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Astron/Phy 1F03

Astron/Phy 1F03
Introductory Astrophysics
Published by L'Étoile
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Academic Astron/Phy 1F03

Took this class with Dr. James Wadsley in Fall 2010.

This course introduces you to orbital motion, electromagnetic radiation, the solar system, stars and stellar evolution, the Milky Way Galaxy, galaxies and quasars, the evolution of the universe.

The textbook "Introduction to astronomy" Was useful when understanding material in a more detailed way or doing practice questions before the midterm and such. The textbook is useful, however, not a necessity.

The course with Dr. Wadsley was a complete disaster, The midterm was very hard, consisted of no MC, but all SA questions regarding the material and calculations. The calculations were not as bad, but the marking scheme was horrifying, TA's took marks for no reason. Most people either failed or did really bad in the midterm. Midterm consisted of 10 questions. The exam was a bit easier, simpler calculations and short answer questions. But I did not receive my mark yet. The midterm and the exam were cumulative and Its very important to attend each lecture since you need to understand what is really going on.

The prof Dr. Wadsley was very condescending and always made fun of my questions or stuff, well questions regarding the problem sets and labs. He was helpful most of the time. Just the tone he answers your questions...

Course Breakdown:
20% Midterm
40% Term Work*
40% Exam

Term Work included: 4 Problem Sets (VERY HARD PHYSICS CALCULATIONS), 6 Labs (Very Strict Marking Scheme), Observatory Night (Observed Jupiter under a telescope, fun ) and a Planetarium Show night (it was awesome but I got very dizzy at the end)

The TAs are so mean, I hated them, they never mark things on time, the exam came and the final problem set which was on the exam was not marked yet, I was so annoyed. The marking is very slow and so terrible Don't get me started on the lab/problem set pickup, the prof at the end of the class puts all the material in front of the class and the students start looking through the piles to find their shit it is ridiculous. Yeah I really did not like the class, the material was very interesting don't get me wrong. It's just the class was very disorganized

Overall, the interesting material made up for the hard midterm, the annoying problem sets which were ALL physics and the annoying slow TAs. I would not reccomend this class if you are not really good in physics so avoid it. If you are good at physics then this class might be a breeze for you

Good Luck
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Old 01-04-2011 at 12:57 AM   #2
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I went in thinking astronomy was supposed to be a bird course but I was soooo wrong. Drop it while you can.

9:30 classes were really hard to wake up for + stay awake during, so I relied completely on the lecture slides he posted on Avenue (don't do this; lecture slides don't go up until really late) and on the textbook. But obv, you wanna stay awake + attend lectures cause he does say some important stuff. Also lots of people just wrote down what was on the slide when taking notes (me inclusive) which was kinda stupid because 1) I missed everything that was said, 2) lecture slides were eventually posted on Avenue anyway and I never looked at my notes again. So take notes on what he's saying.

I thought the textbook was actually really helpful. Some of the problem set questions come straight from the calculation problems at the end of every chapter, and there are answers to these at the back of the book so you can check your answer. If I knew this before actually doing the problem sets I would have done much better. NOW YOU KNOW.

I agree with about just everything the OP said, but also, even if you're good at physics, there is SO much stuff to memorize so you still might not wanna take it.
The course /does/ have quite interesting material though. (Y)
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Old 06-14-2011 at 12:47 PM   #3
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I was in this class too and I agree absolutely with everything you said.

The problem sets and labs were SO hard.
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Old 12-31-2011 at 09:56 AM   #4
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I just took this class in Fall 2011 with Dr.Wadsley, and I think the course is now way easier compared to the previous year's. I didn't have trouble keep awake in lecture because the material's quite interesting. ALL the notes for the entire year were posted at the start of the term, so you can follow along in class. Dr.Wadsley explained everything quite well in class so if you listen you should get everything the first time, the concepts aren't hard. The textbook is only necessary if you don't go to all the lectures, since the notes he posts are just the main points. The textbook was useful for reviewing the last few chapters since they were a bit harder than the first part of the course.

I didn't find the marking on the labs strict. If you show up to the Friday classes, the TAs will literally tell you the answers, if you ask them. They said that labs are just worksheets to make sure you understand the things that are taught, and not really supposed to be "pull-your-hair-out" hard. Problem sets were harder, but you just have to go through the slides from the previous few lectures and the answer is probably in there.

For the midterm and exam, he gave out a huge list of practice questions that basically covers everything we did. So if you can answer all the questions on there, you're ready. You also need to memorize some basic formulas, but not many constants, since most questions asked for ratios. (eg. how much brighter is A compared to B?)

I loved this course because it was interesting and not too much work. The birdyness has definitely increased compared to OP's experience, so I recommend it as an elective for sure.
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Old 09-10-2012 at 12:28 PM   #5
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Took this class with Wadmen Fall 2011. Thought it would be a bird course and extremely interesting. I couldn't hear half the things he said, so I moved to the front and that helped. He was not very expressive, and didn't make it that interesting. Also, the assignments I found quite difficult as he never went over in class how to attempt them.

However, the labs were very interesting, the courseware I absolutely loved and I ended up loving the course during the final exam period. It would probably help to have a friend in this course who you could work together with as well. I did extremely well on the final and ended up with a decent mark.

So, overall the final was easy but the rest of the work was challenging. Not exactly a BIRD course.
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Old 12-17-2012 at 08:27 PM   #6
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Took it in fall of 2012 with Dr. Wadsley. There was 1 midterm, 1 final, 6 in class labs and 4 assignments.

I thought lectures were not very important but there were clickers so that was the only reason for going. I took this course with Origins 2B03 and there was a lot of overlap. I recommend taking them both at the same time because it does help both courses.

He gave sample questions (about 100) for the 1st midterm and another 100 for the final. If you do all of them, you will do well on the midterm and finals. Make sure you do read over the textbook because it will help your understanding and will also help you remember the information since you have a deeper understanding of the material.

For the assignments and labs, regardless if you suck or is great in math/physics, you can ask the TAs about your work. They will help you and I found them to be very useful. If you want to check your answer or check your work, ask them. MAKE SURE YOU ASK IF YOU ARE STUCK IN LABS/ASSIGNMENTS!!!

His test is only short answer but for some, he might just expect few words answers. His calculations are simple, I had a plug and chug on my final (which just means he gives you the equation and just wants you to put the numbers into your calculator to get the answer).

Overall, pretty straightforward course.
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Old 12-17-2012 at 08:30 PM   #7
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Oh and I forgot to mention that if you can answer his sample questions without looking at your notes, you will do well. You can't just answer the questions and expect to retain them.
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Old 01-06-2013 at 09:58 AM   #8
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more difficult than expcted
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