reasoning as a complement to the mathematical aspects.

The course will emphasize rigorous problem-solving in physics using interactive instruction, educational software, computer applications important for science and engineering students, and cooperative learning. Class sections will require students to be responsive, to think, and to perform hands-on tasks. Key concepts of new material will be discussed in short lectures. Lab time will be interspersed with classroom discussion. If you devote a modest amount of time each day to studying physics, you will be in a position to attack physics problems efficiently, based on a clear understanding of the fundamental physical principles that underlie all successful analyses.
Collaborative Work
Scientists and engineers work in groups as well as alone. Social interactions are critical to their success. Most good ideas grow out of discussions with colleagues. This course encourages collaborative teamwork, a skill that is valued by most employers. As you study together, help your partners to get over confusions, ask each other questions, and critique your group homework and lab write-ups. Teach each other! You can learn a great deal by teaching. While collaboration is the rule in technical work, evaluations of individuals also play an important role in science and engineering. Quizzes, practicums, and exams are to be done without help from others.

Required Materials


Your overall grade in this course will be determined from your grades on tests, quizzes, homework, and the final exam. The following is the weighting for each component.

Tests (3) 30%
Final Exam 20%
Quizzes 15%
Homework 20%
Labs 15%

Letter grades will be assigned on the following scale:
A --90% - 100%
B --80% - 89%
C-- 70% - 79%
D --60% - 69%
F --0% - 59%

Note: I will carry your grade out to a tenth of a percent (i.e. 86.7%) and will round the the tenth of a percent.

Another Note: Since this course combines 191 and 193, you will recieve the same grade for both the lab and the lecture.


There will be three tests throughout the semester. The tests consist of questions pertaining to the previously assigned material. You will receive a list of objectives for each test.

Final Exam

A comprehensive final exam will cover all of the course material.


There will be weekly quizzes in this course, one on Monday and one on Wednesday. The quizzes will consist of either short answers or problem solving and should take about 10 to 15 minutes to complete. There are several purposes for the quizzes. The most important reason is that it gives you a chance to assess your own understanding of the material so that you become aware of what you know and do not know. The quizzes also give me a chance to see how well the class as a whole is doing and identify areas of difficulty.


Homework will be assigned and graded on a regular basis. The purpose for homework is is similar to the quizzes, in that it lets me see how you are doing in the course. The homework also encourages you to spend time on class material outside of class. All homework in this course will be distributed and graded by WebAssign, a web-based homework delivery system.


WebAssign is a web-based homework delivery system. To access your homework, you can use almost any browser from home over a dial-up connection or in one of the computer labs on campus (or anywhere there is a connection to the Internet). In order to logon on to WebAssign, you will need to purchase a student access card available at the bookstore. The first assignment on WebAssign includes a tutorial.

Working in groups

You are encouraged to work with others outside of class. One of the best ways of learning new material is by trying to explain it to others. It is also helpful to have your peers offer explanation's. You may also obtain assistance on homework from your peers. The nature of WebAssign is such that each individual will have unique questions. This should encourage you to discuss the principles involved rather than just “getting the answer”.


The purpose of class time is not to go over everything that is in the text. You are responsible for reading the textbook and working the assigned problems. The first WebAssignment of the week typically deals with the chapter to be discussed that week, so you should read the material before coming to class.


You are expected to attend all classes and be prepared by reading the material before hand. If you have an excused absence on the day of a test, you grade will be determined from the averages of 2 tests instead of three. You are still responsible for this material on the final exam.

Note: The last day to withdraw from this class without a grade is Friday, March 21

* Free discussion, inquiry, and expression is encouraged in this class. Classroom behavior that interferes with either (a) the instructors ability to conduct class or (b) the ability of students to benefit from the instruction is not acceptable. Examples may include routinely entering class late or departing class early; use of beepers, cellular telephones, or other electric devices; arguing in a way that is perceived as "crossing the civility line." In the event of a situation where a student legitimately needs to carry a beeper/cellular telephone to class, prior notice and approval of the instructor is required.

* If you are a qualified student with a disability seeking accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you are required to self-identify with the Office of Student Life, Room 202, Student Union.

*All course email communication should be through the University email system as per University guidelines