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Universe: Past, Present and Future

College of Arts and Sciences Syllabus

Course Information

Course Description
An introductory-level astronomy course requiring no previous college-level science background. The evolution of the universe: Big Bang creation, expansion of the universe, formation, development and properties of stars, planets and solar systems, and endings of the universe; as well as the history of our understanding of the universe from the perspectives of culture, philosophy, and science. 3.0 Credit Hours.
MATH-O91 or MATH-102 placement. Knowledge of basic algebra skills is assumed.
SEC 3, TR at 12:15 AM - 1:30 PM, in BBH-101

Faculty Information

Dr. Greg Anderson, Professor of Physics.
Office Hours
Posted here and by appointment in 217C BBH.
Contact Information
Email:, Phone Extension: 5753

Course Materials

Mastering Astronomy
Mastering Astronomy ( is an online interactive homework system that requires an access code. You can get an access code by purcase online or through purchase of some versions of the course textbook. If you purchase Mastering physics online, there is also an option to get an electronic version of your text. This is by far the cheapest option. You can gain access to mastering physics:
  1. Begin at
  2. Under the words Register Now, Click on Student
  3. Click OK! Register now
  4. Use course ID: GANDERSON2020S
  5. Unless you already have a Pearson Account click the Create Button
  6. Continue and follow the instructions
Textbook & Response System
textbook photo
Study Materials
Your study materials for this course include the required textbook, the lecture notes that I have provide, and any notes that you take. These assignments and materials can be found on the study guide. As you use these materials, be an active learner. Either take notes during lecture, or annotate the notes that I have provided for you. Numerous academic studies on learning have repeatedly shown that active learning beats passive learning. If you make your own synopsis - you are an active learner. If you uses someone else's summary - you are engaging in passive learning. Summarizing the course material and organizing your thinking about the content provided is an essential part of the learning process. No one can do this for you without compromising your learning.
Other Useful Texts on Astronomy
Other Useful References:

Assignments and Expectations

Goals and Learning Outcomes
The Learning Outcomes for this course are derived from the Physics Program Learning Outcomes which align with NEIU's Baccalaureate Goals.
Time Commitment
We cover three credit hours worth of material in this course. For university courses, the canonical expectation is that students should spend at least two to three hours per week outside of class for every hour of class time. That means you should be spending at least six to nine hours every week (outside of class time) reading, studying, making notes from the astronomy text and studying lecture notes. Please consult the study guide for these assignments. There is a very large correlation between study time and performance on exams. Students who do not devote enough time to outside of class study should not expect to perform well on tests and quizzes.
Assigned Reading
The schedule and study guide page lists the chapters to be covered each week. You should read the chapters assigned before the lecture. Take notes on the reading and make your own summary of the important points. Many of the questions on the quizzes and will be taken or adapted from the Exercises and Problems at the end of each chapter. Each chapter has a useful set of exercises and problems. In particular you are expected to be able to answer the "Review Questions", the "Test Your Understanding Questions" and the "Quick Quiz" questions at the end of each chapter.
Online Homework
Mastering Astronomy, Course ID: GANDERSON2020S. There will be a homework assignment for each chapter covered during of the summer session. These will be posted on the mastering physics, site. Mastering Astronomy is an online interactive homework system that requires an access code. You can get an access code by purcase online or through purchase of some versions of the course textbook. If you purchase Mastering physics online, there is also an option to get an electronic version of your text. You can gain access to the mastering physics site from the link above. The assignments should be completed by the deadline specified, typically the day of a quiz. A limited number of extensions may be given. Requests to extend the deadline on a homework assgnment must be made via email. Indicate which chapter/assignment you would like extended in your request.
Quizzes will be given weekly. These quizzes are based on the assigned reading, material covered in lecture, and the Exercises and Problems found in your book. You are allowed to drop the two lowest quiz scores for the semester. Missed quizzes and exams are counted as zero. You are encouraged to drop by my office to review your quizzes after the scores are posted.
Optional Final Exam
There is no required final exam. An online final will be offered through D2L for extra credit. This exams is worth 10 points times your percentage on the exam. This online exam requires you use a LockDown Browser
iClicker Remote, iClicker REEF App, or iClicker Reef Web polling iclicker
The iClicker Remote looks like a small remote control, you can purchase one in the bookstore or on-line following the links below. Instead of purchasing a clicker, you can also download an iClicker Reef App for iOS or Android, or for your laptop. This allows you to answer questions posed during the lecture by "clicking" the appropriate button. Please see iClicker. To receive credit for your participation, you will need to register your iClicker unit. To do so:
  1. Bring your iClicker to class and use it to answer at least one of the questions I ask
  2. Go to and complete the fields as indicated (for student ID, use your NEIU-supplied student ID - make certain you type in the digits correctly, and don't include any leading zeros!)
  3. you are now registered and will receive credit for participation (and more credit if you answer questions correctly!)
Attendance & Absence Policy
Attendance is expected. There are no make-ups for a missed exams or quizzes. You are allowed to drop two quizzes for the term - this covers health, family or other circumstances. Because you are allowed to drop two quiz scores, there will be no quiz make-ups. With sufficient reason and prior notification, you may arrange to take a quiz ahead of time. Clicker points cannot be earned or made up if you are not present in class
The final grade will be based 420 points:
Quizzes (11×20=220 pts) + iClicker participation (100 pts) + mastering physics homework (100 pts). Internally the mastering physics will assign a different total point score, but those will be re-scaled to 100. In other words, your percentage score on mastering physics is your point score on mastering physics.

Any student who achieves a percentile score of above 90%, 80%, 70%, 60% is guaranteed to receive an A, B, C, or D respectively. These percentile scores may be adjusted downwards based on a class curve and other considerations.

Regular weekly hours are set up in the library for tutorials. Tutors can be found in the learning center on the fourth floor of the library.

Additional Information

General Education Program
This course is part of the General Education Program at NEIU. Please print out this General Education Syllabus Attachment for your records.
Electronics Policy
Any use of electronic devices during quizzes or exams will be considered cheating.
Academic Integrity
By enrolling in this course, you are bound by the NEIU Student Code of Conduct (HTML), (PDF).
ADA Statement
Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in making reasonable accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. To request accommodations, students with special needs should make arrangements with the Student Disability Services (SDS) office, located on the main campus in room D104. Contact SDS via (773) 442-4595 or
Campus Safety
Emergency Procedures and Safety Information can be found on NEIUport on the MyNEIU tab or at:
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