Course Syllabus

Summer 2019 Physics 2 PHY2053 - Physics 1 Course Syllabus


DSCN1140-1.JPG   Mr. Nathaniel Strauss
2142 New Physics Bldg
Room 2104


Send messages only through the Canvas messaging system. To do this, click "Inbox" on the left, "Compose a New Message" at the top, select this course from the dropdown menu, and find me under "Teachers". Note that homework help is given during your discussion section and during office hours, not through messaging.

Class Lecture

Tue/Thu Period 3, 11:00am to 12:05pm

Lectures are recorded and posted to the Canvas page.

Class Schedule

See the Schedule page for details about lecture content, due dates, quiz dates, and exam dates.

Discussion Sections

See the Discussion Sections page for details about meeting times, location, and contact information for your instructor.

Office Hours

See the Office Hours page for the times of instructor and TA office hours.

Textbook and Course Materials

  • 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 must be obtained from the UF All Access program. See Module 0 for details.

About the Course

Welcome to Physics 1! In this class, you'll learn about the fundamental principles of physics and apply these principles to predict the behavior of objects due to physical interactions. 

Make sure you review the syllabus on this page, which outlines the course policies and technological requirements. There are a few housekeeping things to take care of in Module 0 before diving into the course content.

Please monitor Canvas for announcements and assignment deadlines. And finally, don't hesitate to contact me via Canvas message for any questions or assistance.

Course Description

Credits: 4
Prerequisites: high school algebra and trigonometry, or the equivalent.
This course is the first semester of a two-semester sequence of algebra-based introductory physics. The first semester includes the following topics: kinematics, Newton's laws, circular and rotational motion, equilibrium, elasticity, momentum, energy, fluids, oscillations, waves, and sound. 

Expectations of Students

To achieve the learning outcomes, you the student are expected to:

  • Visit the weekly module page at the beginning of the week to understand the module learning objectives and to plan your engagement with course content for the week ahead.
  • Read the assigned chapters in the textbook.
  • Attend and participate in scheduled lectures and discussion sections.
  • Work through the examples presented in the text in order to learn the physics concepts, principles, and problem-solving techniques of introductory physics.
  • Complete homework assignments to self-assess your understanding of the module's concepts and problem solving strategies on a weekly basis.
  • Attend discussion section meetings for group problem solving and small group instruction moderated by recitation section TAs and to complete timed quizzes based on homework.
  • Be responsible for the operation of your technology while participating in this online course. Please create a backup plan now for the unlikely and inconvenient situations where your technology fails, endangering your participation in timed assessments or meetings. Your plan should include situations where loss of power, internet, or device functionality endanger your participation and your grade. Loss of internet or power may be out of your control, but your well prepared backup plan can anticipate and plan for these issues.
  • Seek help from your instructors and other students when specific content does not make sense, and seek out additional practice when needed to gain mastery before moving on to future modules. These additional materials are provided on each module page and in MasteringPhysics to help diagnose, and offer remediation, until you feel comfortable and confident in the physics you have learned. 
  • Seek help from university resources to support student success, which include use of peer tutoring (UF Teaching Center and Knack), peer mentoring, and wellness resources found at .

This course requires an extensive amount of time to do all of the above, and students should plan accordingly to spend 12 hours per week on course preparation and practice.

Expectations of Instructors

Your instructors role is to develop a course where you can achieve these objectives through your participation and interaction. Further, we pledge to:

  • Be accessible via Canvas and respond to communication sent.
  • Design lectures and discussion section meetings which facilitate active learning through the use of examples, which will not be recorded.
  • Design assessments which evaluate your progress towards achieving the outcomes of the course.
  • Provide communication through announcements to frame the week's course activities.
  • Treat everyone with respect.
  • Recognize and celebrate everyone's unique identity and background and create an environment where everyone belongs!
  • Affirm your ability to succeed in this course and provide assistance for everyone to access resources which enable each student achieve success.
  • Adhere to course policies equitably and with fairness.

Discussion Sections

Discussion sections are synchronous class meetings where you will get small group instruction on how to answer physics problems, both numerical and conceptual. Attendance is required for each scheduled discussion section meeting. 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, and the apprenticeship model works quite well as you see how experts identify which physics principles are needed to obtain a correct solution. Review the Discussion Sections page for listing of meeting times.

Discussion section meetings are not recorded to encourage your participation.  We invite you to turn on your camera and microphone to facilitate efficient interaction with your TA and classmates, but you may of course use the chat if you are uncomfortable.

Class Attendance and Missed Work

Attendance to lectures and discussion sections is required. Students may not be enrolled in another class at UF or some other institution that conflicts with the meeting times of this course. Please arrange your schedule so that you are consistently available during the course meeting times. Standing conflicts will not afford you access to the missed assessments or missed lectures. If you are unable to attend a scheduled class meeting due to university approved and sponsored activities, documented illness under care of physician (see medical excuse policy here), or family emergency, please notify your instructor. Absences due to circumstances listed above during scheduled quizzes or exams will necessitate you to request a makeup quiz or makeup exam following the procedures below. 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 this link.

We are aware of instances where Honorlock proctoring is interrupted during a quiz/exam and stops recording due to a weak or intermittent internet connection. If your Honorlock video proctoring stops at any time during the quiz/exam you are responsible for restarting it immediately.  If you do not restart it, and Honorlock does not have a complete video record of your exam, then your score will not be counted. To avoid this disruption, please ensure that your testing environment has a strong, stable internet connection. The campus libraries have dedicated online testing facilities for those who do not have a strong internet connection at home.

Discussion Section Quizzes: Students must request a makeup quiz from the discussion section instructor, and if approved, make arrangements with the discussion section instructor. Approved make-ups for missed quizzes will take place at the first opportunity determined by your TA according to the absence and makeup policy stated above. Documentation must be provided to your TA within the makeup period associated for the missed quiz, or a reasonable justification why it will be delayed must be e-mailed along with the projected receipt date of the documentation to your TA within the makeup period. All makeup quizzes must be completed within three weeks of the regularly scheduled quiz, or August 4th, whichever comes first. TAs are not authorized to make exceptions to this makeup policy.

Missed Exams: Students missing an exam must notify the instructor BEFORE the beginning of the exam and provide documented evidence for a request for a makeup. Arrangements will be made to take a makeup exam as soon as possible. The makeup exam will consist of material similar to that which was tested on the missed exam.

Missed Homework: Students have ample opportunity to complete available homework assignments prior to the due date. There are no extensions or makeups for homework assignments. Please plan accordingly.

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:

Office Hours

Visit your instructors for free help! We're the ones writing your exams and quizzes and have a good idea about how to help you succeed in this course. You may visit any of the TAs, not just the one teaching your discussion section. Please find someone you can go to for help. Our weekly schedule can be found on the Office Hours page.


Grades are based on total points accumulated from exams, discussion section quizzes, homework and extra credit quizzes. The canvas grading tool will not accurately calculate your grade. 

Your final score is the sum of the following:

Assessment Max Points Calculation

Forgiveness Factor

Exam 1 18 18*(earned points/max points) 0%
Exam 2 18 18*(earned points/max points) 0%
Exam 3 18 18*(earned points/max points) 0%
Exam 4 (Final) 21 21*(earned points/max points) 0%
Discussion Section Quizzes 20 20*(your earned points/max quiz points) 10%
Homework 5 5*(your earned points/max hw points) 20%
Total 100 Sum this column 0%
Discussion Post Activity +2 2*(your total points/max points) 20%
Discussion Section and Lecture Attendance +3 3*(your total points/max points) 20%

Use Canvas Grades to track your scores and report any discrepancies in your scores to your TA. Notification of discrepancies are due to your TA by August 4th. Letter grades will be reported to the Registrar at the end of the term corresponding to the total score and the minimum values to an accuracy of 0.01, following this grading scheme:

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
More on UF's grading policies can be found at this link.

Forgiveness Factor

A combination of planned and unforeseen factors may cause you to miss some classes or discussion sections, additionally, it is likely for most of us to have a bad day or week (for any number of reasons) during the semester.  To accommodate this reality, we use a "forgiveness factor" as a "make-up" policy to accommodate circumstances that may arise throughout the semester that may hinder your performance in the online HW, the discussion quizzes, attendance, and the discussion posts. The forgiveness factors are given in the table above. They mean that up to the stated percentage of points associated with that component will be refunded at the end of the semester, but cannot score more than the total possible number of points.


There are a total of four exams, with the fourth exam held on the last day of the semester serving as a cumulative final. All exams will take place during the normal lecture time, and the dates and chapter coverage are described on the Schedule  page. Please place these exam dates and times in your calendar.

Exam questions will be taken from a number of sources, typically including (but not limited to!) the textbook, lectures, quizzes, and homework problems. Exam format is multiple choice.

Exams are online and proctored with Honorlock. Please see the Honorlock requirements in the Online Proctoring With Honorlock section below. 

Unless superseded by a valid excuse a missed exam will result in a zero. Valid excuses are officially sanctioned UF events, medical excuses or family emergencies. Acceptable excuses will require a coach's, doctor's, or instructor's sanctioned note with a verifiable contact phone number. The documentation must be provided to your instructor immediately. A valid excuse for your absence on the exam date will allow you to take a make-up exam.

Students who need special accommodations due to a registered disability must carry out the DRC procedures described below.


Each quiz in your discussion section is typically based on (though not necessarily identical to) a homework problem from the most recent homework assignment past due. The particular problems given to each student are chosen at random. Quizzes are given only on the days shown on the Schedule page. It is not permitted to share the contents of a quiz and doing so is a violation of the university Honor Code.

Approved make-ups for missed quizzes will take place at the first opportunity determined by your TA according to the absence and makeup policy stated above.


Homework is based on the MasteringPhysics online homework system and assignments are due Mondays at 12PM EDT. Each student gets a unique set of numbers for each problem. Because of the length of time each homework set is available, there are no extensions or makeups for the homework. Instead, your final homework grade receives a 20% forgiveness factor at the end of the semester. You are strongly encouraged to start entering 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 down internet connection or computer virus causes you to miss the deadline, you will not receive credit for the unfinished work.

While we encourage students to discuss homework problems with one another, we regard it as a breach of academic honesty to get homework solutions or algorithms from external sources, including websites or companies that give away or sell such solutions or algorithms (this is stated explicitly in our course Academic Honesty policy found below).

Extra Credit

The two opportunities for extra credit in this course are discussion posts and attendance.

For each homework set, we provide a discussion thread to facilitate student collaboration, as seen in each weekly module. The content in the discussion threads should be limited to helping your peers understand or interpret the problem statements, identifying relevant information in the textbook or lectures which may help in forming a solution, or identifying errors in the strategies or principles used to calculate a solution. Posting of correct solutions to homework problems is not permissible. In order to obtain all discussion post extra credit points, you must make two posts in each homework discussion thread. One point is awarded per post. Discussion post points are only awarded for substantive discussions about the physics content. Points are not awarded for postings indicating agreement without anything new to add. Stay away from vague language like: "I found accelerating interesting." This statement doesn't encourage discussion and says little if anything about your thoughts about acceleration. 

For each discussion section class, your TAs will take attendance via Zoom. You must attend for at least 20 minutes on quiz days and at least 50 minutes on non-quiz days to receive credit. Once everyone is set up with iClickers, attendance in lecture will take the form of iClicker questions. Two points will be awarded for a correct answer and one point will be awarded for an incorrect answer. Instructions on setting up the iClickers will be given at a later date.


Homework is delivered and scored using MasteringPhysics. Access to MasteringPhysics is granted through the AllAccess program, offering billing directly to your student account with the benefit of access to both the e-text and homework system on the first day of the semester. 

You can access MasteringPhysics by clicking on a homework assignment listed on the Assignments page, from the link in the corresponding module, from the Course Calendar, or by clicking on the MyMastering link in the sidebar.

Details about Homework Assignments, Grading, and Late Policy

  • Most problems come from the textbook, though the values for masses, charges, angles, etc. for each problem are different for each student. We expect to have some problems which might not come from the textbook.
  • You have five attempts to get the correct answer. To get credit your answer must be correct within 2%  and you must enter at least three significant digits.
  • Multiple choice and True/False question types. The points you can earn for correct submissions decreases by a constant amount for each attempt. The decrease per step is 100% / (Noptions-1). Thus for a 5 part multiple choice question, the decrease in value is 25% per attempt.
  • For all other question types, there is a 5% deduction in the number of points you can earn for each wrong submission. There is also a small (1%) deduction for every hint or feedback you request.
  • There are no extensions on homework assignments.


A detailed weekly schedule of the lectures, quizzes, and exams can be found on the Schedule page, which will be updated as needed throughout the semester.

Academic Honesty Policy and Honor Code


We go to great lengths to ensure that our Physics course is administered fairly, by setting clear goals (what is needed to attain each grade) at the outset, by providing materials (lectures, applets, homework, office hours, reviews) to help you reach those goals, and by assessing progress towards those goals using easily understood procedures (exams, quizzes, online homework). We pledge to do the best job we can to make the material understandable and to bring out the best in every student.

Course Policy

Maintaining the integrity of the grading process demands fairness and compassion on our part and honor on your part. Accordingly, we take a very hard line on cheating in any form, including

  1. Providing or copying answers on exams or quizzes
  2. Taking an exam or quiz for another student
  3. Entering online homework answers for another student
  4. Distributing or copying exam or quiz questions
  5. Obtaining course homework solutions or software algorithms from external sources, including websites or companies that give away or sell such solutions or algorithms.

Any person caught cheating in any form will fail the entire course automatically and will be subject to Honor Court penalties.  Furthermore, we expect students to not tolerate cheating of any kind and to report incidents to your instructors.

Finally, some UF students do violate the Honor Code by using cell phones, accessing internet sites, etc. in order to gain an advantage while taking online quizzes or exams. There is a serious misconception that this form of cheating is undetectable. Please understand that nothing you do on the internet, or with your cell phone, goes unrecorded. There are logs and spreadsheets that record times and dates of access, user names and device numbers, IP addresses, various types of digital fingerprints, what you did and when you did it. All of this information is preserved indefinitely. When your instructors suspect that students have cheated, they can and do seek and obtain these logs—this is necessary every year—and they can and do perform any analysis that is needed to identify all students who were involved. They then always bring academic dishonesty charges against those students without offering warnings or second chances. 

Honor Code

The Dean of Students Office website has a detailed discussion about academic honesty and the University of Florida Honor Code, which was adopted by the Student Council. The Honor Code says

We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity. 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."

Disability Services

Students with disabilities who experience learning barriers and would like to request academic accommodations should connect with the Disability Resource Center by visiting our Get Started page. It is important for students to share their accommodation letter with their instructor and discuss their access needs, as early as possible in the semester.

Requesting an accommodation letter to be sent to instructors is sufficient for receiving accommodations, as long as the letter is received at least three days prior to the deadline for assessments. Letters received less than three days before the assignment deadline will have the accommodations applied for the next and subsequent assessments.

Accommodations are not retroactive, therefore, students should contact the DRC office as soon as possible in the term for which they are seeking accommodations.

Failure to send a current accommodation letter before the three day deadline is not a permitted excuse for taking a makeup exam.

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).

UF Student Success :  For improving study skills to connecting with a peer tutor, peer mentor, success coach, academic advisor, and wellness resources, go to

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:

Online Proctoring With HonorLock for Exams and Quizzes

In order to maintain a high standard of academic integrity and assure that the value of your University of Florida degree is not compromised, course exams and weekly quizzes will be proctored. You will take your exam and quiz electronically using the course website. You do not need to register for your exam. However, you will need to have installed and enabled the Google Chrome Honorlock extension prior to taking your exams. You will need a webcam, speakers, microphone, laptop or desktop computer, and reliable Internet connection to be able to take your exams. Wireless internet is not recommended. You may also need a mirror or other reflective surface. Google Chrome is the only supported browser for taking exams in Canvas.

  • You are not permitted to utilize any resources in addition to what is provided during the exam.
  • You are not permitted to discuss the contents of the exam following its administration.
  • You are not permitted to receive any information prior to taking the exam about the exam contents.
  • You are not permitted to transmit any information about the assessment prior to, during, or following the assessment.

Violation of any of these conditions is academic misconduct and will be dealt with according to the protocols for reporting Honor Code violations. This is your only warning and if you have questions about whether an action constitutes a violation, you should consult your instructor prior to following the course of action in question. 

Prior to each exam and in the same environment you plan to take the exam, review the Honorlock Guidelines (Links to an external site.) , and go to Honorlock Support (Links to an external site.)  to run a system check. This process takes just a few minutes and is completely free. If your course offers an Honorlock Practice Quiz, it is strongly recommended that you take it to practice using Honorlock before your exams. 

Important: If you are unable to take an exam because of a technical glitch on your end, that is your responsibility. However, if you do experience technical difficulties during the exam, Honorlock's support menu will visible on-screen for you to contact a support agent. 

Honorlock offers 24/7/365 technical support to assist students before, during, and after exams. If you experience any trouble with Honorlock, begin a live chat on the Honorlock Support page (Links to an external site.) , call +1 (844) 243-2500, or email


Privacy and Accessibility Policies

Our class sessions may be audio visually recorded for students in the class to refer back and for enrolled students who are unable to attend live. Students who participate with their camera engaged or utilize a profile image are agreeing to have their video or image recorded.  If you are unwilling to consent to have your profile or video image recorded, be sure to keep your camera off and do not use a profile image. Likewise, students who un-mute during class and participate orally are agreeing to have their voices recorded.  If you are not willing to consent to have your voice recorded during class, you will need to keep your mute button activated and communicate exclusively using the "chat" feature, which allows students to type questions and comments live. The chat will not be recorded or shared. As in all courses, unauthorized recording and unauthorized sharing of recorded materials is prohibited. 

For information about the privacy policies of the tools used in this course, see the links below: 


Required work

  • This web site serves as the syllabus for the course. Each page on the web site has a link on the menu at left. You are required to read each of these pages. The web site is detailed and chances are any policy questions you may have are answered here.
  • You are responsible for ongoing course work, which is described on the web site: reading the text for the assigned material, attending lecture, doing the weekly homework, participating in the online discussions, attending discussion section and taking the quizzes, and taking the exams.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due