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Fall 2017 Prepared by Gregg McPherson

Course: Physics 215, Engineering Physics I

Lectures: 9:30 AM to 10:20 AM, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in Gardiner Hall RM 230

Instructor: Greggory T. McPherson

Office: Office hours will be held in Gardiner Hall, Rm 202. Times are TBD.

Email: or through Canvas (These are the best ways to get a hold of me)

Class webpage (Canvas):

Important announcements, grades, solutions, and extra content will be posted here, so
sign up for notifications.
Course Prerequisite: MATH 191. This will be a calculus-level treatment of kinematics, work,
energy and conservation principles, and particle motion (per course catalog description).

Topics Covered: Please see the schedule of topics at the end of this syllabus.

Required Materials
Textbook: Young and Freedman, University Physics, 14th edition, Pearson.
ISBN: 9780321982582. This textbook will be a valuable resource throughout your
coursework at NMSU and as a reference in the future. Reading its content and working
through examples and additional problems is the best way to ensure success in this course.

In this class we will be working practice problems and conducting quizzes which will
require an iClicker in order to participate, or the use of the REEF polling app on you
laptop or cellphone. Clickers can be purchased at the registers in the bookstore or online
(ISBN 1429280476), and are likely to be used in other courses. The REEF app is
available from the app store and/or Google Play store.

Mastering Physics:
Homework will be assigned on a weekly basis through Mastering Physics
( You will be required to purchase access to this
program. Go to, click Student under the Register Now menu.
Our course ID is: MPMCPHERSON77484
Then complete creating your account, and choose which option you want to purchase (the
only difference is the book).
You can also buy a prepaid access card from the bookstore!

Fall 2017 Prepared by Gregg McPherson

Attendance and Participation:

You are expected to attend every lecture, take notes, and participate in in-class discussion
and group work. Students will be asked clicker questions, then encouraged to work with
other students to discuss and answer those questions. This is meant to help students
understand the material as it is introduced, and prepare them for solving homework as
well as exam questions. Records of attendance will be kept via Clicker logs, and students
who dont attend a lecture will receive no points for that day. Students may miss up to 3
days of class with no penalty to their attendance grade, losing five percentage points for
every two additional absences. It is the responsibility of any student who misses a lecture
to obtain notes from fellow students and/or contact the instructor for an appointment to
review what was missed. All homework must be submitted by their respective due dates.
If you do not understand a topic or want extra practice with certain important
mathematics, it is your responsibility to contact the instructor for clarification before the

There will be three exams, each of equal weight. Exams will be held in class, and
will be multiple-choice, with some questions testing your reasoning while others require
calculation. The third exam will be held during our final exam timeslot, but is not an
explicitly cumulative final.
There will be an optional take-home, free-response portion for an amount of extra
credit for each exam.
NOTE: Cheating on the exam of any kind will not be tolerated. If a proctor
determines that you are cheating, you will receive a grade of 0 for that exam, and the
dean of your college will be notified of the incident. Those caught cheating a second time
will receive a grade of F for the course with no exceptions.

During an exam:
Bring a full sheet, blue scantron, a #2 pencil, and a scientific or graphing calculator.
No use of cell phones, smart watches, nor any electronic communication device will be
allowed whatsoever during exams, so please anticipate being unreachable during exam
time and make other arrangements. (In the event of an emergency, schedule a time when
you can make up the exam within one week of the exam date.
All sunglasses must be removed, and all baseball caps and other brimmed hats will need
to be removed or turned so that the exam proctors can see your eyes.
Exam extra-credit writing assignments will be due at the start of class on the day of the

Fall 2017 Prepared by Gregg McPherson

The Physics Tutoring Room (Gardiner 225) is open most afternoons (hours posted
outside the door). This is staffed with graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants who
are there to help you understand how to solve physics problems. Note that it is not their
job to provide you with the answers to your homework, and that shouldnt be expectation.
PHYS 205: (5:10-6:00 pm, Wednesday, GN 218) There is a 1-credit supplementary
instruction course offered by the Physics Department on the topics covered in this class:
PHYS 205. This course is optional, and it is graded based on attendance/participation
only. We encourage you to register for and attend this section, if you can, for additional
practice and more in-depth examinations of the weeks materials.

Your grade will be computed based on the below three components.
Homework: 40%
Exams: three exams each worth 15%
In class: quizzes and clicker questions worth 15%
o On clicker questions, simply clicking in an answer will earn you 0.65 points, while
getting the correct answer will get you the full credit of 1 point for each question. Earning
80% of the total available points in the semester will result in full credit being awarded.
o Take-away: Yes, attendance is important, but if you need to miss a class here and there it
likely wont affect you dramatically. Missing more several classes jeopardizes your
participation grade. Working with neighbors on clicker questions is in your favor, and the
number of classes you can miss without losing credit is inversely proportional to how
well you do on in-class quizzes. This will be updated bi-weekly on Canvas.

Grade Disputes and Errors: If you detect an error in your grades posted online or in credit
awarded on an exam or a clicker question in class, you should report it to me immediately so that
the grade can be corrected. You must present your reasons for this disagreement within one week
of the day it is posted. After this time, your opportunity to appeal the grade to me directly will
have expired.
96.5 A+
Grading Scale: 93.5 96.4 A
I will be using a standard fractional grade scheme: 89.5 93.4 A-
86.5 89.4 B+
83.5 86.4 B
79.5 83.4 B-
76.5 79.4 C+
73.5 76.4 C
69.5 73.4 C-
66.5 69.4 D+
59.5 66.4 D
59.4 F

Fall 2017 Prepared by Gregg McPherson

Academic Misconduct
Academic and non-academic misconduct: The Student Code of Conduct defines academic
misconduct, non-academic misconduct and the consequences or penalties for each. The Student
Code of Conduct is available in the NMSU Student Handbook online:
Academic misconduct is explained here:
Discrimination and Disability Accommodation
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act
Amendments Act (ADAAA) covers issues relating to disability and accommodations. If a
student has questions or needs an accommodation in the classroom (all medical information is
treated confidentially), contact:

Trudy Luken, Director

Student Accessibility Services (SAS)
Corbett Center Student Union, Rm. 208
Phone: (575) 646-6840
NMSU policy prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, ancestry, color, disability, gender
identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, retaliation, serious medical condition,
sex, sexual orientation, spousal affiliation and protected veterans status.

Furthermore, Title IX prohibits sex discrimination to include sexual misconduct: sexual violence
(sexual assault, rape), sexual harassment and retaliation.

For more information on discrimination issues, Title IX, Campus SaVE Act, NMSU Policy
Chapter 3.25, NMSUs complaint process, or to file a complaint contact:

Lauri Millot
Title IX Coordinator
Agustin Diaz
Title IX Deputy Coordinator
Office of Institutional Equity (OIE)
OLoughlin House, 1130 University Avenue

Fall 2017 Prepared by Gregg McPherson

Phone: (575) 646-3635

Other NMSU Resources:
NMSU Police (575) 646-
Department: 3311

NMSU Police Victim (575) 646-

Services: 3424

NMSU Counseling (575) 646-

Center: 2731

NMSU Dean of (575) 646-

Students: 1722

For Any On-campus

Emergencies: 911

Tentative schedule of topics: Note the exact dates are subject to change
Week Date Chapt.Sect Topic
0 W 16-Aug Unit Conversion; Precision and Sig Figs; Scalars and Vectors
F 18-Aug Vector Addition, Subtraction; Unit Vectors; Vector Multiplication
1 M 21-Aug Motion in 1 Dimension (Solar Eclipse!)
W 23-Aug Position, Velocity, and Acceleration
F 25-Aug Last day to add course. Kinematic equations and problems
2 M 28-Aug Projectile Motion and Kinematics
W 30-Aug Forces and Interactions; Newton's Laws
F 1-Sep Friction
3 M 4-Sep Labor Day Holiday, no class! (except for the proletariat, amiright?)
W 6-Sep Drag and Terminal Velocity
F 8-Sep Practice with Kinematics
4 M 11-Sep Tension and Interconnected Systems
W 13-Sep Moving Frames of Reference

Fall 2017 Prepared by Gregg McPherson

F 15-Sep Analyzing Forces

5 M 18-Sep Circular Motion
W 20-Sep Gravity
F 22-Sep Review
6 M 25-Sep First Midterm Exam
W 27-Sep Work and Power
F 29-Sep Mechanical Energy
7 M 2-Oct Conservation of Energy; Work-Energy Theorem
W 4-Oct Equilibrium
F 6-Oct Linear Momentum
8 M 9-Oct Conservation of Momentum
W 11-Oct Last day to drop with 'W'. Collisions in 1 and 2 D
F 13-Oct Collisions and Energy; Elastic Collisions
9 M 16-Oct Center of Mass; Rotation
W 18-Oct Rotation
F 20-Oct Angular Kinematics
10 M 23-Oct Moment of Inertia; Torque
W 25-Oct Rotational Energy Conservation
F 27-Oct Review
11 M 30-Oct Second Midterm Exam
W 1-Nov Work and Power in Rotational Systems
F 3-Nov Conservation of Angular Momentum
12 M 6-Nov Planetary Motion, and other special cases
W 8-Nov Springs; Hooke's Law
F 10-Nov Oscillating Systems: Period of Oscillation
13 M 13-Nov Simple Harmonic Motion; Pendulums
W 15-Nov Damped and Driven Harmonic Motion
F 17-Nov Mechanical Waves
14 M 20-Nov Thanksgiving break, no class
W 22-Nov
F 24-Nov
15 M 27-Nov Concluding Waves; Acoustics, and Wave Propagation
W 29-Nov TBD
F 1-Dec Semester Review
* M 4-Dec Final exam from 8 am to 10 am in the usual classroom