PHYS 3041 -- Proposed New Course

Wed Feb 8 12:45:27 2017

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Approvals Received:
on 01-12-17
by Jennifer Kroschel
Approvals Pending: College/Dean  > Provost > Catalog
Effective Status: Active
Effective Term: 1179 - Fall 2017
Course: PHYS  3041
UMNTC - Twin Cities/Rochester
UMNTC - Twin Cities
Career: UGRD
College: TIOT - College of Science and Engineering
Department: 11140 - Physics & Astronomy, Sch of
Course Title Short: Math Methods for Physicists
Course Title Long: Mathematical Methods for Physicists
Max-Min Credits
for Course:
3.0 to 3.0 credit(s)
This course introduces additional mathematical topics that physics majors need to properly handle upper division physics classes.
Prerequisites: PHYS 1302, MATH 2373 (or equivalent courses)
Print in Catalog?: Yes
Grading Basis: Stdnt Opt
Topics Course: No
Honors Course: No
Online Course: No
Freshman Seminar: No
Is any portion of this course taught
outside of the United States?:
Community Engaged Learning (CEL) : None
Contact Hours:
3.0 hours per week
Course Typically Offered: Every Spring
Component 1 : LEC (with final exam)
Progress Units:
Not allowed to bypass limits.
3.0 credit(s)
Financial Aid
Progress Units:
Not allowed to bypass limits.
3.0 credit(s)
Repetition of
Repetition not allowed.
for Catalog:
<no text provided>
No course equivalencies
Cross-listings: No cross-listings
Add Consent
No required consent
Drop Consent
No required consent
(course-based or
No prerequisites
Editor Comments: <no text provided>
Proposal Changes: <no text provided>
History Information: New course for AY 17-18
Sponsor Name:
Shaul Hanany
Sponsor E-mail Address:
Student Learning Outcomes
Student Learning Outcomes: * Student in the course:

- Have mastered a body of knowledge and a mode of inquiry

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

Students will learn new mathematical skills and apply them to solve problems in physics. They will also learn to how apply mathematical skills they have already acquired in earlier mathematics classes. For example, they will learn about Fourier Series and orthogonal functions and apply them to solve boundary value problems; or, they will learn how to apply a Taylor expansion to find oscillations near an equilibrium point of a potential energy.

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.

We will use quizzes, graded homework, and a final examination to assess student learning.

Liberal Education
this course fulfills:
Other requirement
this course fulfills:
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
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.

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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.

<no text provided>
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.

<no text provided>
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.

<no text provided>
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?

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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.

<no text provided>
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.

University of Minnesota               
School of Physics and Astronomy Spring 2018

PHYSICS        3041, Mathematcal Methods for Physicists       
3 credits       
Lectures: 3 x a        week       
Course        Prerequisites:        Phys1301;Phys1302;Math1371 or        equivalent; Math1372 or        equivalent, Math2373       
or equivalent.       
Instructors:        TBD
Office        hours:        TBD       
Grader:        TBD       
Textbook: R. Shankar ?Basic Training in        Mathema9cs: A        Fitness        Program        for Science Students?       
Course        Reader        for Phys3041 (Sectons of ArHen,        Weber,        Harris        ?Mathematcal Methods for Physicists?)

Introduce mathema9cal topics required for upper        division        physics        students.       
Homework (lowest two HW        grades dropped): 32.5%;        2        best Quizzes: 32.5%; Final Exam: 35%
(Page numbers refer to the textbook)       
Week        1-2:
? Estimates and        Taylor series: expansion in small        quan99es [pages        9-10; page 15;        page 22],       
approxima9ons and dimensional analysis;       
? Complex        analysis:        complex        numbers,        cartesian        and        polar        coordinate,        basic        operations       
[Chapter 5, except 5.4]       
Week        3-4
? Numerical methods and        introduction to        MatLab
? Linear algebra Brief review of linear        systems        of        equations, Matrices and        Determinants       
[Chapter 8]       
? Linear vector        (Hilbert) space        [Chapter 9.1],        Inner        product        [Chapter 9.2] and Linear Operators       
[Chapter 9.3]       
? Eigenvalues and Hermitian operators; example spin 1/2        [Example 16.1.2        ArHen],        examples       
of sum        rules;        example        spin 1 [Problem        9.5.11]

Week        5-6
? Function spaces [for this and        the following 3        lectures:        Chapter        9.7 plus Chapters 19 and 20.1-20.2-20.3        of        ArHen]       
? Fourier series as an example of function series;        examples on how        to obtain Fourier coefficients       
[Chapter 9.7];        Fourier        transforms
? More        examples / applica9ons        of Fourier transform.        Dirac delta function [Chapter 9.7]       
? Tensors and basics of        group representation: rotations        and        moment        of inertia [Chapter 9.8],       
Week 7-9
? Differential        equations Ordinary linear differential        equations with        constant coefficients [Chapter 10.1-10.2]       
? Examples: use        of complex variables and examples        with electric circuits [Chapter        5.4]; Normal modes       
[Chapter 9.6]       
? Linear ODE with variable coefficients        [10.3-10.4];        a        few mathematical examples       
? Examples: Hermite and        Legendre polynomials [Problem        10.4.1,        10.4.4]       
Week 10-12
? Partial differential        equations [Chapter 10.5];        solutions through separation of        variables       
? Example: angular momentum [16.1 ArHen]; spherical        harmonics [Chapter 15.5        ArHen];        Wave equation [Chapter        10.5.1]       
? Heat        equation [Chapter 10.5.2]; boundary value        problems, Greens? function [Chapter 10.6]       
? Variational calculus        [Chapter 22 ArHen] Euler-Lagrange        equations and lagrangian       
? Examples: small oscillations,        small oscillations and        normal        modes for more complicated problems       
Week 13-14
? Distribution functions Minimization for constrained        systems, and Lagrange multipliers [Chapter 3]       
? Maxwell-Boltzmann equilibrium        distributions [problem        3.1.7]
? Statistics: [This and        following lecture: Chapters        23.3- 23.4-23.5        ArHen]        Binomial, gaussian       
Each week?s homework assignment will consist of two        types of problems, ?weekly? and ?rolling?. The weekly HW        will be        assigned on Monday and will be due the following        Monday.        Some of        these problems may be also part        of        the discussion section.        The rolling HW        will be        assigned        by the evening of a given lecture day, and will        be due in        class by the next lecture. The total HW        load is        the same        as if the HW was all weekly.       

There will be three quizzes at dates TBD.
If you have a University sanctioned reason for missing a quiz we can make some accommodations (see the university-wide policy ?Makeup Work for Legitimate Absences? below). It is important that you communicate with the instructor as soon as you know about a legitimate absence.


If you attend class, you have come to learn. Please: no smartphones, no ipads, and no laptops. No open newspapers, no food, no texting.

Lectures end when the discussion of a particular topic comes to an end. Please collect your books when the instructor indicates that the lecture has ended. Doing otherwise disrupts the class.


The primary means for information transfer is the class meeting. Although the class has a web-site:  hop:// you are responsible for any information relayed in class, but not posted on the web.

You are more than welcome to provide feedback and voice your concerns. The class website has features that enable you to provide anonymous feedback, or post a question. There is also a wiki area in which you can exchange notes with your peers and TAs.

You are welcome to e-mail the instructors about subjects that cannot wait for the next class meeting to be discussed, but note that grades and problems solutions will not be discussed by email. The best way to interact with the professors is face-to-face right before or arer class, or during the weekly o&#64259;ce hour.

ATHLETES must provide their official University of Minnesota athletic letter containing the approved competition schedule to their instructor and the staff in office 148. Away exams will be arranged with the athletic adviser traveling with the team.
Accommodations will be made for official university sports only (i.e. no accommodations will be made for intramurals, club sports, etc.)
DISABILITY SERVICES: If you have accommodations for this course, please provide the staff in office 148 with a copy of your accommodation letter for the current semester.
Exams will be arranged according to accommodations and sent to the testing center for administration.

Student conduct code

Scholastic Dishonesty
See student conduct code

Disability Accommodations

Use of Personal Electronic Devices in the Classroom

Appropriate Student Use of Class Notes and Course Materials

Makeup Work for Legitimate Absences

Grading and Transcripts GRADINGTRANSCRIPTS.html

Sexual Harassment

Equity, Diversity, Equal Opportunity, and Affirmative Action

Mental Health and Stress Management


Student Conduct Code

The University seeks an environment that promotes academic achievement and
integrity, that is protective of free inquiry, and that serves the educational mission of the University. Similarly, the University seeks a community that is free from violence, threats, and intimidation; that is respectful of the rights, opportunities, and welfare of students, faculty, staff, and guests of the University; and that does not
threaten the physical or mental health or safety of members of the University community.
As a student at the University you are expected adhere to Board of Regents Policy: Student Conduct Code. To review the Student Conduct Code, please see: http://
Note that the conduct code specifically addresses disruptive classroom conduct, which means "engaging in behavior that substantially or repeatedly interrupts either the instructor's ability to teach or student learning. The classroom extends to any setting where a student is engaged in work toward academic credit or satisfaction of program-based requirements or related activities."

Scholastic Dishonesty

You are expected to do your own academic work and cite sources as necessary. Failing to do so is scholastic dishonesty. Scholastic dishonesty means plagiarizing;
cheating on assignments or examinations; engaging in unauthorized collaboration on academic work; taking, acquiring, or using test materials without faculty permission; submitting false or incomplete records of academic achievement; acting alone or in cooperation with another to falsify records or to obtain dishonestly grades, honors,
awards, or professional endorsement; altering, forging, or misusing a University academic record; or fabricating or falsifying data, research procedures, or data
analysis. (Student Conduct Code: Student_Conduct_Code.pdf) If it is determined that a student has cheated, he or she may be given an "F" or an "N" for the course, and may face additional sanctions from the University. For additional information, please see: Education/Education/INSTRUCTORRESP.html.
The Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity has compiled a useful list of Frequently Asked Questions pertaining to scholastic dishonesty: http:// If you have additional questions, please clarify with your instructor for the course. Your instructor can respond to your specific questions regarding what would constitute scholastic dishonesty in the
context of a particular class-e.g., whether collaboration on assignments is permitted, requirements and methods for citing sources, if electronic aids are permitted or prohibited during an exam.

Disability Accommodations

The University of Minnesota is committed to providing equitable access to learning opportunities for all students. Disability Services (DS) is the campus office that
collaborates with students who have disabilities to provide and/or arrange reasonable accommodations.
If you have, or think you may have, a disability (e.g., mental health, attentional,
learning, chronic health, sensory, or physical), please contact DS at 612-626-1333 to arrange a confidential discussion regarding equitable access and reasonable
If you are registered with DS and have a current letter requesting reasonable
accommodations, please contact your instructor as early in the semester as possible to discuss how the accommodations will be applied in the course.

For more information, please see the DS website, disability/.

Use of Personal Electronic Devices in the Classroom
Using personal electronic devices in the classroom setting can hinder instruction and learning, not only for the student using the device but also for other students in the class. To this end, the University establishes the right of each faculty member to determine if and how personal electronic devices are allowed to be used in the classroom. For complete information, please reference: STUDENTRESP.html.

Makeup Work for Legitimate Absences
Students will not be penalized for absence during the semester due to unavoidable or legitimate circumstances. Such circumstances include verified illness, participation in intercollegiate athletic events, subpoenas, jury duty, military service, bereavement, and religious observances. Such circumstances do not include voting in local, state, or national elections. For complete information, please see: Education/MAKEUPWORK.html.

Appropriate Student Use of Class Notes and Course Materials
Taking notes is a means of recording information but more importantly of personally absorbing and integrating the educational experience. However, broadly disseminating class notes beyond the classroom community or accepting compensation for taking and distributing classroom notes undermines instructor interests in their intellectual work product while not substantially furthering instructor and student interests in effective learning. Such actions violate shared norms and standards of the academic community. For additional information, please see: STUDENTRESP.html.

Grading and Transcripts
The University utilizes plus and minus grading on a 4.000 cumulative grade point scale in accordance with the following:
4.000 - Represents achievement that is outstanding relative to the level necessary to meet course requirements
A- 3.667 B+ 3.333 B
3.000 - Represents achievement that is significantly above the level necessary to meet course requirements
B- 2.667 C+ 2.333 C
2.000 - Represents achievement that meets the course requirements in every respect
C- 1.667 D+ 1.333 D
1.000 - Represents achievement that is worthy of credit even though it fails to meet fully the course requirements
Represents achievement that is satisfactory, which is equivalent to a C- or better.
For additional information, please refer to: Education/GRADINGTRANSCRIPTS.html.

Sexual Harassment
"Sexual harassment" means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and/or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment in any University activity or program. Such behavior is not acceptable in the University setting. For additional information, please consult Board of Regents Policy: files/policies/SexHarassment.pdf

Equity, Diversity, Equal Opportunity, and Affirmative Action
The University provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs and facilities, without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. For more information, please consult Board of Regents Policy: http://

Mental Health and Stress Management
As a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug problems, feeling down, difficulty concentrating and/or lack of motivation. These mental health concerns or stressful events may lead to diminished academic performance and may reduce your ability to participate in daily activities. University of Minnesota services are available to assist you. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential mental health services available on campus via the Student Mental Health Website: http://
Strategic Objectives & Consultation
Name of Department Chair
Ron Poling
Strategic Objectives -
Curricular Objectives:
How does adding this course improve the overall curricular objectives ofthe unit?

Experience over many years indicates that physics majors lack mathematical background and skills to properly handle an array of physics topics covered in the upper division classes. This is material that is not covered in the required, lower division, 4-semester calculus series. The material is also not covered in any one mathematics class. This new course is designed to introduce all the additional mathematical topics that physics majors will need to properly handle upper division physics classes.   
Strategic Objectives - Core
Does the unit consider this course to be part of its core curriculum?

The unit considers this class to be part of its core curriculum. It will be part of the physics major for all our tracks.
Strategic Objectives -
Consultation with Other
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.

Subject:         Re: Phys3041
Date:         Wed, 8 Feb 2017 12:17:19 -0600
From:         Adam Joseph Rothman <>
To:         Shaul Hanany <>


Based on the syllabus, this should be an excellent course. It is great to see these important mathematical topics covered in one semester.



On Wed, Feb 8, 2017 at 11:21 AM, Shaul Hanany <> wrote:

   Dear Professor Rothman,

   I just left a message on your phone.

   I am the chair of our Undergraduate Education Committee. We are planning to launch a new class "Phys3041: Mathematical Methods for Physicists. "

   The class was approved by our faculty and by the CSE Curriculum Committee. At the provost level we need input from a department outside of CSE.

   The syllabus for the class is attached. I'd appreciate any feedback you may have, and I'd be glad to discuss the motivation for this new class.

   Thanks and regards,


   Shaul Hanany
   Professor of Physics
   School of Physics and Astronomy and
   Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics
   University of Minnesota/Twin Cities
   Office: 612 626 8929
   Mobile: 612 701 4680

Adam J. Rothman
Associate Professor & Director of Undergraduate Studies
School of Statistics, University of Minnesota
313 Ford Hall, 224 Church Street SE, Minneapolis MN 55455
phone 612-626-0356, fax 612-624-8868,
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