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1 Proposal: number 71

71. PHYS 103: Physics for Computer Science I

Contact:Igor Kuskovsky
Abstract:This class deals with fundamental principles underlying our understanding of
the physical world around us. More specifically it is concerned with several
areas of “classical physics,” which were developed between 16th and early 20th
centuries. This course primarily designed for students pursuing a career in the
field of computer science. In this class students will learn such the basic
concepts as motion, gravity, energy, electric and magnetic fields, wave motion,
etc. and methods used by physicists in explaining properties of the natural
world. They will find out how discoveries in physics not only provided
civilization with knowledge, new technologies and devices, but also shaped and
changed it.
Interaction between students and teaching staff is organized in the form of
three components: lectures, recitations and labs. Students learn material,
however, not only during scheduled class times, but also during their
preparation for classes. The preparation includes: reading a textbook and
additional reading materials, solving homework problems, and performing other
assignments deemed necessary by an instructor.
Main goal of lectures is to deliver main conceptual content of the studied
material. Organization of lectures depends on individual styles of professors
teaching the course, but active involvement of students in discussion of the
subject matter will always be one of the main means of achieving this goal.
Recitations play a more technical role: during recitations students sharpen
their practical skill in applying new concepts to typical situations occurring
in real life or during scientific inquiry.
During labs, students are introduced to and obtain hands-on experience of
empirical methods of scientific inquiry. They learn to design meaningful
scientific experiments, use basic measuring devices and instruments, collect
and analyze experimental data to make reasonable scientific inferences.

Topics in this class include:
Mechanics: Kinematics (description of motion); projectile motion in everyday
phenomena and in the history of physics; Newton’s laws as the foundation of a
mechanical world view and their application in real life; circular motion;
Newton’s law of universal gravity and its implications for astronomy, cosmology
and space exploration; momentum and its conservation, kinematics of collisions;
mechanical energy and its conservation, general concept of energy and its
application in physics and beyond.

Elements of Wave Motion: Oscillatory motion; simple harmonic oscillator as a
universal model of linear oscillations; mechanical waves; the traveling wave
model; speed of waves; superposition and standing waves; electromagnetic waves;
light as electromagnetic wave; interference of light waves; reflection and

Elements of Electromagnetism: Electric and magnetic fields; electric potential
and voltage; current and resistance; Ohm’s law and electric circuits; electric

Submissions and Approvals

Course Date Requirement Action By Whom Notes
PHYS 103 2008-09-02 NS+L Submitted Dept
PHYS 103 2008-09-02 QR Submitted Dept
PHYS 103 2008-10-14 NS+L Approved GEAC
PHYS 103 2008-11-13 NS+L Approved UCC
PHYS 103 2009-04-02 NS+L Approved Senate