## Non-Honors Section

Grades in this class arise NOT solely from your performance on exams but from a mix of many different ways to judge your work. Be sure you understand the components so you don't get a nasty surprise at the end of the term!

The result is a grade that is a more accurate representation of your performance in the class. It also means that you can blow one midterm exam and still get an A if your work in other categories is first rate! Here is the breakdown.

• Components --

 Hour exams (100 pts each) 200 Quizzes (may be less) 100 Final exam (200 pts) 200 Homework (scaled to) 200 Lab (scaled to) 200 Participation (approximately) 100 Total 1000

These divisions are not guaranteed. We adjust as the term goes on depending on circumstances -- snow, tornadoes, etc.

• How grades are assigned -- I assign a grade level for each category (e.g., how many points you need to get to get an A on the quizzes, what you need to get an A on the HW, etc.) and then add them up to get a grade level for what is need for each final grade.

• Curving: Labs and HW yes, exams and quizzes no -- For exams, I do NOT grade on a curve. I have an absolute expectation. On most exams, 75% will be an A, 60% a B, 45% a C. (Please don't try to convert this to the --also arbitrary-- 70%/80%/90% scale used in some other classes. This will confuse both you and me.) This means that someone else's doing well on an exam will never negatively affect your grade. If you all do well on an exam I will give you all A's for that exam.

• Overall grades -- From past experience with 121, I expect that an A will require about (85± 3)%, a B will require about (75 ± 3)% and a C will require about (65 ± 3)% of the total points in the class. Passing (not getting an F) will require about (50 ± 3)%. The "±" reflects my best guess. This means the odds are 2:1 that the boundary between an A and a B will be somewhere between 82% and 88%. It is not a guarantee. These grades reflect that the averages on the homework and labs tend to be higher than on the exams. This course is significantly different from 131 so I will try to keep you informed on how grading patterns are developing.

## Honors Section

The only difference between the non-honors and honors section is that the honors students will also write a term paper. Yes, if you expect to get honors credit for the class, you will have to do more work!

If you are signed up for the honors section but decide you do NOT want honors credit, we will be able to change your registration after classes start.

• The Term Paper --

For honors credit you will have to write a 10-20 page paper during the semester. You will be expected to (by negotiation with the instructor) come up with a reasonable topic that demonstrates a use of physics in biology. (I have a list of possible topics available.) For the paper you will have to

• Read at least one paper in the research literature that uses physics in biology;
• Describe briefly (in a way that a physicist can understand) the biology involved;
• Describe briefly (in a way that a biologist can understand) the physics involved;
• Propose and solve a physics problem that is comparable to a bio-based physics problem used in this class.

A few weeks into the term you will meet with the instructor to decide on a project and find an advisor who can answer your questions on the topic. You will be expected to produce two (short -- one page) progress reports during the term and to meet with the instructor once to discuss your project.

• Components of the Honors Grade --

Since you will be writing a term paper, other part of your grade will not count as much in order to leave points for the term paper.

 Hour exams (100 pts each) 200 Quizzes (scaled to) 50 Final exam (200 pts) 200 Homework (scaled to) 150 Lab (scaled to) 150 Participation (approximately) 50 Term paper 200 Total 1000

## RETURNS

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