Physics 367 Grading

Course is graded on the basis of 225 points:

  1. 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 easy solutions.
    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.
  2. Team Presentations (39 pts):

  3. 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.
  4. 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 environmentally 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.
  5. 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
[Friday, 17-Nov-2017 14:35:32 EST]
Edited by: on Tuesday, 04-Oct-2011 16:59:24 EDT