Van Gogh's Starry Night Fall 2007 ASTR 1120-880/1 Homepage

syllabus | topics

 target Fall 2007 ASTR 1120-880/1 General Astronomy Stars & Galaxies - Honors Co-seminars: Syllabus


The aim of this honors course is to allow you to explore and discuss with other students topics related to the course ASTR 1120 General Astronomy Stars & Galaxies.

The intention is to cover a small number of especially interesting topics in greater depth than the main course.

The general theme of the semester will be "Relativity".


Each week the class will discuss and debate a particular topic. See topics for the list of topics for each week. I am open to suggestions for alternative topics that might be interesting to the class.

One student will lead the discussion each week. Each student should expect to lead two or three discussions during the semester.

Each week, students not leading the discussion will email in advance one or more questions both to me and to the students leading the discussion. For the Tuesday class, questions should be emailed by midnight the previous Friday. For the Thursday class, questions should be emailed by midnight the previous Monday. You should try to pick questions that would be most interesting for the class to discuss.

Each student leading the discussion should make a short (5 minute) introductory presentation to kick-start and motivate subsequent discussion. You are free to use any format for your presentation - blackboard, overhead transparencies, or laptop. Part of the presentation will involve a summary of the questions that the rest of the class emailed to you. You should be ready with materials relevant to the questions, so as to facilitate further discussion, but you do not have to present everything you have at the beginning.

We will sometimes go into "break-out" mode, in which the class splits into subgroups to debate a particular question for 5 minutes. The class will then reassemble, and the groups will have the opportunity to share their conclusions.


Part of your grade will be based on two papers that you will write. As a rough guide, each paper should be 4 sides long. Each paper should be a write-up of a topic on which you led the class discussion. If you led 3 discussions, then you still need only submit 2 papers. You are welcome to submit 3 papers, in which case I will count only the best 2 of 3 for grade. The paper is due in class the week after you led the discussion.

If you quote from the web or elsewhere, you MUST put the quote in quotes, as in
    "this is a sentence that I copied"
and you MUST reference the source. In any case, you should reference all your sources. Remember Feynmann's Golden Rule: "Always give more credit than is due".


Your grade will be based on:
Item Weight
Leading class discussion 1/6 each = 1/3
Papers 1/6 each = 1/3
Class Participation 1/3
If you lead 3 class discussions, I will count the best 2 of 3 for grade. If you submit 3 papers, I will count the best 2 of 3 for grade.

Students with Disabilities

If you qualify for accommodations because of a disability, please submit to me a letter from Disability Services in a timely manner so that your needs may be addressed. Disability Services determines accommodations based on documented disabilities. Contact: 303-492-8671, Willard 322, and http://www.Colorado.EDU/disabilityservices.

 Van Gogh's Starry Night Fall 2007 ASTR 1120-880/1 Homepage

syllabus | topics

Updated 2007 Aug 31