Course Syllabus

Fall 19 Course Syllabus

Course Details

Course Instructors

The primary instructors for this course are:

Prof. Tarek Saab

Prof. Tarek Saab
2354 New Physics Bldg.

Prof. Yasumasa Takano

Prof. Yasumasa Takano
2356 New Physics Bldg.

Communication with the instructors: You can contact your instructors by sending an email to  from your GatorLink email address. We will not answer emails sent to our individual email addresses or sent from non-GatorLink addresses, nor messages sent to us via e-Learning's "Conversation" function or "Ask Instructor a Question" in the "Help" menu.

The office hour schedule and contact information for the instructors and teaching assistants can be found in this Office Hours page.

Discussion sections

Additionally there will be 8 teaching assistants available to help you during your discussion sections and at office hours. See the Discussion Sections page for details about meeting times, location, and contact information for your instructor.

Discussion sections are scheduled class meetings where you will get small group instruction on how to answer physics problems, both numerical and conceptual. A highly skilled TA will guide you through the problem solving process that will be helpful for you as you practice the homework problems on your own outside of class. You will also receive formative assessment feedback on your learning through low-stakes weekly quizzes. The content of these quizzes are based on the problems assigned in homework and serve to assess not only the correct answer to quantitative problems, but also critique and provide feedback on how you justify your answer with an in-depth solution.

Practicing physics is the best way to learn it, in the apprenticeship model you see how experts identify which physics principles are needed to obtain a correct solution.


The course is run through Canvas. The web site for the course is accessed through UF e-Learning or directly at:

This site will contain important announcements, posted lectures, previous exams,  exam solutions, and course grades.

Textbook & Course Materials

The required text is

  • College Physics: A strategic approach. (Knight, Jones and Field), 4th edition, with MasteringPhysics. Print ISBN-13:978-0-13-460903-4.
  • The course requires students to purchase access to the online homework system, MasteringPhysics

Access to the required course materials above may be obtained from the UF All Access program. Here is the link to have these charges directly billed to your student account:

For instructions for obtaining course materials with UF All-Access see this information sheet. Alternatively, if you  have obtained access to the Pearson Mastering Physics in a different way, follow these instructions to link your Pearson/Mastering account to Canvas.

H-ITT Clicker

The course requires the use of a student response clicker. See this page ( to make sure you get a compatible clicker and register it properly.


PHY2054 - Physics 2 is the second semester of Physics without calculus, covering electrostatics, electric current, electric circuits and their components, magnetism, induction, electromagnetic waves, optics, optical devices, interference and diffraction. It is typically, but not exclusively, taken by biological sciences majors and pre-professional students, i.e., those planning careers in health care, optometry, pharmacy, etc. It is not a suitable course for physics, chemistry or engineering majors, who are encouraged to take PHY2049 (Physics 2 with calculus) or PHY2061 (enriched Physics 2 with calculus), both of which offer similar material but with more mathematical emphasis.

Credits: 4


PHY 2053 or the equivalent.

Course Schedule

The detailed course schedule, including the topics covered, and exam dates is available at this page: Course Schedule.


Your grade is determined by your performance on the following in-class and out-of-class components: online homework, online reading quiz, in-class H-ITT questions, in-class quiz, and exams. The points each of those components contribute to the total grade is shown in the following table:

Item Points Make-up %
Total Points 100 NA
H-ITT (Bonus) 2.5 20%
Discussion Section Participation (Bonus) 2.5 20%
Exam 1 25 0%
Exam 2 25 0%
Exam 3 25 0%
Discussion Section Quizzes 20 10%
Homework 5 10%

Grading Scale

Your course letter grade will not be assigned based on a curve, but will be based on the following 100-point fixed scale:

A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- E
≥85.00 80.00 75.00 70.00 65.00 60.00 55.00 50.00 45.00 40.00 35.00 <35.00

The advantage of the fixed scale is that you are not competing with other students to “get ahead of the curve”. Everyone who works hard can do well in the class, and to the extent that it helps you learn, we encourage collaboration.

Note: A grade of C- is not a qualifying grade for major, minor, Gen Ed, or College Basic distribution credit. For further information on UF's Grading Policy, see:

Make-up % (i.e. Forgiveness policy)

A combination of planned and unforeseen factors may cause student to miss some classes or discussion section; additionally, it is likely for most students to have a bad day or week (due to any number of reasons) during the semester. To accommodate this reality, we use a “Make-Up %” factor as a "forgiveness" policy to accommodate all such circumstances that may arise throughout the semester which may hinder your performance in the online HW, discussion section quizzes and participation, and H-ITT. The specific amount of the forgiveness percentage for each item is described in its respective section.


There are two during-term exams and a final exam. All exams I and II will be assembly exams. Each exam is worth 25 points (out of 100) of the total grade. There is no “Drop-worst” adjustment for exams. The date and time for each exam, and the chapters it covers, and allowed materials are described on the Exams page. Note: Exams will not likely take place in the lecture hall in the physics building. Room assignments where you will take an exam will be announced in the days leading up to the exam and posted on the Exam page.

You should bring a calculator, #2 pencils, an eraser and your picture ID (preferably Gator One ID Card) to the exam. Calculators may not be shared and may not have electronic communications capability. Cell phones as calculators are not allowed. Private formula sheets are not allowed. Use of either constitutes academic fraud. Scratch paper and an official formula sheet for the exam will be provided.

Exam questions will be taken from a number of sources, including (but not limited to!) the textbook, lectures, H-ITT quizzes and homework problems. The exam format is multiple choice using ScanTron sheets. The answer which is bubbled in on the ScanTron will be the one that is graded, with no exceptions, regardless of what else may be written on the question sheet or scrap paper.

Missed Exams

In addition to the regular exam dates, there are also two conflict exam dates: conflict exam I (to take place on Oct yy, Periods E2/E3) and conflict exam II (to take place on Nov yy, Periods E2/E3). A student who will miss an assembly exam due to an exam conflict or any other foreseeable reason that is approved under UF attendance policies should request in advance to take the conflict exam instead of the regular exam. A student who has an unforeseeable absence from an exam should contact the instructor as soon as possible, normally within 24 hours after the missed exam. If the unforeseeable absence is excused by the instructor, the student will be expected to take the conflict exam unless they has another exam conflict or reason that is approved under UF attendance policies. The conflict exam will cover the same essential subject matter as the regular exam and in a similar format, although the questions will not be identical. Missing an exam for any other reason will result in a score of 0.

Discussion Section Quizzes

Discussion (recitation) sections start the first week of classes (i.e. Tuesday, August 20th 2019). Graded quizzes start on the third week of classes (Monday, September 2nd, 2019). A quiz will usually be administered during the last 20 minutes of the first discussion section of the week, i.e. MW discussion sections will have their quizzes on Monday*, TR sections on Tuesday and and WF sections on Wednesday.
(* On weeks where the Monday is a holiday (i.e. Labor day and Veterans day) the MW discussion sections will have their quiz on Wednesday.)

The quizzes will test how well you have learned the concepts and methods of the assigned homework problems. The quiz questions will be related to, but never identical to, the online homework problems. Within this course, two problems are considered to be effectively the same if the difference between the two are the values of input variables, or if they ask to solve for the same variable. The problems may be restructured to provide guidance, allow awarding of partial credit, and discourage memorization of a solution formula.

A 10% "Forgiveness factor" will be applied to the total quiz score.

Missed Quizzes

A student who will miss a quiz due to a foreseeable reason that is approved under UF attendance policies should request in advance to take a make-up quiz, from their TA. All missed quizzes must be made up within two weeks.

Online Homework

The homework assignments are based on the MasteringPhysics online homework system and assignments are due Mondays at 9 AM (see schedule). Each student gets a unique set of numbers for each problem. Because of the ample length of time each homework set is available, there are no extensions on the homework. You are strongly encouraged to start submitting your answers well ahead of the deadline to avoid possible technical problems that might occur on the day the homework is due. If an unforeseen technical difficulty like a faulty internet connection or computer misbehavior causes you to miss the deadline, you will not receive credit for any unfinished work.

A 10% "Forgiveness factor" will be applied to the total homework score.

You should follow appropriate practices of academic honesty when working on the problems in MasteringPhysics. In doing the online homework, discussions with colleagues and/or tutors about methods of posing and solving a homework problem are acceptable and encouraged. Using a formula that is specific to the problem, derived by someone else, or provided by an external website or tutoring service, to input answers is considered cheating (this is stated explicitly in the course Academic Honesty policy found below). Even if you worked through a formula with classmates, you will still benefit from re-deriving the result on your own. Some of the exam and quiz questions will be based on the homework problems, and you will not have the opportunity to get help from anyone else during those tests. Treat the homework as practice for the exams and quizzes: derive, on your own, any result that you submit.

H-ITT Bonus

Each lecture will feature a few in-class H-ITT questions. These are intended to

  1. encourage engagement with the material presented in the lecture (which has been shown to help with learning and retaining the material) and
  2. provide immediate feedback to both the instructor and the students as to the understanding of the newly presented material (thus promoting a relevant review by the instructor or questions by the students).
  3. points earned from answering the H-ITT questions can contribute up to a maximum of 2.5 extra-credit points to your grade

The H-ITT questions sets will count for 2.5 bonus points toward the total grade. The in-class H-ITT questions begin to count on Tuesday September 3rd, 2019. You should, however, get your remote sooner to participate in practice questions that will help you become familiar with the system before the questions start counting toward your grade points.

Participation requires that you purchase the H-ITT remote transmitter associated with the in-class student response system. Information on compatible remotes is found on the H-ITT Page. Responses made via this transmitter will be recorded. Correct responses are worth 2 points, and (to encourage participation) incorrect responses will be worth 1 point. Responding for other students (using their H-ITT remotes) is considered cheating by both parties.

To get the credit for H-ITT points, you must purchase a compatible clicker and register it properly with the auditorium H-ITT system. It is your responsibility to maintain the clicker's proper functioning, and to ensure that you are transmitting on the correct channel. It is recommended that you set the channel at the start of each lecture. Lights on the remote and the remote code appearing on-screen will indicate that your answer has been recorded in the system.

A 20% "Forgiveness factor" will be applied to the total H-ITT score to accommodate occasional absences, malfunctioning remotes, dead batteries, of late answers.

Discussion Section Participation Bonus

Discussion sections are designed to promote collaborative group problem solving while practicing the skills necessary to become successful in solving physics problems on your own. To reward your efforts, your discussion section TA will award weekly participation bonus points for your collaborative work in solving problems assigned to your group. TAs will create groups of 4 students, with each group receiving a problem to solve together on the board. TAs will monitor and answer questions, as well as ask specific students in the group to explain or justify decisions made by the group in arriving at a solution.

Each week, you may earn points based on your participation and the group's success. These points will sum over the course of the semester and will determine your individual participation bonus. This bonus will be added to your overall course grade. You can't makeup missed participation bonus points with a group, nor complete alternative assignments to replace missed bonus points. This is not a required course activity, but an encouragement to participate in these meaningful exercises to gain both feedback and confidence in your problem solving ability.

A 20% "Forgiveness factor" will be applied to the total Discussion Section Participation Bonus score to accommodate occasional absences.

Class Attendance and Missed Work

Requirements for class attendance and make-up exams, assignments, and other work in this course are consistent with university policies that can be found at:

UF Policies

Attendance Policy

Please consult the official University Policy for Attendance, linked from the UF Registrar’s web site.

Academic Honesty

The UF Honor Code applies to all aspects of this course. It is required that you report any possible infractions to your instructor immediately.

Violations of the UF Honor Code, including any identified online homework related academic fraud, will be processed to the full extent of the Honor Code. For a code violation, the automatic minimum penalty we recommend to the Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution office will be a failing grade in the course. According to the Honor Code, a student who receives a course grade penalty is not permitted to withdraw from the course.

All University of Florida students are required to abide by the University's Academic Honesty Guidelines and by the Honor Code:

The Honor Pledge

We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity by abiding by the Honor Code. On all work submitted for credit by students at the University of Florida, the following pledge is either required or implied:

"On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid in doing this assignment."

Full documentation about the honor code can be found at the following link:

Accommodating Students With Disabilities

Students requesting classroom and/or testing accommodation for disabilities must first register with the Disability Resource Center (DRC). The DRC will provide documentation to the student who must then provide this documentation to the instructor (Dr. Saab or Dr. Takano) when requesting accommodation. You will need to fill out online ATR forms for exams and for quizzes. Accommodations are not retroactive, and do not carry over from previous semesters; therefore, students should contact the office as soon as possible at the beginning of the semester.

You will need to fill out online Accommodation Testing Request (ATR) forms for each exam you wish to have administered by the DRC. Requests for entitled testing accommodations will be granted if this form is submitted at least 4 business days before the scheduled exam. Accommodations will then go into effect for the remainder of the term, or until an updated accommodation letter is submitted to the instructor. The accommodated test must start at the time specified by the DRC.

Students who also need accommodations for discussion-section quizzes must provide the DRC documentation also to their section TA. Most such accommodations can be provided during the regularly scheduled discussion period; however, student who wish for the the DRC Testing Center to administer a quiz must submit an ATR form separately for each quiz.

The DCR Testing Center will administer all exams that require accommodations. It is your responsibility to follow testing center policies when scheduling each exam (schedule at least 4 business days before the event). If you choose to not schedule exams/quizzes before the deadline, you are electing to forgo the testing accommodations to which you are entitled and will take the exam/quiz according to the conditions of the regularly scheduled exam/quiz. It is strongly advised to schedule proctored exams/quizzes with the DRC as soon as possible, using the course calendar as a guide for the relevant dates. Failure to schedule a proctoring session with the DRC according to the DRC policies is not a permitted excuse for taking a makeup exam/quiz.

More information about the Disabilities Resource Center can be found at

Online Course Evaluation

Students are expected to provide professional and respectful feedback on the quality of instruction in this course by completing course evaluations online via GatorEvals. Guidance on how to give feedback in a professional and respectful manner is available at Students will be notified when the evaluation period opens, and can complete evaluations through the email they receive from GatorEvals, in their Canvas course menu under GatorEvals, or via Summaries of course evaluation results are available to students at

Campus Resources

Health and Wellness

U Matter, We Care: If you or a friend is in distress, please contact or 352 392- 1575 so that a team member can reach out to the student.

Counseling and Wellness Center:, 392-1575; and the University Police Department: 392-1111 or 9-1-1 for emergencies.

Sexual Assault Recovery Services (SARS): Student Health Care Center, 392-1161.

University Police Department: 392-1111 (or 9-1-1 for emergencies).

Academic Resources

E-learning technical support: 352-392-4357 (select option 2) or e-mail to Learning-

Career Resource Center: Reitz Union, 392-1601. Career assistance and counseling.

Library Support: Various ways to receive assistance with respect to using the libraries or finding resources.

Teaching Center: Broward Hall, 392-2010 or 392-6420. General study skills and tutoring.

Writing Studio: 302 Tigert Hall, 846-1138. Help brainstorming, formatting, and writing papers.

Student Complaints:

Course Summary:

Date Details