Astr 296, Spring 2022, Dr Olszewski
Tuesdays at 4pm in Steward N210
This syllabus is the
version of January 12, 2022. Given the status of COVID,
I may need to make substantial changes to this syllabus at short
If that occurs, I will email the class and make and date changes
on the website and in D2L.
You might find this web page useful: https://provost.arizona.edu/content/academic-instruction-resources
Since we are in the era of COVID-19 Omicron, the rules have to be
somewhat changeable and fluid. Until the UArizona tells us to
to remote learning, this class is "in person." You are expected to
come to class.
I will make accommodations for illness, be it COVID or
the Flu or the Common Cold. But please contact me at
firstname.lastname@example.org in advance. You will need to make
up material: we can discuss timescales individually.
Please please don't come to class sick, or if you suspect that
you're getting sick. Email me (email@example.com) and let's make
Please obey the social distancing rules and mask rules (N94 or
I nor the other speakers nor your fellow students want you to get us
sick, or us to get you sick.
I have dropped the attendance rules for this semester. BUT the
way to get your work done is to come to class. Who wants to watch a
video at the last moment before an essay is due? You're also in this
class because you want to meet (to the extent COVID allows) a set of
people who you might someday be.
Syllabus and Rules of the Class
We meet in Steward Room N210. It's large enough that we can
be social distanced.
We meet from 4:00pm to 5:00 pm (one hour... the UA thinks we
meet for 75 min).
At each class, we have a different speaker who will tell you about
astronomy or astronomy-related work they do.
Who I am:
Professor Edward Olszewski (ol shef ski)
Office: Steward 316
email: firstname.lastname@example.org (I have other email addresses,
prefer this one).
If I email you from D2L it will be from the ua-approved account
eolszews, or from email@example.com, but i'd be grateful if
you'd use firstname.lastname@example.org to contact me).
The uaccess schedule says that we meet Tuesdays from 4:00-5:15. We
meet, actually 4:00-5:00 (not 4:50).
There are no formal office hours for this class. You are free
to talk to me before or after class, and by appointment.
If you want/need an appointment, simply email email@example.com
and we'll work together to find a good time.
Text and Exams:
This is a 1-credit seminar course, your grade is from essays
Sunday night after each class. There is no
textbook, there is no exam. There is no Final Exam.
Main Class Objectives and Outcomes:
a) To meet (at least to see) a wide variety of astronomers, many of
whom you likely
won't meet in required classes.
b) To hear about current research in different fields of astronomy.
c) To excise and to write about two or three main points from a talk
whose topic might be unfamiliar to you.
d) to get better at item c during the semester.
So, at the end of the class you should have a better idea of many
types of Science and Engineering that fall under "astronomy."
You should have improved your ability to hear and retain information
from talks on subjects new to you.
You should be able to write cogently about those topics, at least to
recognize the major points.
You ought to recognize "major points" from "details." My comments on
your 14 or 15 short essays will lead you through this.
Your grade is based upon the short essays from each class.
An "essay" is due the Sunday night after each class,
11:59pm on that Sunday. You will hand it in in dropbox on D2L.
post grades and comments from me to you, on D2L dropbox, too.
essay should show that you managed to figure out roughly 3 or so
important points about the talk, and can write coherently about
points. A typical essay is concise but complete, and is
0.5-1.0 pages long. Note-I do not accept "crappy, slow or no
internet" as an excuse. Finish by 11pm and then you can run off to a
place with working wireless if your apartment's internet fails.
You do not need to read or to quote articles outside the talk.
Speaking of quoting, no quotations are allowed. Put everything in
your own words.
How I grade the essays:
I look for a credible essay. That meansgetting your facts
straight and getting the "size" of the facts
straight. This is not a competition. I basically give you full
credit if your essay is credible, and, at
least early in the semester, I might give a bad essay a chance to be
rewritten. I also expect that
you improve throughout the semester. (Note that I do not post the
speakers' powerpoints. You must take good notes.
No cell phone photography of the slides. COVID forces me to post a
recording of the lecture.)
In a typical semester I give out 3/4ths A's, 1/4th B's, and a
smattering of lower grades.
If you hand in a credible essay (not perfect) each week, you get an
If you hand in a bad essay, I will either ask you to rewrite it or
give you a zero for it.
(I have never yet given a zero.)
You get one free missed essay without your grade being affected.
If you miss two essays, you get a B. If you miss 3 you get a
For illness accommodation, you must contact me in advance of the
and arrange an essay accommodation.
Let me know in advance if you need other accommodation. Talk to me
the accommodation becomes an issue.
If you need to go observing and will miss a class, talk to me in
advance for accommodation.
The rule of thumb is, again, to talk to me in advance, and I will
accommodate you IF I CAN. A regular doctor's appointment is
probably not a
good excuse (I have doctor's appts, too), but talk to me anyway.
To request a disability-related accommodation to this
policy, please contact the Disability Resource Center at (520)
621-3268 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are experiencing
unexpected barriers to your success in your courses, the Dean of
Students Office is a central support resource for all students and
be helpful. The Dean of Students Office is located in the Robert
L. Nugent Building, room 100, or call 520-621-7057.
In addition: At the University of Arizona, we strive to make
learning experiences as accessible as possible. If you anticipate or
experience barriers based on disability or pregnancy, please contact
the Disability Resource Center (520-621-3268, https://drc.arizona.edu)
to establish reasonable accommodations.
Integrity and Conduct:
I believe in and abide by the UA's rules on Academic Integrity and
Academic Conduct and Accommodation.
Your essays and notes:
It's sometimes hard to know where the line is between cheating
on your essay and having a fruitful conversation with a classmate.
Let me try to define it:
You may talk to other students about the lecture/visit and may talk
about what the most important points are.
You may not share notes, either from class or from chatting with
You therefore must go off, alone, to write.
If you feel sick, or if you need to isolate or
quarantine based on University protocols, stay home. Except for
seeking medical care, avoid contact with others and do not travel.
Notify your instructor(s) if you will be missing
a course meeting or an assignment deadline.
Non-attendance for any reason does not guarantee
an automatic extension of due date or rescheduling of
Please communicate and coordinate any request directly
with your instructor.
If you must miss the equivalent of more than one
week of class, please contact the Dean of Students Office
DOSemail@example.com to share documentation about
challenges you are facing.
Voluntary, free, and convenient COVID-19 testing
is available for students on Main Campus.
If you test positive for COVID-19 and you are
participating in on-campus activities, you must report your results
to Campus Health. To learn more about the process for reporting a
test, visit the Case Notification Protocol.
The COVID-19 vaccine and booster is available for all
students at Campus Health.
Visit the UArizona COVID-19 page for the most
2) Physical and mental-health challenges: If you are facing
physical or mental health challenges this semester, please note that
Campus Health provides quality medical and mental health care. For
medical appointments, call (520) 621-9202. For After Hours care,
call (520) 570-7898. For the Counseling & Psych Services (CAPS)
24/7 hotline, call (520) 621-3334.
3) More COVID information:
As we enter the Spring semester, the health and well being of
everyone in this class is the highest priority. Accordingly, we are
all required to follow the university guidelines on COVID-19
mitigation. Please visit www.covid19.arizona.edu
for the latest guidance.