## Welcome to Physics 228A & B    Winter 2014

### Elementary Mathematical Physics

Prof. Steve Sharpe

MTWTh 11:30 - 12:20 in PAA A110 (M) A118 (T Th) and A102 (W)

• 3/22/14   Scores on the final and final grades have been posted on Gradebook. Statistics on the final are available on the "Quiz" link. The final exam turned out to be quite hard, particularly problems 5 and 6. Problem 5 required you to set up the calculation of the length of a line segment on the surface of a cylinder and then minimize it. Problem 6 was a cylindrical PDE problem, the last part of which (which few did correctly) was dependent on the previous part. In light of the increased difficultly compared to the midterms (and the lower average: 52.8%) I am treating the final as out of 80 rather than 100 when calculating the grade. For similar reasons, the second midterm is treated as out of 45 rather than 50, as announced previously.

Thus to calculate the "total score" (which you can find on Gradebook), I use the formula explained below under "Course Grade", except that M2=midterm2 score/45 and F=final score/80. Your course grade is then obtained using:
grade = 1.95 + 2.0*(total score-0.478)/(0.948-0.478) (rounded and capped at 4.0)
In words, this means that a total score of below 0.48 leads to a failing grade, 0.48 gives a 2.0, and 0.95 or above gives a 4.0, with linear interpolation in between.

I have the final exams, HW10s and last quizzes in my office, and will be around most afternoons in the break, as well as next quarter, if you want to pick them up.

Have a great break!

## Office hours and contact information

• Prof. Steve Sharpe   srsharpe@uw.edu   B406 PAB  685-2395
• Office hours: Monday 1:30-2:30, either in my office (B406, PAB) or in the conference room across the corridor (B405). I am also usually available for 15 mins after each lecture. I will schedule additional hours before exams.
• TAs: Carolyn Auchter, Max Hansen (B402 PAB), and John Lombard (B243 PAB),
• Office hours: Tues 12:30-3:30 in B405 PAB

## Texts

• Our required text is the same as in 227 :

"Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences," (3rd Edition, Wiley) by Mary L. Boas.

We will roughly follow the ordering of material in this text during 227-8, and draw most homework questions from it. Corrections to the text are available here. Note that solutions to some problems appear at the back of the book (and there is a companion volume to the previous edition which contains solutions to approximately 1/4 of the exercises, many of which are the unchanged in the current edition).

## Course Organization

• This course is the continuation of PHYS 227 , and together these two courses aim to provide you with the mathematical tools needed to master physics at the UG level and, to a significant extent, at the first-year graduate level too. We will cover a lot of material, with some of which you may have some prior experience, but most of which is likely to be new (more true in 228 than 227). We will move quite fast, and it is imperative that you are organized and stay on top of the material. This means practice, practice and more practice. Weekly homeworks provide a minimal level of practice, and will include suggestions for additional problems not to be turned in. Weekly quizzes provide incentive to stay on track.

I keep a log of what has been covered, together with my lecture notes, on the daily coverage page. This will also indicate any material not covered in lecture that you should read. Last year's log will give you a fairly detailed idea of what lies ahead.

• Holidays.
• There will be no classes on Martin Luther King day (Monday, Jan. 20th), or Presidents' day (Monday, Feb. 17th).
• Homework.
• There will be weekly homework sets, due on Wednesdays by the end of lecture (except the first HW which is due on Thursday of the first week). I will bring a box to class; they can also be placed in my mailbox in the physics office (but only until 12) or under my office door (until 12:30).
• Each HW set will cover the material discussed in class the previous week, as well as any extra assigned reading. The exception is HW1 which covers material discussed in the last week of 227 and the first day of 228.
• You are encouraged to discuss the assignments with classmates, but the solutions you turn in must be your own work.
• Working on assignments in a timely fashion is a crucial part of the learning process. Late assignments will only be accepted by prearrangement, and only under exceptional circumstances.
• Solutions will be posted on the HW link after class on the turn-in day.
• Selected problems from each HW will be graded---the grading scheme will be posted along with the solutions.
• Regrade requests must be made by the end of the class session following that in which the HWs are returned, and must be made in writing on separate sheet of paper which is attached to the HW. There should be no additional writing on the HW itself.
• Quizzes.
• There will be weekly quizzes in class on Thursdays, except in the first week and in weeks in which there is a midterm.
• Quizzes will concern the material discussed in class the previous week (as well as any extra assigned reading), and thus will be based on the same material as the HWs turned in the previous day.
• Quizzes last for 20 minutes.
• Regrade requests for quizzes follow the same procedure as for HWs.

## Computer Mathematics

• Basic use of computer mathematics programs is an integral part of this course, including some parts of lectures and some homework questions. You may use Mathematica, Maple , Matlab or Python. Mathematica is available on all the PCs in PAB B101 and the study center AM018. In addition, students can now install Mathematica on their personally owned computers at no cost. See here or here for information about obtaining it, Brief instructions on getting started with Mathematica are here.

A student in the A12 course discovered a very useful web site at Brigham Young University with a sequence of introductory Mathematica tutorials. I have obtained permission from its creators (Drs. Campbell, Colton and Hurley) to put a link here and they are happy for you to use the materials. I am grateful to them for sharing this resource.

## Exams

• There will be two midterms and a final exam.
• The midterms are tentatively scheduled for the Thursdays February 6th and March 6th.
• The final exam is on Wednesday, March 20th from 6:30-8:20pm, in A118 (for both 228A and 228B).
• If you have to miss an exam due to a UW sponsored activity (e.g. travelling for a sports team) please contact me ASAP.
• Exam rules will be discussed in class and posted on this web page closer to the exams.
• I hope to spend part of the lecture period prior to each exam on a review.

• First note that to pass the course, you must take at least one of the midterms and the final .

The course grade will be determined by scores on quizzes, homeworks and exams as follows. The homeworks will count for 20%. I will drop the lowest homework score in determining the overall sum, so that you can miss one homework without penalty. The remaining 80% will be determined in equal part by the quizzes (with the lowest quiz score dropped), the two midterms and the final, except that the final will count double and that the lowest score will dropped. If the final is the lowest score then only half of its score will be dropped.

In more detail, this is how the grade will be calculated:
Let HW=(Sum of HW scores-lowest HW score)/Max possible,
Q=(Sum of quiz scores-lowest quiz)/Max possible,
M1=midterm 1 score/50, M2=(midterm 2 score)/50, F=final score/100
(If I think an exam turns out to be significantly harder or longer than planned, I allow myself to rescale the scores on that exam, but will only do so to increase the scores, not to decrease them.)
Then Total Score=100*Max(HW+Q+M1+M2+F, HW+Q+M1+2*F, HW+Q+M2+2*F, HW+M1+M2+2*F)/5
(i.e. dropping lowest exam score with final "counting double" and HW always included.)
Total Score is your total score as a percentage.
I will set the required total score for obtaining a grade of 2.0 at 50% (or possibly below, but not above). The grade for obtaining a 4.0 will be approximately 95%, but will be varied according to my perception of the difficulty of the exams

This grade policy means that you are not penalized if, e.g. for personal reasons, you miss a midterm. This allows me to enforce the policy that there are no makeup exams.