Final Program Description and Suggested Course Equivalencies

Faculty: Krishna Chowdary, Ph.D.

College Physics was an accelerated, intensive summer course that covered the first quarter of a year-long standard sequence in algebra-based introductory physics with lab. Students worked through chapters 1-10 in College Physics (Rice University OpenStax Consortium), including: translational and rotational kinematics and dynamics and conservation of energy, momentum, and angular momentum. Emphasis was placed on developing conceptual understanding and problem-solving ability. Students had 20 three-hour class meetings consisting of interactive lectures, collaborative workshops, and labs. Students participated in 14 labs, which included the following topics: measuring linear and rotational motion with rulers & stopwatches, video analysis, sonic rangers, rotary motion sensors; vector addition; projectile motion; Newton’s 2nd law for translations and rotations; conservation of energy including rotational kinetic energy; conservation of momentum; and conservation of angular momentum. Students submitted 8 substantial homework assignments (each 18 problems, some with multiple parts) using the WebAssign on-line homework system. Students took two in-class exams. Students were evaluated through exams, exam revisions, homework assignments, and in-class work.

(Standard) Suggested Course Equivalencies

  • 6 – Algebra-based Physics I with Lab (classical mechanics)

Exam 2 Notes

You can pick up your graded Exam 2 from the box outside my office Lab 2 3255. They are (or were when I set them out) in alphabetical order. Some notes:

  • Questions 1 and 2 are similar: mechanical energy is conserved in each scenario (why?), they each start with the same kinetic energy, and they each fall the same distance h.
  • Question 4: each puck feels the same force over the same distance, so the same amount of work is done on each puck. So, each puck’s mechanical energy is increased by the exact same amount.
  • Question 8 and 10: what is conserved? Hint: there is no principle of conservation of rotational kinetic energy.
  • Question 11: I was the most startled by the performance on this question. Momentum is a vector quantity. In this collision, momentum is conserved (it is a collision after all), so momentum is conserved in each direction. This is not an elastic collision, however, so there’s no reason to think that the kinetic energy before the collision is the same as the kinetic energy after the collision. Hints: before the collision, the total momentum is up and to the right. So after the collision, the total momentum still has to be up and to the right. After the collision, Arlo has momentum to the left. What does that tell you about Rebecca?
  • Question 12: Try using energy conservation for the whole problem. For part c), what does the sign of the work need to be?
  • Question 13: Use Newton’s Second Law for Translations for the hanging mass. Use Newton’s Second Law for Rotations for the pulley. The tension in the rope does not equal the weight of the hanging mass (if it did, what would the acceleration be?). Check that your final answer makes sense: if there no rope, what would the acceleration of the block be? Since there is rope pulling up on the block, is its acceleration larger or smaller than it would be without rope pulling up? We did this problem in lecture, in lab, and for homework. Look at your notes.
  • Question 14: Another conservation of mechanical energy situation (why is mechanical energy conserved?), but this time with both translational and rotational motion.

End-of-program reminders

  • Portfolios are due to my office Lab 2 3255 by 5 pm Fri. July 17 (note that my office wing door locks automatically at 5 pm).
  • Your graded Exam 2 will be available by 5 pm Fri. July 17, and can be picked up from my office.
  • Your self-evaluations need to be posted to your by 6 pm Sun. July 19.
  • Exam 2 Revisions are due to my office Lab 2 3255 by 9 am Mon. July 20.
  • You need to post your evaluation of faculty by your evaluation conference.
  • Evaluation conferences are Mon. July 20 between 1 and 3 pm. You can check/confirm your conference time here.

Exam 2 Revision info

You can find a link to the Exam 2 Revision information at the Calendar page entry for Day 20. Exam 2 was an opportunity for you to show what you have learned in our program so far. The Exam 2 Revision is another opportunity to both solidify your learning and demonstrate it better (as needed). You will be able to pick up your graded Exam 2 by 5 pm Fri. Jul. 17 outside Lab 2 3255, but you may already know that you struggled with some questions and are invited to start those revisions as soon as you can.

Here are the Exam 2 Revision Guidelines:

  • Use the versions of the Exam 2 questions handed out at the end of the exam (also located at the Calendar page).
  • You may utilize any resource available to you, but submitted work must reflect your own personal understanding of the material.
  • You may revise any problems you choose.
  • You must present a complete solution to any problem you choose to revise.
  • Clearly indicate which problem(s) you are revising.
  • Revisions must be neat, complete, and presented in a logical, clear-to-understand fashion. They should constitute “ideal” solutions to the problems below.
  • The care you take in presenting your work will be considered when evaluating it.


As per the Syllabus/Covenant,

  • Students’ work in the program will be evaluated with the requirements provided in the Syllabus in mind.
  • Basis for Awarding Credit
    • Demonstration of comprehension of content knowledge and competence in process skills covered in the program as shown through exams, homework assignments, and in-class work.
    • Completion and timely submission of assignments.
    • Regular, punctual attendance and engaged participation in all program activities.

Evaluation Conferences 1 pm – 3 pm Mon. July 20 in Lab 2 3255

  • Evaluation Conferences will be on Mon. July 20 between 1 – 3 pm.
  • Conference Sign-ups will occur Day 20 (Fri. July 17) after the final exam.
  • Conference Ticket includes the following:
    • Portfolios due 5 pm Day 20 (Fri. July 17) outside Lab 2 3255.
    • Self-Evaluations due 6 pm Sun. July 19 uploaded to your
      • All students are required to write a self-evaluation and upload it. It is your choice if you want to include it in your official transcript – we can discuss that at your evaluation conference.
      • Your Self-Evaluation may inform my evaluation of your achievement.
    • Evaluation of Faculty due at your Evaluation Conference.
      • Submit your Evaluation of Faculty by uploading it to your You may choose to keep it from me until your evaluation has been posted but it should be uploaded by your Conference (this option shows that you uploaded an evaluation of me but hides the content until the faculty evaluation of student work has been submitted).

Portfolios due 5 pm Day 20 (Fri. July 17) outside Lab 2 3255

From the program Syllabus/Covenant, students are to “Maintain a portfolio of your work”. “Students will maintain an ongoing portfolio of their work consisting of

  • reading/lecture notes,
  • lab notes,
  • homework sets, and
  • exams

to serve as a lasting record and resource for their own future reference.” To this, please add or leave space for

  • exam revisions (Exam Revisions will be returned to you in class by Day 20 or given to you at your Evaluation Conference).

What will I examine in your Portfolio?

  • I will look through everyone’s lab notes, checking primarily for evidence of engagement, learning, and completeness.
  • I will only look at your lecture/reading notes if you direct me to. Why might you ask me to look at your lecture/reading notes? They may provide evidence of your learning that is not clear elsewhere. Please indicate clearly if would like me to look at your lecture/reading notes, and direct me to your best work.
  • I will generally only look at your written homework sets if you direct me to, as I have a record of your WebAssign scores. Why might you ask me to look at your written homework sets? For example, it might be the case that the score you received via WebAssign doesn’t reflect your understanding as shown in your written homework. Please indicate clearly to me which (if any) of your written homework sets you would like me to look at; please note that I can’t look at everything. Use your judgement (I suggest that WebAssign scores of 13.5 or higher don’t need to be addressed, while WebAssign scores of 9 or less should definitely be addressed).
    • I may choose to look at your written homework sets if your scores through WebAssign and your results on exams are inconsistent.
  • As I have already graded your Exams and looked at your Exam Revisions, I will only review those briefly.

Exam 2 Info

  • Exam 2 (the final exam) will be on Day 20 – Friday July 17 starting at 9 am in Lab 1 2046.
  • The exam is necessarily cumulative due to the nature of the material, but focuses on material from Days 11 – 19 (Ch. 7 – 10, Lecture & Problem Session 5 – 8, HW 5 – 8, Lab 8 – 15).
  • You may use your calculating device and writing tools. You may bring a personally prepared 3 inch by 5 inch note card, as well as the note card you prepared for Exam 1. Scratch paper will be provided.
  • The exam will be a mix of conceptual questions and problems (simple to complex).