This is a bulletin to inform you of critical information ahead of the first day of class for Physics (PHYS) 1303, Introductory Mechanics, on August 21, 2018. If you are receiving this, you are enrolled in my course section.
First of all, welcome to my section of Physics (PHYS) 1303! I am Professor Stephen Sekula, and I am very pleased to be working with you in our "Introductory Mechanics" course this fall term.
We'll start getting to know each during the first week of classes, but I wanted to make sure you were informed of what is needed for the first class period (Tuesday, Aug. 21, 09:30-10:50, FOSC 123).
Mine is a "flipped classroom," where you prepare for class before attending. Class time is not spent with me talking and you dutifully writing down words I say (or "lecturing"); rather, class time is used for first passes at learning, assessing learning, exploring together in interactive ways (and thus much more deeply) the physics concepts, and beginning to learn to setup and solve problems. Problem solving will be further exercised in cooperative problem-solving sessions associated with the laboratory courses, PHYS 110X (1105 or 1106), which you may be taking concurrently with this course. Learning will continue in homework, as you begin to really grapple with ideas and the mathematics needed to describe them and make predictions. Your level of mastery of subjects, as we proceed through the course, is assessed using written examinations. The final exam is comprehensive, assessing total synthesis of learning.
Let me begin with an urgent announcement. Due to a clerical error, the SMU Bookstore was told that a different book was required for this course than the actual course text, which was only listed as "recommended". The required textbook is listed on the course website. You need only purchase that, and I recommend only purchasing the online textbook that is bundled with WileyPlus, which is required for the course. You can purchase the appropriate electronic-only class bundle using the link to our WileyPLUS course page below.
To prepare for the first day of class, please visit the course homepage:
and explore the preliminary materials already available: course book, learning system, and student response system information; a draft syllabus; and a "teaser trailer" for some of the fun we're going to have this semester.
Most importantly, please see the sequence of course activities ("Class Materials") linked from the course website (top menu bar):
and note that on the very first day you have something due:
Pro Tip: when you engage with lecture videos, don't only listen and watch passively. Treat it like a lecture you can pause, rewind, and/or speed up. Have a notebook out. Take notes. Bring your notes to class for use in class. They will be necessary for class activities. Have the book with you when watching lecture, to see how the book and lecture complement each other. All of these activities will help enhance your learning.
Please visit the WileyPLUS course link for our class:
and register for my section. WileyPLUS is your electronic textbook, a learning enhancement system with interactive physics problem demonstrations, concept videos, etc. to promote deeper learning in this fast-paced course. This system is also the primary means by which homework will be distributed and graded for numerical accuracy.
ACTION: REGISTER BEFORE AUGUST 21, 2018.
To assess learning during class you are to register for a free account with PollEverywhere.com. Use your SMU Email to register.
Once you have setup a free account using your SMU Email Address, visit your settings page in the website and register with me as a presenter:
To register with me, please find my PollEverywhere ID listed on Canvas. Enter that in your memberships page. You should then show up in my registered participants list.
ACTION: REGISTER BEFORE TUESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2018
In class, you will need to have your internet-connected device and via the PollEverywhere App (iOS and Android) or any web browser, visit my polling site:
We're going to have a fun semester! Please make sure you have registered for WileyPLUS and PollEverywhere (additionally registering with me as a participant in my polls) by the first morning of class. I'll have reminder announcements about this in class, but I want all of you to be as prepared as possible to begin interacting on day one. I will see you soon and look forward to getting to know all of you!