Unique # 88155


MTWTHF 11:30-1:00P, PAI 2.48


1. Instructor:    Dr. Maxim Tsoi

Office: RLM 13.308

Office hours: TF 10:00-11:30A or by appointment

You may contact me via e-mail: tsoi[at]


TA:               Vikas Aragam

E-mail: aragam[at]

Office hours: M 9:30-11AM, Th 1:30-3PM in RLM 9.318, or by appointment


2. Course materials:

Textbook: Ohanian and Markert, Physics for Engineers and Scientists, Volume I, 3rd Ed. This course covers chapters 1 through 18. The syllabus represents the nominal amount. Additional concepts, if needed in HW problems, will be included.

Clickers: Purchase iClicker from UT-Coop or ask around to see if you can purchase an old one. iClickers have to be registered in Canvas ( Please register your iClicker remote in Canvas to participate in in-class activities. Simply go to this class in Canvas, click the "i>Clicker" link in the menu, and enter the remote ID that can be found on the back of your iClicker. See “” for instructions.

Homepage of this course:” contains this Syllabus and slides from class (posted as we proceed through material).

Quest:    This course makes use of the web-based Quest content delivery and homework server system maintained by the College of Natural Sciences. This homework service will require a $30 charge per student for its use, which goes toward the maintenance and operation of the resource. Please go to to log in to the Quest system for this class. After the 12th day of class, when you log into Quest you will be asked to pay via credit card on a secure payment site. You have the option to wait up to 30 days to pay while still continuing to use Quest for your assignments. If you are taking more than one course using Quest, you will not be charged more than $60/semester. Quest provides mandatory instructional material for this course, just as is your textbook, etc. For payment questions, email


3. Prerequisite: Credit with a grade of at least C- or registration in one of the following: Mathematics 408D, 408L, or 408S; and Physics 103M.


4. Quantitative Reasoning: This course may be counted toward the quantitative reasoning flag requirement. Quantitative Reasoning courses are designed to equip you with skills that are necessary for understanding the types of quantitative arguments you will regularly encounter in your adult and professional life. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from your use of quantitative skills to analyze real-world problems.


5. Drop deadlines: 6/2 - Last day of the official add/drop period for first-term, nine-week, and whole-session classes; 6/21 -  Last day a student may change registration in a first-term, nine-week, or whole-session class to or from the pass/fail or credit/no credit basis.


6. Students with disabilities: The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic adjustments for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact the Services for Students with Disabilities at 512-471-6259, 512-410-6644 (VP) ( 


7. Interactive quiz oriented teaching: We intersperse lectures with interactive quiz (IQ) sessions. You will need your iClicker to participate in IQ-sessions.  Questions for these "IQ"-questions are chosen to highlight the course materials and give students guidance in doing HW problems. Good understanding of textbook examples, IQ questions, and homework problems will help you to understand the physics of this course.

8. Study suggestions: Students are responsible for assigned sections of the book even if they are not covered in class. Read the material to be covered in class before coming to class, and a second time afterward. Start working on your homework problems as soon as they are available and turn your work in as soon as you have completed it (you get multiple tries for missed questions). Get help if you have trouble understanding the material ! The importance of doing the homework assignments (and understanding them) can not be overemphasized. Very few students pass who do not do well in their homework. Please don't fall behind. Also, you should work the problems at the end of the chapter, looking for particularly interesting ones to solve in addition to those which you have done for homework.


9. Attendance: Class attendance is not mandatory but is strongly recommended. Class interruptions such as arriving late, leaving early, or chatting, are unacceptable. Your cooperation in maintaining a good atmosphere for learning is required.


10. Course summary: The course summary sheet gives the basic formulas/principles which you will be learning in this course. We encourage you to use it as your study companion. It is meant to help you to organize the course materials, to do homework and to review for exams. Queries on the summary are welcome anytime. You can also find this summary here: Course summary.


11. Homework/Tests/Final: (see schedule below)

  • Homework: The Quest homework service handles distribution and collection of the homework (HW) on the Web. Submit your HW to Quest expeditiously. No late homework will be accepted. Continue submitting answers until due time. Urgent messages related to HWs will be posted on Quest. Solutions will be available on Quest after the due time.
  • Tests/Midterms: There will be 4 in-class Tests (also referred to as Midterm Exams). See below for time and place of each Test/Exam.
  • Final exam: The final exam is comprehensive and mandatory. Preliminary exam date is Tuesday, July 25, 11:30a–1:00p.

During each Test/Exam:

·         a fresh course summary sheet will be given to you. No crib-note cards will be allowed.

·         Programmable calculators may be used for numerical calculations only. No display of any formula on the screen is allowed.

·         Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated (see link to University Honor Code).


12. Grading policy:

  • Homework (drop 2) 25%
  • Tests (drop 1) 45%
  • Final 30%

à A grade report for each assignment/exam will be available on Quest after the due time. Final course %scores can be calculated as %score = 0.3*Final + 0.45*Test_average + 0.25*Homework_average. Final letter grades will be determined on the basis of the following rubric: A = 94-100; A- = 90-93; B+ = 87-89; B = 84-86; B- = 80-83; C+ = 77-79; C = 74-76; C- = 70-73; D+ = 67-69; D = 64-66; D- = 60-63; F = 0-60. Please note: to ensure fairness, all numbers are absolute, and will not be rounded up or down at any stage, thus a B- will be inclusive of all scores of 80.000 through 83.999. The University does not recognize the grade of A+. A curve may be used after the final exam, if needed, to bump the grades up (but not down).


No make up tests will be given. Student is required to take all four Tests. At the end of the semester, the Test with lowest score will be dropped. If a student misses a Test, the missing Test will be the one which will be dropped. If missing a test is due to a legitimate reason approved by the instructor, the student may alternatively choose a no-drop option, where the student's final exam score appropriately scaled may replace the score of the missing Test. After a missing test, the student needs to immediately communicate with the instructor through email. The student must save the email record and claim the no-drop option at the end of the semester. For the no-drop option to be applicable, the student must take the other three Tests.



First class reminders:

o    Notice the due time of homework #1 is at 4am on T, June 6 (think of it as Monday evening).

o    Instructions for submitting work: “

o    Announcements related to homework, will be given in class and on Quest.

  • TA office hours will begin next week: TBA.
  • To take this course, you must enroll in 103M lab. Check with the lab supply room RLM8.316 (471-5352) for the lab schedule.
  • Check your e-mail for messages about pre/co-requisite compliance. If you get one à come see Physics Department’s Undergraduate Coordinator Kelly McCoy (RLM 5.214; 512-471-8856; k.mccoy[at] to correct the problem.


Tentative class schedule:


Week of   |   M     T    W     Th    F    |     HWs              Due Time

29-May    |   -       -     -       1      2    |                          

05-June   |   3      4            5            |     #1, 2              TF; 4am (~MTh evening)

12-June   |   6      7    Q1   8      9    |     #3, 4              TF; 4am


Quiz 1:  Wednesday, June 14, 11:30a–1:00p, PAI 2.48 (Qz 1: ch 1-5)


19-June   |   10          11    12          |     #5, 6              TF; 4am

26-June   |   13          Q2                 |     #7, 8              TF; 4am


Quiz 2:  Wednesday, June 28, 11:30a–1:00p, PAI 2.48 (Qz 2: ch 6-9)


03-July    |   14    -    15    16    -     |     #9                  T -; 4am

10-July    |                 Q3   17          |     #10, 11          TF; 4am


Quiz 3:  Wednesday, July 12, 11:30a–1:00p, PAI 2.48 (Qz 3: ch 10-13.2)


17-July    |           18                        |     #12, 13          TF; 4am

24-July    |   Q4   F     -     -      -     |    


Quiz 4:  Monday, July 24, 11:30a–1:00p, PAI 2.48 (Qz 4: ch 13.3-18)



FINAL:  Tuesday, July 25, 11:30a–1:00p, PAI 2.48