Physics 367 Grading
Course is graded on the basis of 225 points:
- Calculation-inspired One-page Essays(80 pts):
Starting in the second week a "calculation" will be assigned each of eight
weeks on Monday and due on Friday. If done carefully each calculation
is so easy it can be done in one (or at most two) sentence, but it can
also be supplied below essay references.
The computed number only makes sense in comparison with another number.
From that comparisons a conclusion (take-home message) should flow.
The essay presents the argument leading to THM. Typically it will have
a short intro (that could, for example, involve restating the question
in a form that shapes the essay).
The next two or three short paragraphs,
each with topic sentence, lays out argument toward the conclusion
flowing from the comparison. The short final paragraph "nails///:w" the THM.
Each essays can get 13 points: 0-3 for submission form
(from missing to having all elements), 1 for references, 0-3 each
for calculation, comparison and THM, writing.
Thus to get maximum of 80 points, the average-essay grade needs
be only 10 points.
Explanation of context. If you were asked *unfairly* to estimate world
need for rare earths in next twenty years, you might first try to
discover the current consumption and production of rare earth metals.
Discovering the first exceeded the second (really!) you would then try
to learn what is the distribution of world resources, which is currently
being mined, and effect of the prices on the latter. Our of this might
come a strategy for stimulating world production while encouraging
research into substitutes for rare earths. Of course a successful
essay would immediately get you a job in government or industry.
None of our questions are complicated at all; if you think one is
you have misinterpreted it. At the same time, the example above
illustrates what the real problems are like and why there are no
A slightly simpler example is to estimate when we will run out of
low-sulfur coal that is currently burnt in electricity plants. One of
talks -- clean coal, pollution, acid rain -- may touch on this question.
- Team Presentations (39 pts):
- There are two team presentations. Each involves three-student teams.
- Each member presents 5-6 minute talk and answers questions with the
team at end of the three talks, all within a 20-minute slot.
The possible topics are
- First set: coal, oil, gas, hydroelectricity, wind, solar, geothermal,
acid rain, ozone, greenhouse gases.
- Second set: population, water, agriculture, aquaculture, hydrogen,
mass transit, personal transit, hyrodgen, ethanol, ammonia, nuclear
waste. (others have been fuel cells, buildings )
- Each talk must use at least two distinct sources -- articles from
literature, books (specific pages), or specific webpages. Please
use instructors, search engines and SEL staff.
- Each member must turn in at the time of the presentation to one
Either first or last speaker outline
should contain team's overall take-home message:
- printed copy of "slides," one page per slide. An
effective slide has one point (in title or clearly exhibited on slide)
supported by figure and supporting info.
- topic sentence outline
(one per slide outline to the other. See guide.
The sentence outline can briefly list relevant buttressing details
under each topic sentence. Take home message (sentence) should head
the sentence outline.
First presentations: 5 points for topic sentence outline and 10 points for presentation.
Second presentations: 8 points for topic sentence outline and 16 points for presentation.
- Individual Presentation (36 pts):
Each student makes a 10-12 minute presentation on topic from list or of their choosing,
subject to instructor approval.
Third presentations: 11 points for topic sentence outline and 25 points for presentation.
- Final Project (50 pts):
The final project is a term paper answering the question:
How should the United States
meet its energy needs over the next 100 years?.
The paper (5-7 double-spaced pages of text with 1 inch margins and numbered pages) must
clearly offer a "solution" that is scalable, economically viable, and
sound. It must not neglect some aspect (e.g., peak power need) such
that the economy would be unworkable.
The paper must contain (separate sheet o.k.) references sufficiently
detailed that instructor can find each.
Points (i) Sentence outline: Eighteen points divided
between each plan at schedule meeting for last presentation (see above)
and complete sentence outline at second meeting scheduled by student.
(ii) Paper itself: Thirty-two points on paper itself divided amongst
these items: take-home message, feasible solution, solid numbers and
estimates, topic sentence and clear paragraph, supporting material,
consistency of introduction and conclusion.
- Participation (10 pts) and Attendance (10 pts):
Your contribution to the class discussion during the quarter is
important to making the class interesting and informative.
Attendance is required at presentations by other students.
* Sentence outlines are graded both on the quality of the final outline
and on the suitability of an outline brought to a required meeting outaside of class.
* Presentations are graded on
clarity of THM, point of each slide, coherent organization
of talk, supporting arguments and data, and effectiveness of talk.
Your comments and
suggestions are appreciated.
To cite this page:
Physics 367 Grading Policy
[Saturday, 21-Apr-2018 22:52:01 EDT]
Edited by: firstname.lastname@example.org on
Tuesday, 04-Oct-2011 16:59:24 EDT