College has more ambitious educational
than high school. To help you survive the change and this course...
please take note
- This is not high school! The great majority of you, if you have
not done so already, will have to discard high school notions of
teaching and learning and replace them by university-level notions.
This may be difficult for some of you, but it must happen sooner or
later, so sooner is
better! College is much more than just getting you to reproduce
what was told to you during lecture. Some of these goals do include
providing a means for you to gain a broad education and to develop
analytic and critical thinking skills - all of which will be important
once you leave here.
- Expect to have material covered somewhat faster than the pace at
high school. In addition, we aim for greater command of the material,
especially the ability to apply what you have learned to new
situations. In this course the applications are mostly conceptual,
rather than computational.
- Attend class. If you've thought about this and still don't
understand the importance, then you'd best come ask me. Or if that
doesn't appeal to you, skip
the rest and hit the 'back' key on your web browser.
cannot be taught everything during lecture. It is your
responsibility to learn the material. Most of this learning must take
place outside of lecture. You
should be willing to
put in something like two hours outside the classroom for each hour of
class. But remember - you're not being graded on effort! You
will earn a grade based on your level understanding.
- My job is primarily to provide you with a framework - and with
some of the particulars - to guide you in your learning of the
concepts that comprise the material of the course. It is
not to program you with isolated facts, nor
simply to prepare you for exams.
- Make liberal use of office hours. Most students who do improve
their understanding significantly. Most professors, and you can
me as one, love to help students who want to learn. Immediately after
class is also a good time.
- Carefully reread the back side (2nd page) of the course syllabus
to get a sense of what I expect from the students in this course.
- Carefully read the supplementary
course material I post on-line.
- Think about and do the sample exam problems I post on-line.
- Consider making liberal use of the textbook's on-line
- You should read the textbook for understanding. It gives a
detailed account of the material of the course with great illustrations
and cosmic images. The textbook is not a novel; careful and critical
reading is a must.
- As for when and how to use the textbook, you have the following
- [recommended for most students] Read the
appropriate section(s) of the book before the material is presented in
lecture. That is, come prepared for class. Then the faster
paced college-style lecture will make more sense.
- If you haven't looked at the book before class
to pick up what you can from the lecture - absorb the general idea
and/or take thorough notes - and count on sorting it out later while
studying from the book outside of class.