UIUC Physics 199d Study Guide

CRN (Course Reference Number): 10054
Schedule Type: Online Credits 3 Hours
Instructor: Dr. Alfred W. Hubler
Assoc. Professor of Physics
office location: 4-125 ESB, UIUC
email address: a-hubler@uiuc.edu
office phone: 217.244.5892

Course Description:

Noncalculus-based Web course in general physics for students in the life sciences, preprofessional health programs, agriculture, and veterinary medicine. Topics include Newton's Laws, work and energy, oscillations, transverse waves, systems of particles, and rotations. Prerequisite: Trigonometry. Course content is similar to that in PHYS 101, but there is no laboratory component.

Course Structure

A detailed list of all assigments is posted here.

For each lesson, please begin by reading the indicated chapters in Serway and Faughn, College Physics, Vol. 1, Fifth Edition and studying the examples in the book. The key ideas from each chapter in this book are gathered a summary section at the end of the chapter.

It is a good idea if you copy the material in the summary section into a notebook for easy reference. Also take a look at the chapters of the E-Book and add any additional interesting information to your notebook. This lesson notes summarize what on-campus students see in lecture. Please notify us of any formulas which do not show up properly on the web, or any other errors in the lesson notes.

Next try to do the E-Book exercises. If you do not get the right answer for a problem, use the hints and try it again. You may try each problem as many times as you like — only the final correct answer matters, and the website will "remember" that you found the correct answer, even if you change it afterward. Numerical answers within a few percent of the desired result will generally be counted as correct. Please do not hesitate to try other answers even after your answer has been accepted, in order to explore the different possible answer formats.

Practice is the key to a good grade. Therefore we strongly recommend that you do all of the problems in the printed text book for each chapter. There is no course credit for the text book problems, but it will be very difficult to earn an A in this course without spending a significant amount of time on this extra practice. This may seem a lot of work, but it is not so bad if you:

  1. just try do do the problems which you can solve right away,
  2. circle the others,
  3. and then contact the TA and discuss all the circled problems with him or her.

When you feel confident in your understanding of the E-Book exercises for a particular chapter, next try to do a quiz. Quiz problems and exercises problems are very similar, but you should attempt to work the quiz problems on your own without assistance from the TA or others. Currently you may try quiz problems as many times as you like, just like the exercises, but in the future quiz problems will have time limits associated with them. Only the first six lessons currently have associated quizzes.

In addition to exercises and quizzes, there are three hour exams (so called because an single hour is allotted to complete each exam) covering lessons 1-4, lessons 5-8, and lessons 9-12. There is also a three-hour final exam. You are eligible to take a particular hour exam if you have completed at least 75% of the corresponding exercises and achieved a 75% average on the corresponding quizzes. You are eligible to take the final exam when you have completed all three hour exams. Hour exams, and the final exam must be taken in a secure, proctored environment with identity verification. For details on exam procedures, call GIS at 217.333.1320 or send e-mail to GISinfo@uiuc.edu. Be warned that the exams in this course are typically rather difficult, so you should make sure you are very comfortable with the material before proceeding with the exam. Please don't hesitate to contact the TA or instructor for assistance with exam preparation.

The remaining important part of the course is online tutoring, which is provided by the course TA, whose name and contact information are listed on the course homepage. You may simply email the TA questions, or instead choose to set up online tutoring sessions, whatever matches your needs. Please communicate with your TA often. This counts as active class participation, which may be worth up to 10% extra credit. It is also helpful for us to get to know you if you later need a recommendation, etc., and it makes the course more fun!

In general, make sure to work through the course material at a steady pace. From the day you register for the course, GIS allots nine months for completion, with the opportunity to purchase a three-month extension. This may seem like a lot of time, but the course material is not easy, and it will be nearly impossible to complete if you wait until the very last month of your subscription to put in serious work. You should try to take the first exam by the end of the third month, the second by the end of the sixth month, and the third by the end of the eighth month if you do not intend to purchase an extension. If you intend to purchase an extension, then make sure you complete the exams by months four, eight, and eleven. Keep in mind that this is only a suggested slowest-case timetable — it is definitely possible and reasonable to complete the course more quickly than this, and it may be to your benefit to attempt to do so.

Finally, the course material is still under development, and so it will be changing on a weekly basis. Please make us aware of any errors or other problems with these materials, so that we can provide you with the best possible educational experience.

Course Description:


Contact the Guided Individual Study program (GIS) at UIUC to enroll in this course.
Visit the GIS website http://www.continuinged.uiuc.edu/outreach/gis.cfm
Call GIS from the Champaign-Urbana area 217.333.1320
Call GIS toll-free 1.800.252.1360
Email GIS gisinfo@uiuc.edu
Contact GIS by postal mail Guided Individual Study Program
Academic Outreach, Office of Continuing Education
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
302 East John Street, Suite 1406
Champaign, Illinois 61820

Required Materials

General Information

Your first action upon enrolling in the course should be to contact your course instructor by email. Please tell the instructor your full name, email address (and other contact information if desired), and course enrollment date. He or she will then proceed request an account for the E-Book and give you the contact information of a teaching assistant.

In this course we use the printed textbook Serway and Faughn, College Physics, Vol. 1, Fifth Edition and the online E-Book Physics by Alfred W. Hubler. The E-Book is structured in 12 chapters, with exercises and quizzes for each chapter. You are expected to complete all exercises and quizzes in the E-Book and to complete all reading assignments in the printed textbook. Students enrolled in this course must log in to the assigned on-line exercises using their own E-Book account in order to have credit recorded for the assignment. You will be asked for a name and password when you try to get into the exercises or the lecture notes. If you are not enrolled in the course, you can log in using guest as your username and guest as your password.

There are three hour exams covering chapter 1-4, chapter 5-8, and chapter 9-12, and one three-hour final exam. Students are eligible for the hour exam if they have completed at least 75% of the corresponding exercises, and achieved a 75% average on the corresponding quizzes. Exercise and quiz answers can be resubmitted without penalty -- only the correct answer is recorded in the checkmark icon. Hour exams and the final exam have to be taken in a secure environment with ID check. Contact GIS for details.

The TA provides free on-line tutoring services (both synchronous and asynchronous, at times to be arranged). The TA will also be your primary contact person for help with the course material or technical problems with the E-Book.

Grading Policy

Course grades will be determined from the following components:

  • Hour exams (3): 30%
  • Chapter quizzes (12): 48%
  • Final exam: 22%
  • Extra credit for active course participation: 10% (max)

    Active course participation includes such actions as: emailing questions about E_Book exercises or book problems to the TA, engaging in online tutoring sessions with the TA, and contacting the TA or instructor before each exam to discuss questions or concerns about the material.

    Final course grades are based on total points accumulated on the exams, quizzes, and exercises, and also on active participation credit. Students have to achieve a passing grade in the final exam (A-D) to pass the course. Letter grades will be assigned at a meeting of the course staff at the end of the course following the final exam. Because of active participation credit and other factors, it will not possible for us to accurately tell you your letter grade before this meeting. As a guide, we typically give approximately 20% A's, 30% B's, 30% C's, 15% D's, and 5% F's in Physics courses.

    Exam grades are curved by comparing your score to a standard curve. As a guide to your progress, final exam scores correspond to letter grades roughly as follows:

    A: 89%-100%
    B: 78%-88%
    C: 65%-77%
    D: 50%-64%
    F: 0%-49%
    This point scale only applies to exam scores and is only intended to give you a rough indication of your letter grade. In particular, these percentages do not apply to final point totals in the course which also include the quiz and exercise scores, which are not scaled the same way.


    There will be three hour exams during the course. Each exam will constitute 10% of the course grade. These exams cover lessons 1-4, lessons 5-8, and lessons 9-12, respectively. You will be eligible to take an hour exam upon completing 75% of the corresponding exercises and quiz problems.

    These are paper-and-pencil examinations, each consisting of four multiple-choice questions and three questions requiring numerical answers. Showing your work is encouraged, as it may result in partial credit. A single hour is allotted for each of these exams. A formula sheet with appropriate equations, physical constants, and conversion factors will be provided with the exam.

    Hour exams must be taken in a secure, proctored environment with identity verification. Please contact GIS by calling 217.333.1320 or emailing GISinfo@uiuc.edu in order to schedule an hour exam.


    The final exam will constitute 22% of your course grade. This exam covers material from the whole course.

    This final is a pencil-and-paper test consisting of thirty questions which require primarily numerical answers. Showing your work is encouraged, as it may result in partial credit. Three hours are allotted for this exam. A full formula sheet with equations, physical constants, and conversion factors will be provided.

    You must have taken all three hour exams in order to be eligible for the final exam. In addition, final exams must be taken in a secure, proctored environment with identity verification. Please contact GIS by calling 217.333.1320 or emailing GISinfo@uiuc.edu in order to schedule a final exam.

    If you have other questions or concerns about the course, you may contact the course instructor, Dr. Alfred Hubler, at his office (217.244.5892) or by email (a-hubler@uiuc.edu).

    This page is the UIUC Study Guide for Physics 199D ©1999-2006. All rights reserved by Alfred W. Hubler. The material may NOT be downloaded, copied, or reproduce in any other form without the written consent of the author.