The exams will cover
the book sections indicated in the course schedule. Each exam will
be cumulative in the sense that you will be responsible for
information covered in previous exams. However, the second midterm
will focus primarily on information covered after the first midterm,
and the final exam will have some emphasis on material covered after
the second midterm, although the whole course will be covered.
Examples of the sort of problems you might expect can be found
The exams will
emphasize basic principles over memorization, and will be
closed book. A sheet of physical constants and formulas
will be supplied.
You should bring a
pen/pencil and a hand-held calculator capable of doing simple
arithmetic and trigonometric functions to the exam. Sorry,
we can not provide a replacement calculator (or allow exchange of
calculators). If yours does not work or you forgot to bring one you
will have to complete the exam with out the aid of a calculator.
We will be checking your identification before each exam. You
must bring a photo ID to the exams. Acceptable
IDs: Stony Brook student ID, driver's license, green card/passport,
or hand-held devices with more than 2Mb of memory, devices with
infrared ports or any other communication options (beepers, cell
phones, buzzers, etc.) are not allowed. If you have a question about
a particular calculator, ask.
We expect no
communication between students on the exams. Any evidence of
cheating will be reported to the academic hearing officer and will
also result in a stiff grade penalty. Leaving the exam room is by
permission only. The text of the exam may not leave the room
before the exam is over. (After the exam is over you are
encouraged to take home the text and review it.)
Absences and make-ups:
questions, the following rough guidelines apply for grading
on a scale of 10:
For full credit,
the correct answer and units are not
sufficient. The main steps of the solution, with basic equations
and important partial results should be presented on the space
provided on the exam sheet.
Unit missing in
end result (but otherwise your work shows correct SI units):
full credit minus 1 point.
Far too many (or
too few) significant digits: full credit minus 1 point
equations, correct algebra, numerical error (but still a
reasonable value): full credit minus 1 point
equations, correct algebra, numerical error (outside the correct
range of magnitude): full credit minus 2 or 3 points
equations, mistake in algebra or inability to solve equations:
half credit plus possible extra points.
equations, nothing more: 1 point credit, possibly more.
equations, and a bunch of other formulae with no relevance to
the problem: no partial credit.
except graphs or arguments indicating that you understand the
basic concept: 1 or 2 points partial credit, possibly more.
It should be
emphasized that these are rough guidelines. The specific
grading criteria for each problem on an exam will depend on its
We recognize that we may make mistakes,
and we want to give you an opportunity to help us to correct them.
The graded exams will be returned to you in the recitation session
following the exam date. The solutions to the exam problems will be
discussed on the same session. You may want to make notes on your
exam during the discussion, but you must use a writing instrument
that is markedly different from the pen/pencil used during
the exam. It must be emphasized, any marks made on the exam
after it has been returned must be made in a clearly
different pen/pencil. If an exam is returned for regrading
with modifications that are not clearly indicated,
it will be counted as cheating and dealt with
If you believe
that the grading of your exam needs reconsideration, talk to
your recitation instructor first. If you and your recitation
instructor agree that a mistake was made, your recitation
instructor will correct the error (in the case of trivial
mistakes like incorrect addition of scores by the grader) or
else take the exam for regrading, with a note explaining the
Exam books will
be accepted for regrading only on the same day that you received
the graded exam in recitation. You should ask for the regrading
at the end of the recitation session.
If partial credit
is contested, the whole exam may be regraded. Your grade may go
up, remain unchanged, or possibly even go down.
Three make-up labs are
scheduled during the semester. You may make up one lab during each
period. During the first make-up lab, you may complete one of the first
three labs. During the second make-up lab, you make complete one of labs
4-6. During the third make-up lab, you may complete one of labs
7-8. Please contact your lab TA if you missed a lab and want
to have a make-up.
If you have a medical
condition that influences your ability to take the exams at the regular
time, contact the staff in the Disabled Student Services office (DSS) in
Room 133, Humanities, 632-6748, at the beginning of the Semester.
If you know in advance
that you can not make it to a midterm (due to major family events,
scheduled medical procedure etc.), let me know at least 9 days
before the exam (i.e. on the Wednesday the week before). A make-up exam
will be arranged for you one week before the regular exam time,
covering the same material as the regular exam. No make-up exams will be
offered for unexpected absences.
Absence from the exams
will be excused only in emergencies. The necessity of an absence must be
documented: for example, if you were ill, a letter from a doctor
attesting to this fact would be required. The letter should have the
doctor's phone number, and we reserve the right to call the doctor's
office for confirmation.
Your final letter
grade for the course is calculated from a weighted sum of your
performance, as follows:
Your recitation grade
will be assigned by your Recitation Instructor within course-wide
guidelines. The different letter grade assignments will be based on
a compromise between absolute standards and the distribution curve
of the whole class. In other words, if the whole class does
particularly well, the mean grade can rise above the B-/C+ level,
and if the whole class does particularly poorly, the mean grade can
sink below this level. The entire course staff will grade the exams.
The recitation and laboratory grades will be scaled to make sure
that your recitation or lab instructor's grading style does not lead
to unfair variations in your final grade.
You are required to
complete all laboratories. If, for whatever reasons, you end
up with missing lab(s) we will average the Lab grade for the full
set, including zeros for missed labs. In addition,
if you miss more than one lab, each additional
missing lab will be penalized by dropping your
course grade by two 'notches'. (A 'notch' is a bump from B- to C+, C
to C-, etc. For example, if you miss 3 labs altogether and your
grade would otherwise have been B-, you will receive a grade of D+.)
If you had an excused
absence on one of the two midterms, you did not miss the other midterm
and your lab reports were submitted on time, a properly
calculated average of your other grades will replace your midterm grade.
An unexcused absence, or excused absences from each of the two midterms
will result in the loss of the corresponding contribution to your final
An unexcused absence from
the final leads to an automatic F grade. An excused absence from the
final exam (but satisfying all other course requirements) will qualify
you for an incomplete grade in the course.
you submit must be your own work. Submission of (partially)
identical or overly similar lab reports counts as cheating and
results in zero points for the lab for all parties involved. Do not
attempt to cheat on homework problems, which are essential for you
to digest and understand the course material, and thus to get ready
for the exams. If you cheat, you are depriving yourself of this
essential learning process. Finally, any cheating on the exams is
easy to detect and has most severe consequences.
Each student must
pursue his or her academic goals honestly and be personally
accountable for all submitted work. Representing another person's
work as your own is always wrong. Any suspected instance of academic
dishonesty will be reported to the Academic Judiciary. For more
comprehensive information on academic integrity, including
categories of academic dishonesty, please refer to the academic
judiciary website at