Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9:40 - 10:30 AM,via Zoom
No classes on: Monday, 7 Sept. (Labor Day) and
Friday, 26 Nov. (Thanksgiving Break)
During the periods of 28 September through 9 October and 30 November through 3 December (the last day of classes), all University of Utah classes will be online. For this class, there will be no change in format during these periods.
All class sessions will be held via video conferencing, using Zoom, and regular attendance is expected. The class sessions will have a mixed lecture-discussion format, and engaged participation is essential for learning. However, the Zoom sessions will be recorded and made available online to accomodate unavoidable absences. In addition, slides from the lectures will be posted on Canvas (after the class session). But, these resources should not be viewed as a general substitute for attending class.}
Regular class attendance is expected of all students. The class sessions will have a mixed lecture-discussion format, and engaged participation is essential for learning. Although notes and slides from many of the lectures will be posted on the class web site, these should not be viewed as a substitute for attending class.
If you must miss a class session because of illness, family emergency or an official University of Utah activity, please notify the instructor. Any clicker points (see below) missed because of an authorized absence will not be included in calculating the average for your clicker responses.
To effectively participate in the Zoom class sessions and to complete the class assignments, you will need to have an adequate desktop or laptop computer and access to a broadband internet connection. As a very rough guideline, a computer manufactured in the past five years should be fine. Laptops are and cellular hotspots available for checkout from the Marriot Library for the semester, depending on availability:
You will also need to be ably to smoothly navigate Canvas and Zoom.
If you have concerns about any of these requirements, please contact the instructor as soon as possible.
Electronic Device Policy
Under normal circumstances, I do not allow the use of cell phones, tablet computers or laptop computers in my classes. This policy is meant to encourage student engagement and create a more effective learning environment for everyone, the use of cell phones, tablet computers or laptop computers will not be allowed during class. This rule is obviously impossible to implement in an online class environment, but I still ask that you avoid distractions, electronic or otherwise during the class sessions.
Exceptions to this policy will be made for students who need to use an electronic device as part of an approved accommodation. See the section below on Special Accommodations
for information about applying for an accommodation through the Center for Disability Services.
The iClicker audience response system will be used to facilitate interactive learning during the IVC sessions. The responses will be graded and will count for 5% of the course grade. For some questions, credit will be given for any answer, but for others points will only be given for correct answers. Bonus clicker points can be earned by finding errors in the lab manual or lecture slides. To earn points, though, you must be the first to let the instructor know about the error!
If you do not already have an iClicker Reef account, you will need to create one before classes begin, following the instructions at:
How to Create an iClicker Reef Student Account
Then, add this course to your account, as described here:
Add Your Instructor's Course in Reef
The course should be listed with the title, "Physical Principles in Biology"", and the course ID, "Biol 3550/3551.
When you create a new iClicker Reef account, you will receive a free two-week trial license. At the end of this period, however,
you will need to purchase a license. A license for six months costs $15.99, and other pricing options are listed here:
To submit your responses during class, you can either install the iClicker Reef app on a mobile device or use the
web interface. Links to the app for iOS and Android devices are found here:
To use the web interface, login to your Reef account at:
Other ways to earn points
- Group problem solving sessions.
Every two weeks or so, part of the lecture time will be devoted to problem solving, with students working in groups of two or three. Points for these activities will be recorded and combined with those from the clicker responses.
- Special homework assignments. There will be one or a few short homework assignments, in addition to the bigger ones described below. Points for these assignments will be added to the clicker points.
- Catch out the prof! Extra clicker points will be given for finding errors in the lecture notes or the slides used class, with the number of points determined by the significance of the error (as judged by the instructor). To count for points, errors on the lecture slide have to be caught before the instructor catches them in class!