PHYS 1911w -- Proposed New Course

Fri Feb 3 10:25:16 2017

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Approvals Received:
Department
on 02-02-17
by Jennifer Kroschel
(jkrosche@umn.edu)
Approvals Pending: College/Dean  > Provost > WI > Catalog
Effective Status: Active
Effective Term: 1183 - Spring 2018
Course: PHYS  1911W
Institution:
Campus:
UMNTC - Twin Cities/Rochester
UMNTC - Twin Cities
Career: UGRD
College: TIOT - College of Science and Engineering
Department: 11140 - Physics & Astronomy, Sch of
General
Course Title Short: ET Life
Course Title Long: How Likely is Extraterrestrial Life?
Max-Min Credits
for Course:
2.0 to 2.0 credit(s)
Catalog
Description:
The goal of this course is to make students familiar with the main available scientific
facts and arguments which bear on the question of the likelihood of extraterrestrial
life. A second goal is to familiarize students with aspects of the various relevant
disciplines early in their university careers when they may still be selecting a major.
The third goal is to provide familiarity with information resources at the university,
particularly through the library, as well as improved reasoning, writing and speaking
skills.
Print in Catalog?: Yes
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Topics Course: No
Honors Course: No
Online Course: No
Freshman Seminar: Yes
Is any portion of this course taught
outside of the United States?:
No
Community Engaged Learning (CEL) : None
Instructor
Contact Hours:
2.0 hours per week
Course Typically Offered: Periodic Spring
Component 1 : LEC (no final exam)
Auto-Enroll
Course:
No
Graded
Component:
LEC
Academic
Progress Units:
Not allowed to bypass limits.
2.0 credit(s)
Financial Aid
Progress Units:
Not allowed to bypass limits.
2.0 credit(s)
Repetition of
Course:
Repetition not allowed.
Course
Prerequisites
for Catalog:
<no text provided>
Course
Equivalency:
No course equivalencies
Cross-listings: No cross-listings
Add Consent
Requirement:
No required consent
Drop Consent
Requirement:
No required consent
Enforced
Prerequisites:
(course-based or
non-course-based)
001475 - Freshman and FRFY for Freshman Seminar Courses
Editor Comments: Professor J. Woods Halley
School of Physics and Astronomy
Days Offered: TBD
Times Offered: TBD
East Bank
J. Woods Halley teaches physics
courses at all levels and directs
research programs in low temperature
and chemical physics. He is a fellow of
the American Physical Society and the
Minnesota Supercomputing Institute,
as well as a member of the University
of Minnesota graduate faculties of
physics and materials science.
Proposal Changes: <no text provided>
History Information: <no text provided>
Faculty
Sponsor Name:
Woods Halley
Faculty
Sponsor E-mail Address:
woods@woods1.spa.umn.edu
Student Learning Outcomes
Student Learning Outcomes: * Student in the course:

- Can communicate effectively

Please explain briefly how this outcome will be addressed in the course. Give brief examples of class work related to the outcome.

This course requires extensive student writing which will be evaluated for its writing quality as well as for correct subject content. Writing requirements include the paper described above, which will be rewritten once after instructor evaluation of the first draft, as well as several short essays and a journal to be assigned as exercises. In addition to the writing exercises, students will give a presentation of their large research paper to the class.

How will you assess the students' learning related to this outcome? Give brief examples of how class work related to the outcome will be evaluated.

In all, from 30% to 50% of the grade will be determined on the basis of quality of writing on the various assignments and the presentation.

Liberal Education
Requirement
this course fulfills:
None
Other requirement
this course fulfills:
None
Criteria for
Core Courses:
Describe how the course meets the specific bullet points for the proposed core requirement. Give concrete and detailed examples for the course syllabus, detailed outline, laboratory material, student projects, or other instructional materials or method.

Core courses must meet the following requirements:

  • They explicitly help students understand what liberal education is, how the content and the substance of this course enhance a liberal education, and what this means for them as students and as citizens.
  • They employ teaching and learning strategies that engage students with doing the work of the field, not just reading about it.
  • They include small group experiences (such as discussion sections or labs) and use writing as appropriate to the discipline to help students learn and reflect on their learning.
  • They do not (except in rare and clearly justified cases) have prerequisites beyond the University's entrance requirements.
  • They are offered on a regular schedule.
  • They are taught by regular faculty or under exceptional circumstances by instructors on continuing appointments. Departments proposing instructors other than regular faculty must provide documentation of how such instructors will be trained and supervised to ensure consistency and continuity in courses.

<no text provided>
Criteria for
Theme Courses:
Describe how the course meets the specific bullet points for the proposed theme requirement. Give concrete and detailed examples for the course syllabus, detailed outline, laboratory material, student projects, or other instructional materials or methods.

Theme courses have the common goal of cultivating in students a number of habits of mind:
  • thinking ethically about important challenges facing our society and world;
  • reflecting on the shared sense of responsibility required to build and maintain community;
  • connecting knowledge and practice;
  • fostering a stronger sense of our roles as historical agents.


<no text provided>
LE Recertification-Reflection Statement:
(for LE courses being re-certified only)
<no text provided>
Statement of Certification: This course is certified for a Core, effective as of 
This course is certified for a Theme, effective as of 
Writing Intensive
Propose this course
as Writing Intensive
curriculum:
Yes
Question 1 (see CWB Requirement 1): How do writing assignments and writing instruction further the learning objectives of this course and how is writing integrated into the course? Note that the syllabus must reflect the critical role that writing plays in the course.

As the term progresses, each student will be working on an individual paper topic and will later present to their peers. Since each student will select a different topic, each student will become the class specialist on some aspect of the subject and can contribute in that way to the discussions (as well as in general).  This will help enrich class discussions, individual understanding, and enhance student writing and oral presentation skills.
Question 2 (see CWB Requirement 2): What types of writing (e.g., research papers, problem sets, presentations, technical documents, lab reports, essays, journaling etc.) will be assigned? Explain how these assignments meet the requirement that writing be a significant part of the course work, including details about multi-authored assignments, if any. Include the required length for each writing assignment and demonstrate how the 2,500 minimum word count (or its equivalent) for finished writing will be met.

Students will write a 10-15 page paper on a topic relevant to the subject and selected in consulation with the instructor. Each student will also give an oral presentation on the subject of the paper. There will be weekly exercises, some will be short writing assignments. Others may include home searches for information in library accessible data bases. Writing instruction will include specific direction on the organisation and presentation of the paper, the use of databases of primary literature and regular feedback on the quality of writing in the weekly assignments and the quizzes. Writing will be an indispensable aid in organising and clarifying concepts you are learning in the course. (Parameters for font size, margins, spacing, etc. given to ensure appropriate content length.)
Question 3 (see CWB Requirement 3): How will students' final course grade depend on their writing performance? What percentage of the course grade will depend on the quality and level of the student's writing compared to the percentage of the grade that depends on the course content? Note that this information must also be on the syllabus.

Consistent with the description of the required student work and the evaluative procedure described above, this course will require extensive student writing which will be evaluated for its writing quality as well as for correct subject content. Writing requirements include the paper described above, which will be rewritten once after instructor evaluation of the first draft, as well as several short essays and a journal to be assigned as exercises. In all, from 30% to 50% of the grade will be determined on the basis of quality of writing.
Question 4 (see CWB Requirement 4): Indicate which assignment(s) students will be required to revise and resubmit after feedback from the instructor. Indicate who will be providing the feedback. Include an example of the assignment instructions you are likely to use for this assignment or assignments.

The main paper, 10-15 pages, will be rewritten after instructor feedback of a first draft.

Instructions used for first draft:
This should contain: Title in the form of a question. The question should relate to an aspect of the topic of the seminar, and your paper will try to answer it. That is, the question should not be merely rhetorical, though you may not, and usually wonít, get final answers. A one paragraph abstract which summarizes what you anticipate will be the content of the paper. A brief outline. It should contain An introduction which defines your question and how it relates to the subject of the seminar A middle,or body which will present the information relevant to answering your question which you glean from library research and reading. A conclusion section which uses the material in the middle section to formulate answers to the question defined in the introduction. A list of references to the scientific literature which you have found relevant to your question. You may use any scholarly format scheme you may have learned to describe the references (for example http://library.nmu.edu/guides/userguides/style apa.htm, ). For articles in print an acceptable format is J. M. Smith, Phys. Rev. B 26, 1 (1982) . All references should contain author(s), Journal name, volume, page number, and year. References to journal articles accessed online should contain a doi as explained in the APA guide referenced above. The reference should cite the article itself, not the database through which it was found. There should be no references to sources whose author is unknown and for which you cannot get a doi. (This means that wikipedia articles and other sources identified only by a website link are not acceptable references.) Common mistakes: The question is not sufficiently well defined, too broad or not clearly relevant to the seminar subject. The references are inadequate, poorly referenced, from unreliable sources or irrelevant. In the final paper, the conclusions are too short, donít really address the question posed or donít make use of the material gathered in the middle section.
Question 5 (see CWB Requirement 5): What types of writing instruction will be experienced by students? How much class time will be devoted to explicit writing instruction and at what points in the semester? What types of writing support and resources will be provided to students?

The students will be exposed to various writing samples from the discipline in their readings for the course, and have the opportunity to participate throughout the semester in various writing activities in and out of the classroom for which they will receive individual feedback.  Individualized feedback and instruction will occur throughout the course. For the main paper, students will meet individually with the instructor to identify a topic, write a one page proposal/abstract and receive individual feedback, receive feedback on a first draft, as well as final draft and presentation.  The instructor encourages student questions and university writing resources, such as the writing center, are available for support.
Question 6 (see CWB Requirement 6): If teaching assistants will participate in writing assessment and writing instruction, explain how will they be trained (e.g. in how to review, grade and respond to student writing) and how will they be supervised. If the course is taught in multiple sections with multiple faculty (e.g. a capstone directed studies course), explain how every faculty mentor will ensure that their students will receive a writing intensive experience.

N/A Ė no teaching assistants, only one instructor
Statement of Certification: This course is certified as Writing Internsive effective  as of 
Course Syllabus
Course Syllabus:

For new courses and courses in which changes in content and/or description and/or credits are proposed, please provide a syllabus that includes the following information: course goals and description; format; structure of the course (proposed number of instructor contact hours per week, student workload effort per week, etc.); topics to be covered; scope and nature of assigned readings (text, authors, frequency, amount per week); required course assignments; nature of any student projects; and how students will be evaluated.

Please limit text to about 12 pages. Text copied and pasted from other sources will not retain formatting and special characters might not copy properly. The University "Syllabi Policy" can be found here

Any syllabus older than two years should be replaced with a current version when making ECAS updates.



School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Minnesota
Freshman Seminar 1910W How Likely is Extraterrestrial Life?
Spring 2017
2cr, 2 hours lecture per week
Instructor
J. W. Halley
181 Shepherd
624-0395
email: woods@woods1.spa.umn.edu
Class meetings:
M-W?- 01:25 PM - 02:15 PM 120 PAN
Special Note on class meeting time: The time of this class was erroneously
scheduled at a time when the instructor has another obligation. It will meet,
but a preferrable time would be Mondays and Wednesdays at 5:45pm. I will
poll the class about the possibility of a change to that time.
Office Hours:
M-W 2:30pm and by appointment
The goal of this course is to make students familiar with the main available scientific
facts and arguments which bear on the question of the likelihood of extraterrestrial
life. A second goal is to familiarize students with aspects of the various relevant
disciplines early in their university careers when they may still be selecting a major.
The third goal is to provide familiarity with information resources at the university,
particularly through the library, as well as improved reasoning, writing and speaking
skills.
In pursuing these goals we will discuss the various scientific issues that arise in
considering the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial life and intelligence
in our galaxy or elsewhere and whether humans are likely to detect it. The dis-
cussion will approximately follow the book ?How Likely is Extraterrestrial Life??,
J W Halley, Springer-Verlag from which readings will be assigned. Readings will
also be assigned from some other sources which will be made available on reserve
at the library or on the web site. During the first half of the course, the instructor
will provide background readings and lectures concerning various aspects of the
question. As the semester continues and students become more familiar with the
subject the class will be more and more participatory in nature and at the end of
the semester all the time will be devoted to student presentations (more below). We
1
will review various factors in the ?Drake equation? which provides a model for esti-
mating the number of existing civilizations. Estimates of these factors involve huge
uncertainties but something definite can be said about most of them and the dis-
cussion ranges over a great many disciplines including physics, astronomy, biology,
chemistry, archaelogy and sociology for example. There will be a brief discussion
of the quality of the evidence that extraterrestrials have been observed as claimed
by the UFO community , a review of existing searches for extraterrestrial life and
the ?Fermi paradox? arising because those searches have not found any evidence for
life elsewhere.
In the last part of the course, students all will give oral presentations on the
papers on which they are working. The topic of each paper will be different and
will be selected in consulation with the instructor to match the students interests
and abilities. One aim is to enrich discussion by giving each student in the seminar
some special expertise to contribute.
Prerequisites, Requirements and Evaluation Procedures: A first year or high school
algebra level course in physics or general physical science including physics will be
a necessary prerequisite, but other needed ideas will be introduced and explained
during the course. Needed physics concepts will also be reviewed.
Requirements and Grades: There will be an exercise each week in addition to
a reading assignment. Exercise content will vary, sometimes involving order of
magnitude estimates, sometimes writing, sometimes algebraic problem solving and
sometimes home experiments. The exercises must be turned in and will be graded.
Completed exercises are due the Thursday after they are assigned. There will also
be a few unannounced quizzes on the reading assignments. These will be mainly
intended to find out if students read the material. Grades will be based on the
quizzes (10%), on the total performance score on the exercises (65 %) and on the
quality of an approximately ten to fifteen page paper and oral presentation on some
aspect of the subject which each student will be required to write and present(25%).
Deadlines for the paper: Meet with instructor to agree on topic by 2/6, turn in 1
page proposal and abstract by 2/20 turn in paper (1st time) by 3/8 turn in final
form by 5/3. Each student will also present his or her paper to the class between
4/12 and 5/3. A STRONG HINT: START YOUR PAPER EARLY. It may be
tempting to wait until the last minute, but your performance will suffer and you
will not enjoy your experience in the class as much if you do.
Format and approach: At the beginning, the instructor will do a lot of the talking,
but as the term goes on, students will become more informed about the subject
in general and about a paper topic in particular and questions and discussions are
expected to involve everyone. Since each student will select a different topic, as
close to other interests and abilities as possible, each student will become the class
specialist on some aspect of the subject and can contribute in that way to the
discussions (as well as in general). Questions and remarks are strongly encouraged
2
at any time.
Syllabus
I. The Drake equation and its components:
topic dates reading
Review of the Drake 1/18,1/23 chapter 1
Equation
Stellar evolution 1/25,1/30,2/1 chapter 2
Planetary Systems 2/6,2/8,2/13 chapter 3
Habitable Planets 2/15,2/20, chapter 3
(climate) 2/23
Life initiation 2/22,R2/27, chapter 4
and Development 3/1,3/6
(evolution) 3/8
II. Beyond the Drake Equation: Probabilities of Expansion and Filling:
Fermi Paradox 3/20,3/22, chapter 5
and UFO?s 3/27,3/29
Interstellar transport 4/3,4/5 chapter 6
and Colonization (space travel)
III. Observability of Extraterrestrial Life:
Searches for Intelligent 4/10,4/12 chapter 7
Life
Searches life 4/17,4/19 chapter 8
on nearby planets
Oral Paper Presentations 4/24,4/26, chapter 9
5/1,5/3
3
University Policies Applying to This Course:
Please reference the following links for detailed information about the university
policies applying to this course.
Student conduct code:
http://www1.umn.edu/regents/policies/academic/Student Conduct Code.html
Scholastic Dishonesty: See student conduct code
Disability Accommodations
http://ds.umn.edu/student-services.html
Use of Personal Electronic Devices in the Classroom
http://policy.umn.edu/Policies/Education/Education/CLASSROOMPED.html
Makeup Work for Legitimate Absences
http://policy.umn.edu/Policies/Education/Education/MAKEUPWORK.html
Appropriate Student Use of Class Notes and Course Materials
http://policy.umn.edu/Policies/Education/Education/CLASSNOTESSTUDENTS.html
Grading and Transcripts
http://policy.umn.edu/Policies/Education/Education/GRADINGTRANSCRIPTS.html
Sexual Harassment
http://www1.umn.edu/regents/policies/humanresources/SexHarassment.html
Equity, Diversity, Equal Opportunity, and Affirmative Action
http://www1.umn.edu/regents/policies/administrative/Equity Diversity EO AA.html
4
Mental Health and Stress Management
http://www.mentalhealth.umn.edu
5
Strategic Objectives & Consultation
Name of Department Chair
Approver:
Ron Poling
Strategic Objectives -
Curricular Objectives:
How does adding this course improve the overall curricular objectives ofthe unit?

Current FS course - number being assigned per OUE request
Strategic Objectives - Core
Curriculum:
Does the unit consider this course to be part of its core curriculum?

no
Strategic Objectives -
Consultation with Other
Units:
Before submitting a new course proposal in ECAS, circulate the proposed syllabus to department chairs in relevant units and copy affiliated associate dean(s). Consultation prevents course overlap and informs other departments of new course offerings. If you determine that consultation with units in external college(s) is unnecessary, include a description of the steps taken to reach that conclusion (e.g., catalog key word search, conversation with collegiate curriculum committee, knowledge of current curriculum in related units, etc.). Include documentation of all consultation here, to be referenced during CCC review. If email correspondence is too long to fit in the space provided, paraphrase it here and send the full transcript to the CCC staff person. Please also send a Word or PDF version of the proposed syllabus to the CCC staff person.

N/A
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