Welcome back!

to Introductory Physics

PHYS 153

To contact us, see our information below. For your reference throughout we also have an equation summary sheet.






Temperature & Heat [12]

Jan 8
Random Walk/Diffusion

[13,14] Heat transfer & Kinetic Theory  QUIZ

MLK holiday
(Jan 19)
Heat Conduction

Thermodynamics  [15]

Jan 23

Specific Heat

1st midterm

in Wed recitation slot:   Fluids:  statics [11:1-6]

Jan 30
midterm recap in lab time slot
(attendance optional)
Fluids:  dynamics  [11:7-11]
Feb 6

Vibrations [10]  QUIZ

Feb 13
Simple Harmonic Motion
Waves and Sound [16]
Feb 20
Wave Simulator
Interacting Waves [17]
Feb 27

Speed of Sound

nd midterm

in Wed recitation slot:  Reflection of light  [25]

March 6
midterm recap in lab

Lenses & Optical Instruments  [26] 

March 13


March 25

yes, it's a Saturday
no, we can't move it. 

Stuff you need:

• John Cutnell & Kenneth Johnson Physics, 10/e, Wiley, 2015

• NO LAB MANUAL (Our write-ups are all on line)

• Sapling License.  It will cost $27.   YOU NEED THIS.  

ALSO You will need a calculator (but nothing fancy) for all QUIZes and exams--but not for reading quizzes or lab quizzes.
Smart phone calculators are not allowed.


Prof. Frank Ferrone, Disque 922, 895-2778, fferrone@drexel.edu

        Office hours: Wednesday 9-11 or by appointment

Teaching Assistants:
Alex Morrese - alexander.william.morrese@drexel.edu  Office hours 2-3 pm Wednesday & Thursday, 4-5 pm
Angelica Rivera - angelica.b.rivera@drexel.edu        Office hours Thursday 2-4 pm.
Anthony Ruffino - anthony.j.ruffino@drexel.edu
        Office hours Wednesdays & Fridays 9 -10 am
Elizabeth Wills - elizabeth.j.wills@drexel.edu            Office hours Tuesday 2-3 pm, Wednesday 3-4 pm

TA office hours are in Disque 916.   You are not restricted to only your own TA, though clearly they will know you better.

Lab Support Professional Staff
Ms. Lisa A. Ferrara


The letter grades are curved, however 55% is passing in all cases.

Reading Quizes: 10%

Homework 10%

Quizzes 10%

Labs 10%

2 Midterms: 30% (15% each) These are given in the lecture period that week. On those weeks there is no lecture, but you are still responsible for reading the chapters and doing problems in recitation. We have tried to arrange these so that the material for your reading is easier than average. What if I fail a midterm?

Final: 30%

What if I have to miss a class where there is graded material?


Advice:   save all your returned, graded papers.  If there is any doubt at the end of the course, it is valuable that you show what papers you got back.   We have a LOT of graded material, so occasional errors happen copying grades.  You don't want to say "I got 86 on the midterm, not 68" and have no way to prove it.

This is how the course works week-to-week.

Each week we cover a topic that corresponds to certain chapters in the Text. as shown in square brackets.  Some weeks it's a whole chapter; others it is a part.  When Monday is bumped (exam, holiday), new material is discussed in the Wednesday  recitation.  In that case, you will have your "Wednesday Hand-in Problems" due Friday.

On MONDAY when you come to class you will have read the chapter(s). There will be a brief multiple-choice quiz on line, via Sapling, and it's due Sunday night, before the lecture.   Watch out! These points add up. On the other hand they can act as one kind of safety net, documenting your effort if an exam doesn't go well.

In recitations, you will go over the assignment in class and hand in the problems, as selected in recitation by your TA.  The problems are listed under Asn.  Again, you get points toward your grade even for handing in an incorrect attempt.   In Wednesday recitation, you are responsible for doing ALL the assigned problems.  One will be collected, but your TA will decide that in recitation.   (It makes sense to do them one per page, therefore.)  You also may not ask your TAs how to do the homework prior to the recitation itself--after all that's what recitation is for.   On the Friday recitation  we will do review problems, which will be like the free response exam problems or in-class quiz problems, as well as any on-line problems you had trouble with on the HW.  The Friday problems, just like exam problems, will cover multiple chapters.   Think of them as early (and repeated) review for the exams.

You will also have 3 bonus-point computer based-problems (Sapling):  one due Tuesday, one due Thursday, and one due Friday.   Our rationale is that, like learning a language, frequent repetition is more helpful.   Note that they are only posted one day ahead:  we deliberately want you to return to practice this skill.   If you can't get to it, of course, remember it is extra credit, not mandatory.

The bonus point system

You know how in some coffee shops, pizza stores, etc, they have puch cards that give you bonus rewards?   We are using on-line homework that way.

You will have 3 points worth of homework handed in Wed, and 3 points of pre-chapter questions due before Monday. 3 and 3 each week is a perfect score. Every 5 points you get on Sapling HW gives you an extra one of those points. Do all 3 Sapling problems correctly, you get 3 extra points that week.   (In other words, take the Sapling score, divide by 5 and that's your extra point score in our books for the course.)

You can carry the points over week to week.

You say, "wait, the pre-chapter quiz was worth 5 points on Sapling, but you said 3 points is a perfect score?"   Those extra 2 points in the reading quiz are ALSO bonus points.   We know that this quiz is harder, so if you get all of it right:  you get a bonus.  3/5 is considered a full score in a given week.

Can you go into a pizza store and get your card stamped without buying a slice.   Noooo. Can you get bonus points that week if you don't hand in the written homework?    Nooo.

So, while you may well make mistakes on homework, pre-chapter quiz, etc., you also can make up points lost for those mistakes,  while still allowing the mistakes to help you learn.  The bonus points are part of your documented effort in the course.    Your effort is measured in Homework, Reading Quizzes, and Labs.  Your bonus points can max out this 30%, but cannot exceed it.   (The other part of evaluation is of your understanding, rather than your effort.  That 70% is from quizzes and tests.)

On some Fridays we will also have Quizzes, as marked on the specific weeks above. These are harder than the reading and lab quizzes, and are like homework problems or problems from the book.

On LAB days we have the Labs in Disque. The purpose of the labs is to reinforce the course material through hands-on experiential learning.

We expect you to read the lab beforehand. There will be a brief quiz at the start of lab, which will include 3 questions about the lab you are to do. The purpose of the labs is to reinforce the lecture material through hands-on experimentation. It is not to teach you how to do lab reports: your Bio  courses already taught you that. Thus, although we will not be collecting lab reports, we expect you to understand the material before you leave, and the TA will check you out.   IF YOU LEAVE WITHOUT BEING CHECKED OUT, YOU LOSE CREDIT FOR THE LAB.

Note that you NEVER have to hand in any "Pre-Lab" material, no matter what the write up says. {These writeups are used by other courses too...}

 Sapling License:  (you need this)

1. Go to http://saplinglearning.com and click on "US Higher Ed" at the top right.     

2a. If you already have a Sapling Learning account, log in and skip to step 3.     
2b. You can also use a Facebook account,  to create a Sapling Learning account.  Click “Create an Account”, then “Create my account through Facebook”. You will be prompted to log into Facebook if you aren't already. Choose a username and password, then click “Link Account”. You can then skip to step 3.     
2c. Otherwise, click "Create an Account". Supply the requested information and click "Create My Account". Check your email (and spam filter) for a message from Sapling Learning and click on the link provided in that email.     

3. Find your course in the list (you may need to expand the subject and term categories) and click the link.     

Once you have registered and enrolled, you can log in at any time to complete or review your homework assignments. During sign up or throughout the term, if you have any technical problems or grading issues, send an email to support@saplinglearning.com explaining the issue. Usually these are issues that cannot be resolved directly by your instructor.


 Missing Grades: The main rule is that we do not make up missed material, since we have such an extensive data base of your performance. Here are some specifics:

Homework: We NEVER accept late homework. You can always hand it in early if you have to be away. If you have some emergency, we will discount that assignment --and your grade (10% here) is then based on all the other homeowork.

Friday Quiz: Same as Homework. No makeups, ever.

Online Reading Quiz for Lecture Same as homework.

Labs: NO MAKE UP LABS. A valid excuse will be needed; your other labs therefore count more.

Midterms: Again, we do not do makeup midterms. If you miss one, AND HAVE A VALID EXCUSE the other carries the weight for your entire midterm grade.

Final: OK, we'll work out an option if you have an iron-clad excuse. Leaving early for the term break is NOT one of those excuses.


Midterm Rescue Points The midterms are tough. To get a good grade we expect you to understand the material, not only to have worked hard at it.


If you score below 55% on a Midterm, you may work your grade up (but no higher than 55%) by reviewing what you got wrong, and explaining clearly the right answers to your TA. This MUST be done before the next exam.

This is NOT blanket extra credit. You cannot "boost" a mediocre grade with this mechanism. You must have a grade below 55, and you can only get as high as 55.

Our goal is NOT just to give you more points. We think this will itself be a help to learning the material. The points are incentive to help you get back on track. The final is cumulative, and has no Rescue points.