FACULTY SENATE


Senate Document Number     0604F


Date of Senate Approval      12/02/04  



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Statement of Faculty Senate Action:



APC Document  4:          Change in the number of hours required for ASTR 105; 

    Replacing CSCI 142 with CSCI 201 in the Applied Physics Concentration



Effective Date: Fall 2005


1.  Delete:   On page 67,


  105   Astronomy  (5)



        Add :      On page 67


   105   Astronomy  (4)



Impact Statement:  There will be little impact on the resources and staffing of the Physics department due to this change. No new lab equipment or space will be needed since the 4-hour ASTR 105 will continue to offer the lab that is currently required for the 5-hour ASTR 105. What will change is that the recitation section in Astronomy will be dropped. In the past there has been lecture 3 times a week plus one recitation per week in addition to the lab. Under this proposal, there will only be 3 hours of lecture per week together with the lab. This will actually serve to free up one hour of teaching for a professor who teaches the astronomy course for both Fall and Spring (since ASTR 105 is offered every Fall and Spring).


Rationale:  This change is being made due to the implementation of the new ILS program. Under ILS, “students are required to complete a 4-hour course or two-course combination in the natural sciences which includes a laboratory component”. Since students can fulfill this requirement with a 4-hour course with lab, the department wants to tailor its 5-hour astronomy course to fit this new mold. Plus there have been problems with the 5-hour course format, since a student must take a lecture class on MWF for three hours plus a recitation which is usually offered on Thursday. This extra class on Thursday makes it hard for students to fit the 5-hour class into their schedule easily. It ends up knocking out a TR class period. Some students have had to postpone or even give up taking ASTR 105 since they have required courses for their major that they must take at this TR time slot. The 4-hour class will be easier for students to fit into their schedules.



2.  Delete:   On page 189, under “Concentration in Applied Physics”, in part II:


CSCI 142


        Add: On page 189, in place of deleted entry:


CSCI 201



Impact Statement: 
There is no increase or decrease in the number of hours required for the Applied Physics Concentration under this substitution, since both CSCI 142 and CSCI 201 are 3-hour courses. I have contacted Dean Brock, the Chair of the Computer Science Department, and he sees no problem with the substitution. Typically we graduate 5 physics majors per year. If they all were under the Applied Physics Concentration, then the enrollment in CSCI 201 would increase by only 5 per year. However, we usually only get one of these five students graduating under the Applied Physics Concentration per year, so the increase in enrollment in CSCI 201 would be small. I have explained this to Dean Brock and he feels CSCI 201 can handle the small increase in CSCI 201 caused by this change. He has agreed to sign the concurrence on the front.


This change is necessary since CSCI 142 Fortran has not been offered in several semesters. During advising last Spring, one of the Physics majors who had an interest in the Applied Physics Concentration pointed out to me how seldom Fortran has been offered in the past few years. Fortran is not as popular a computer programming language as it once was. The demand for the course has waned, and so it’s no longer being offered on a regular basis. The current course catalog under CSCI 142 on page 88 informs the students to “See department chair” about when it will be offered.


I propose to make the substitution of CSCI 201 in place of CSCI 142 for this concentration. Students will learn a much more up-to-date programming language (Java). Plus there is no increase or decrease in the number of hours required for the Applied Physics Concentration since both CSCI 142 and CSCI 201 are 3-hour courses. I have discussed this with the members of my department and they are all in favor of making this change (once they realized how sporadically Fortran is currently being offered).