Monday, January 24, 2011

PH255 Lab Manual

Here is the PH255 lab manual [49Mb PDF], with procedures for all experiments, the syllabus, and plenty of other useful information. You don't need to print anything out before class, I will have the lab procedures printed for you when you arrive. Please read the syllabus, course information, safety rules, and other introductory material as soon as possible.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

UGrad research conference

RESEARCH AND CREATIVE ACTIVITY CONFERENCE APPLICATIONS — Faculty are requested to remind undergraduate students of all majors that they are invited to enter UA’s annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Conference scheduled for April 11 at the Bryant Conference Center. Students can compete for cash prizes and earn practical experience in defending or performing their work before judges. To participate, undergraduate students must register their projects by submitting application forms and abstracts describing their projects by March 7. Visit for an application and details.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

PH253 final grades, mark 2

After going through the whole spreadsheet and looking at the final exams a third time, I decided to revise upward the partial credit on a couple of questions on the final. This will affect a lot (but not all) of you, depending on whether you chose to do those problems or not, and depending on what exactly you did. For some of you, the change was enough to affect your final grade.

I also went through everyone's final exam for a third time, and on a couple of exams I found that I had misunderstood the answer given, and you were owed more points.

Long story short, some grades needed to be revised.* Once I check my spreadsheet for what must be the 15th time, I am going to upload really final grades later this evening. I've been obsessing about this for three days now, but I think finally have gone over everything enough that I think it is consistent and fair.

*I didn't revise anyone's grade downward. If there was a grading error in your favor, it stayed.

Monday, December 13, 2010

PH253: preliminary grades on myBama

I've posted "final" grades on myBama, subject to the following qualifications:
  1. I have to check my spreadsheet thoroughly to be sure all my calculations are correct.
  2. I will have one more look at your final exams if you are on the borderline between two grades (I've graded them twice thusfar).
  3. Some of you might still sneak in an extra-credit assignment or late HW by the end of Monday.  (HINT)
So, I may have to make revisions after I review everything again, but as of right now everything seems to be in order. If you feel there is a mistake, contact me ASAP. Ditto if you want to know your grade breakdown.

Overall, I think most of you will not be surprised by your grade - not many of you moved up or down greatly based on your final exam score. (The class average was 0.76% higher after the final, the final exam average was 82%.) Notably, however, a couple of you managed to pull out a passing grade based on a very impressive showing on the final, which was nice to see.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the semester, I certainly did.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

PH253 Final exam pro tip

Pro tip: a problem might look on first sight just like one you've seen, but you still have to read it all the way through to make sure.

I say that since I'm seeing that same mistake again & again on HW9 ... the second problem was nearly like one from last year, but the second part was different in a crucial way. By "different" I mean "not even remotely close."

Let's recap: when you see a familiar-looking problem tomorrow, it might be a trap. Make sure I haven't changed anything key before you just go solving stuff all willy-nilly.

And, a bonus pro-tip: don't forget your calculator. There may actually be numbers other than pi and 2 on the exam. I think a 7 got in there while I wasn't looking.

PH253: server issues

UPDATE 2: with the server being down, Moodle is also down until further notice. Hopefully it will come back up some time today. Also, a draft of the formula sheet for the final.

UPDATE: HW and Exams mirrored here. The additional notes as well (well, most of them, until I hit my quota on Lame.)

For what I hope to be a short while, old HW/exams/etc are unavailable, owing to some script kiddie messing with the server I'm using:
I just got word that the machine that runs the faculty websites has been hax0red, so we have to take it offline till we can figure out what happened.
I will try to get a mirror up later this morning.