PHYS208 Fundamentals of Physics II

Student Suggestions and Requests for Clarification

My responses are italicized. I sometimes edit slightly, truncate, or abridge the submissions. Listed in reverse chronological order.
  1. Will you be posting the answers to last semester's final? [5/13]

    Answers are now ready. [5/20]

  2. I was looking over your suggestion box from the fall semester and on one of the suggestions you mentioned that you can guess at someone's grade and that you are usually right to within two +/-. Do you know what I am talking about and if so what is my projected grade? [5/13]

    I should be getting the quiz scores and lab scores by early next week. So I hope that I can project a final grade by the last day of class. I know that is somewhat late, but may still be helpful as you schedule your efforts for final exam week.

  3. We were just talking about your class right now and how much fun it was last semester. No joke, it was fun. Infintesmial (is that the right spelling?) was the word of the semester. I finally figured out how to fix the toaster problem on the final. I hear you're making the guys this semester do the rail gun. Ours must not have been good enough. Thanks for knowledge, Maxwell / Biot-Savart / Ampere / Gauss / Henry / Tesla / and Lenz. [5/11]

    Sorry, it's infinitesimal! and don't forget Faraday. Glad to hear from you -- hope this semester is working out in your favor. I also hope that you had some opportunities to apply what you learned in PHYS208...

  4. If we forgot to hand in those surveys at the last quiz, can we give them to you at another time? Or is "a deadline a deadline?" [4/28]

    I have extended the deadline to Friday, May 1.

  5. Why is there a lab due the same week as the second exam? [4/26]

    I don't believe there is. A two-week laboratory exercise will begin the week of April 27; lab reports will be due the following week (after the exam).

  6. Can you post the answers to the 97 exam like you have for the others? [4/25]

    The numerical answers to the Fall'97 second midterm exam are now available.

  7. Will we be responsible for the information covered on the first exam, on this exam? Can you give me a list of topics that will be covered on this exam? [4/24]

    The primary emphasis will be on the material not already covered on the first exam. The formula sheet from the first exam will be made available just in case you need something from it. Since we build some of the concepts involving magnetic fields from electric fields and some of our recent circuit work builds on earlier circuit concepts, the coverage of the second exam is not completely separated from the first.

    The primary topics covered by the second exam will be everything from RC circuits on, including all of the work that we have been doing with magnetic fields. The recent work on LC and RLC circuits will be reserved for the final exam however. The Pre-Exam Wrap-Up page is now available and lists online resources relevant to the upcoming exam.

  8. In class Friday, can you tell us all the topics that will be on the test next Friday [3/13]

    I wonder if you could give me some suggestions as to how to prepare for our first hour exam. What materials are covered in our first hour exam? [3/15]

    Everything from Ch.22 to Ch.28 that we will have worked on before the exam will be covered _except_ RC circuits. Assuming that you have attempted most of the homework and kept up with the other work of the course, I would prepare for the exam by working on the previous midterm exams. On Wednesday evening I will review those exams and answer any remaining questions about the course material. Hope this helps...

  9. Please go over problems a bit more in class because it's not always possible for us to understand how to do some of them on our own and the recitation is not long enough if we have a special problem or project to do. Thanks. [3/1]

    I admit that I do fewer numerical examples than may have been the case in your previous science courses. I try to reserve time to go over conceptually rich examples as time permits, however we have other "demands" on our time which translate into learning opportunities during class: concept checks, demonstrations, Friday quizzes.

    In addition to the numerous examples worked out in the textbook, I would direct you to the step-by-step examples that I provide from the web site, as well as the worked out quiz solutions from this semester and past. In addition, the Interactive LearningWare modules are generally good in my opinion.

  10. I just want to bring to your attention that many of us do not have a strong background in Physics. If it is possible for you to slow down a bit it would be greatly appreciated. [2/23]

    Gosh darn the torpedos, full speed ahead!

    OK, more seriously, I will take your suggestion into consideration. However I feel that the same pace of work and coverage as last semester should still be appropriate, as reflected in our syllabus. I do recognize that not everyone has had the same experience with physics.

    We spent the first two weeks of the semester busily preparing for the laboratory work. During the next two weeks we will be revisiting material on the electric field in more depth so you may sense that the hectic pace of the first two weeks has abated somewhat...

  11. It would be helpful to have a page with all the hints and answers on it so we could just print that page. This would be helpful if we were doing our problems away from the computer, rather than printing two pages for each problem or cutting and pasting each on to another file. The links work well as long as you are in front of the computer, so maybe both would be the most helpful. [2/17]

    I like this suggestion, even though it means more work for me! Homework Hints and Answers for each problem will be consolidated into one file each for any given day.

  12. Will we be provided with appropriate formulas for the weekly quizzes or should we simply remember them? [2/16]

    Although there will be formula sheets available for each exam, I do ask you to know the relevant formulas for the quizzes. I believe that this promotes better quality work on the homework problems; if adequate effort has been made on the homework, the one or two key formulas needed for the quiz should be readily at your disposal.

    The schedule of quizzes should keep you apprised of each week's topicl; you should also find the Fall'97 quizzes and solutions page to be a valuable resource.

  13. If we have questions about specific homework problems between recitation sections, can we email them to you or wait until recitation? I'm not exactly sure how recitation is structured. [2/15]

    I try to answer all e-mails directed to me within 12 hours. The e-mail format is fine for questions and clarifications requiring only short verbal answers. When I feel that a drawing is needed to make the point clear or more direct interaction to define the question more thoroughly, then I will suggest either a visit during my office hours or those of the recitation instructor.

    The recitiation session will be primarily for answering your specific questions about homework and clarifications of other class material. We will also be spending some time in recitation on group exercises and problem-solving.

  14. I have had some problems with doing some of the homework assigned. I know you mentioned that a good portion of the course would be covered on our own, but in the future will there be lectures concerning the material we are doing in the homework? [2/15]

    Because the concepts of electricity and magnetism tend to be more abstract and more mathematical (vector calculus for example) I spend a lot of time setting up those concepts. I try to amplify the parts of the reading assignment that may be unclear or promote misconceptions. I also use ConceptChecks to add an active learning component to each class. Occasionally though I will work out a sample situation as time and interest warrants, one that will project well onto the homework assigned.

    I tend to do fewer examples in class than may have been the case for PHYS207. There is a new avenue for seeing some example problems worked out via CD-Physics 2.0. This CD-ROM has a section known as LearningWare which will also guide you step by step in working out several end-of-chapter problems from each chapter. The advantage of this approach to sample problems is that you are actively engaged in the process, rather than a bystander when I work out an example at the board. The LearningWare problems are highlighted on the CD Resource page.

    Also, there are ample sample problems in the text. For example, sample problems 22-2 and 23-2 could be reviewed before tackling the homework problems involving vector addition...

  15. What is your view of calculators on quizzes and exams? [2/11]

    Required! Although only a simple "scientific" calculator is needed, you may use any type of programmable or graphical calculator that you already own. I get by with a TI-30...

Fall'97 suggestions

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Last updated May 20, 1998.
Copyright George Watson, Univ. of Delaware, 1997.