131 Home Page (Fall 2011)
Prof. E. F. Redish
Physics 131: Fundamentals
of Physics for Biologists I
Description and Prerequisites
course is intended for biology majors and pre-health care professionals. The
physics topics chosen are selected for these students and the contexts emphasize
authentic biological examples. Prerequisites for the course include:
- One year of college biology (BSCI 105 and 106 or the equivalent)
- One semester of college chemistry (CHEM 131 or the equivalent)
- One year of college mathematics (MATH 130 and 131 or the equivalent --
calculus and an introduction to probability).
What do I need to buy?
There is no textbook to buy for this course. We are developing a WikiBook
that you will be able to read on line.
There is also no lab manual to buy. The lab instructions will be made available
You will need to have
- A Clicker --
a remote control device from TurningPoint that allows you to contribute
answers in lecture. It is available at the Campus Book Store. This is the
campus standard. If you have one from another class, you are likely to
able to use it here. If you have an iPhone or iTouch you should be able
to use it as a clicker. See
the campus clicker page for more information.
- An Online HW service --
most of the HW will be done online through the online service, MasteringPhysics, from
Pearson publishers. You may buy this at the bookstore or at http://www.masteringphysics.com/site/register/new-students.html.
The course code is Redish131. (You can buy this without a
text but you have to identify Knight, College Physics, 2nd ed. as the text.
This gives access to the problems and tutorials from the text, but not
the text itself. If you want access to the text, it costs extra.)
- Access to a computer -- if you have your own laptop you will
be able to use that. If not, you will have to seek out campus computers that
run the programs we will be using.
do I need to get?
A lot of what we'll be
doing this term will be on the computer. Our readings and our homework will
be on the internet. You will also need access to a spreadsheet, and a data
analysis program. If you do not have your own laptop, you will need to seek
out the campus computer rooms and find the places where you can access the
appropriate programs. You need:
- A Spreadsheet -- You
can either use Excel or the spreadsheet available at Googledocs (http://docs.google.com/)
to do repetitive calculations. If you plan to use Googledocs you will need
to have a Google account (a free Gmail account will work.)
For those of you who are unfamiliar with
spreadsheets, there are a number of good tutorials on the web. These two
look particularly appropriate. Many others are easily found by putting "Excel
tutorial" into your favorite search engine.
- A Data Analysis
We'll be doing a fair amount of analysis of data taken into the
computer by a variety of probes as well as analyzing video clips quantitatively.
The tool we will use for this will be LoggerPro. If you have
your own laptop, we will help you install this in the laboratory period
during the first week of class (8/31).
What do I need to do to succeed in this class?
- Do the reading and commentary for each lecture! -- For each
lecture there will be a required reading of a few web pages. For a few (3-4)
of these you will be asked to comment on the page and answer the following
questions on your Mastering Physics online homework program.
- What was the main point of the page? Summarize briefly in a couple
- Was anything on the page confusing or unclear? Be specific.
- Do you have any questions about what you have read?
- Attend and participate in all the lectures and recitations! --
This is a class very much about doing, not just about learning facts or
equations. In lecture we will be doing a lot of answering questions, group
problem solving, and class discussions. You will get participation points
for some of this stuff, but that's not the point -- the point is that in
the doing in lecture and recitation is where a lot of the real learning
in this class takes place. A major part of what you will be learning is how
to talk about and make sense of physics through problem solving with your classmates.
- Do the weekly homework! -- While the lecture and recitation
is where you will learn to talk about and make sense of physics through problem
solving, the homework is where you will get to try it out with your classmates
on your own. You are encouraged to work with others and we have a Course
Center (room 0208) set up where you can find people to work with (and get
help when you are stuck). But be careful! If you work together DO
NOT create a common solution and everyone copy it. Once you have worked out
a solution together, each person must write it up separately in your own
words. If two solutions are too nearly identical neither will get credit!
- Keep up! -- I know that you're busy, and in many classes
you can let things slide and then catch up for the exam. In this class that
will be very difficult. Each class builds on the last and on the homework
from previous weeks. If you miss too much you may find yourself lost.
131H: What if I'm in the
The only difference between
the regular and the honors section is to get honors credit, you will have
to write a term paper on an example of using physics in biology. We have
lots of examples of possible topics and readings to start from.
- The term paper should
be about 10-20 typewritten pages long and should be about an application
of physics in biology or medicine.
- The paper should include
writing and solving a physics problem in a biological context.
- You will pick a topic
early in the term and will be assigned an advisor appropriate for your
topic to consult and to answer your questions.
- We will meet regularly
throughout the semester to check on your progress.
- The paper will account
for approximately 20% of the grade for students choosing the honors option.
(See honors grading pattern.)
Note: Although the class
has been divided equally between 131 and 131H, during the first week of the
semester we will permit you to switch freely from one section to the other.
So the total number of students in this class can't be larger than 24, but
you will be able to switch to or from honors depending on whether you want
to research and write a paper or not.
Prof. E. F. Redish
the Course Center or by arrangement at other times in 1308)
|Prof. K. Carleton
||10-3 MWF (1214)
The University of Maryland,
College Park has a nationally recognized Code of Academic Integrity, administered
by the Student Honor Council. This Code sets standards for academic integrity
at Maryland for all undergraduate and graduate students. As a student you are
responsible for upholding these standards for this course. It is very important
for you to be aware of the consequences of cheating, fabrication, facilitation,
and plagiarism. For more information on the Code of Academic Integrity or the
Student Honor Council, please visit http://www.studenthonorcouncil.umd.edu/whatis.html.
If you have any questions
about policy or procedures, please feel free to ask. I am looking forward
to working with you and hope that you will both enjoy and learn a lot from
To send a message to the entire class to start or contribute to a discussion,
send it to me and I will forward it to everyone.
|University of Maryland
||Physics 131 Home
This page prepared by
Edward F. Redish
Department of Physics
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Phone: (301) 405-6120
Last revision 23 September,