Old Annoucements for Astro C10 (Fall 2009)

Oct 2nd

Review Sessions

Tuesday, 5-7 pm, 10 Evans

5-6 : James, Ryan

6-7 : Therese, Jackson

Wednesday, 7-9 pm, 1 Pimentel

7-8 : Thea, Chris

8-9 : Anna, Aaron

Thursday, 7-9 pm, 120 Latimer

7-8 : Josh, Bernie

8-9 : Josh, Chat

Midterm Exams

Friday, 3-5 pm, 121 Wheeler

Students with Disabilities : Josh

Friday, 3-4 pm, 10 Evans : Thea, James, Chat

Friday, 3-4 pm, 150 Wheeler : Everyone Else

Grading Party

Friday, 4-?? pm, 6th floor lounge : Everyone

Sept 11th


With grades coming back, you will undoubtedly have to deal with one of two possible situations: 1.) You have homework for students who are no longer in your section. 2.) You are missing homework for students who are in your section.

These will occur because of all the section swaps (and general student confusion). Here is what we can do:

At the top of our Wiki page is a new link called “Stray Homework”. Click on it. You'll be taken to a new page (after you are asked to log in).

1. If you have homework for students that are not on your section rosters (that is, do not appear in the grade book on bSpace when you are entering grades), post this information on this page. State the homework assignment, the student's name, what their score was, and who you are. You can copy the example I give.

2. Everyone else, check this site periodically (a couple days after graders return the homework), and see if any of your students are on this list. If so, E-mail the GSI who has the homework and arrange a time to exchange. Also, enter the grade on bSpace.

3. Once the exchange has occurred, you can take the student off the list.

In theory, we will need this page less and less as the weeks go on. But for the first couple weeks, let's use this rather than flooding our inboxes with E-mail requests.

Let me know if this is clear, Aaron

Sept 9th

In your mailboxes will be envelopes (one for each section). In the envelope is the grade sheet. The graders “should” get everyone's work back by this evening. If this is not the case, please let me know.

How to enter grades:

1. Log onto bSpace

2. Click “Gradebook”

3. Click “HW 1”

4. A list of all your students (from both sections) will appear. You can use the drop-down bar to enter grades for one section at time, or input both at the same time. Be careful; assign the correct grades to your students. If a student did not turn an assignment in, leave it blank for now.

5. Click “save changes”

6. Store the grade sheets in a safe place. Do not lose these!

7. Hand back the homework during your next section.

Aim to have this done within a day of receiving the grades from the graders. Else the students will panic and you will have 30 E-mails of tears saying they turned in their homework but received a zero.

Sept 1st

Greetings GSIs,

Students are managing to find section swappers. Also, if you look at “Section Info” on our bSpace site, you'll notice that the number of students / section is starting to drop. So I'll explain how to let people into sections.

Swapping and Assigning

Suppose Jon and Emily want to switch sections. Jon is currently in Section 101, and Emily is in Section 120.

1. Log into our bSpace site.

2. Click “Section Info.” A list of sections should display. If not, press the little 'rewind/recycle' button next to “Section Info” in the main window.

3. Find Section 101 and click “Assign Students.” Two lists should pop up. The left-hand side should be “Unassigned Students.” The right-hand list will be Section 101's roster.

4. In the drop-down tab, find Section 120. The left-hand list will change to Section 120's roster.

5. Find the student (Emily) in Section 120, click on her, and click on the SINGLE right arrow under “Move Selected”. (If you accidently click “Move all” make sure you hit CANCEL, PLEASE!) If you don't screw up, her name will now be at the bottom of Section 101's list.

6. Do the same for the student (Jon) in 101, moving him to the left into Section 120.

7. Click “Assign Students.”

8. Update your attendance sheets.

9. Let the two students know the switch has occurred. Remind them that they should turn in their homework under their NEW section. The graders will have updated rosters.

10. Repeat if necessary.

For assigning students, it's the same procedure, just you only move one person into a particular section. Students who have not signed up for a section (waitlisted students, for example), will fall under “Unassigned.” We need to try to empty this list out. If you switch a student's section assignment, you should let them know. If you don't have their E-mail, use bSpace Messages, where you can search for students by name.

Some students have switched on Tele-Bears even though we asked them not to. Their changes will not show up on bSpace, and after I write to the class they will hopefully contact you soon about the switch. Hopefully with the attrition there will not be a problem, but let them know that Tele-Bears means nothing to section assignment, only course enrollment.

TO DO (by Thursday evening):

Take a look at your section size and if it is below 33, add people off your waitlist. Again, if you change something, you should let that student and their previous GSI know what happened. Please do this by Thursday evening, so I can have the most up-to-date rosters to give the graders for HW 1.

P.S. If you noticed your section size dropping, do not take it personally. It's completely random. If you notice your section size has dropped to '2', then we will need to wonder.

Best, Aaron Lee

Aug 30th

Notes from the Head GSI

Welcome to a new year at Cal and to the Astro C10 / L&S C70U team! This year we are experimenting with using a Wiki page for the GSIs of Alex Filippenko's Astro C10 course. The hopes are the following:

  • This site will allow GSIs to easily (re)view announcements from the head GSI.
  • This site will serve as a useful starting point for planning sections on a certain topic. Thoughts have included creating a place where GSIs can make comments (both good and bad) on EBRB content they used in section.
  • This site will help keep C10 happenings and Ay300 instruction synchronized.
  • This site will eventually house all the previously used Think-Pair-Share questions. It is hoped that this website will be a place where fellow GSIs can make comments on previously used TPS questions, add questions of their own, and receive feedback on their own TPS questions from the head GSI and other GSIs.

Aug 28th

We WILL be meeting this Friday from 1 - 2 pm in the lounge.

Thank you everyone for absorbing all that information. Do not panic, it will all make sense with time. A PDF of the slides from our first meeting can be found here: gsimeetingkeynote.pdf

We will be meeting with Alex from 1 - 2 pm tomorrow (Tuesday). We will meet in the 6th floor lounge of Campbell Hall.

Course schedules can be found in the student Course Reader or on bSpace under 'Resources'.

Aug 25th


Some of you have queried me on office hours. It is ok if you do not know when your schedule is going to be open at this moment. In fact, I might recommend waiting until after your first section to finalize the times. If you wanted, you could poll the class to see what times work best for the most students.

Also be sure to remind the students that they can attend ANY GSI's office hours, not just the one they are enrolled in. As Josh and I were mentioning today, my office hour “regulars” were students who were NOT in my two sections last year.

Best, Aaron Lee

Aug 24th

Fellow GSIs,

Thank you for attending our lengthy meeting this afternoon. Combining that with Ay300, many of you assimilated a lot of information today. You should be commended.

Reminder: Our meeting tomorrow with Alex will be from 1 - 2 pm in the 6th floor lounge of Campbell Hall. This takes place one hour before Ay300, which will be meeting in 544 Campbell Hall. At that time you should make note of where my office is (541 Campbell) in case you ever need to come see me.

TALC WILL meet this week (i.e., this Wednesday and Thursday). I will have math review worksheets that are the standard first-TALC work for us tomorrow.

At this time I should also have your attendance sheets for your first sections.

Our C10 site (http://badgrads.berkeley.edu/doku.php?id=astroc10_f09) has been updated. You can find copies of the slides under “Announcements.” Our GSI oath is also now posted. I will make it a goal to read it every Tuesday before going into section.

You have all been assigned to your sections on bSpace. Check under “Section Info” to make sure I have assigned you correctly.

Things to do NOW:

  1. Remember the meeting tomorrow.
  2. Think about when you want office hours to be.
  3. Update the bSpace resources with your contact information, OH schedule, etc. when known. Thank you to those who have already done so.

The rest of the semester will not be as information packed, I promise. Even if you did not get everything today, stuff will be repeated throughout the semester. Everything will work out. But if you ever feel overwhelmed, don't hesitate to come chat with me. I find a box of Mike&Ikes always makes me feel better, and I am willing to share.

Until tomorrow, Aaron Lee

Aug 21st


Greetings again. As I mentioned in the previous E-mail, we have a Wiki page for C10. The address is the following:


It will contain (among other things) copies of all these announcements.


I admit that I misspoke in my previous E-mail. I had said there were no Astronomy classes scheduled Monday from 1 - 2 pm. This is not true: Marcy's Rocky Planets Seminar is from 12 - 2:30 pm. So having our weekly group meeting Mondays from 1 - 2 pm would prevent any of us from taking this class. Alex is also open to having Friday 1 - 2 pm be our regularly scheduled meeting time. If this time is a problem, please let me know. We will also discuss this as a group at our meeting on Monday.


Our first meeting itinerary is below. This also can be found on our website.

1. Welcomes - Introductions and an overview of the class, the GSI role, and all of our responsibilities. We will discuss the point of sections, office hours, TALC (The Astronomy Learning Center), Review Sessions, and Star Parties.

2. Decide on a permanent meeting time

3. Pick Sections - Bring your schedules with you to our meeting on Monday. You should look at our website, where the times of all the sections are shown, and think about your preferences. Each of you will have two discussion sections except Josh and Jackson, who will have four. Make a list of sections you CAN teach and bring it with you on Monday. Note: I did not say to pick the two (or four) sections you MOST WANT. Please be open and accommodating and we can all get sections that work best for us.

4. TALC Assignments - Not everyone will have a TALC assignment, but for now assume that you will. TALC assignments are an hour long and TALC runs on Wednesday from 7 - 9 pm and Thursday from 6 - 9 pm. Make a note of which hour blocks you could attend and bring this with you to our Monday meeting.

5. Quick overview of bSpace and EBRB - Since we are in 501 Campbell, I can use the projector system to show everyone important features of bSpace and the EBRB. Feel free to bring your laptops with you and follow along if you desire.

6. Your First Section - I will go over important points to keep in mind when planning your first sections. This will be similar (but briefer) than what some of you had just talked about in Ay300.

7. Other topics that come to mind - I may pontificate about the joys of GSI-ing under the great Filippenko. Or I may suggest we all go celebrate the beginning of the semester with a beer.

Remember, our first meeting will be Monday, Aug 24th, at 4 pm.

And, as always, do not hesitate to E-mail me if you have questions or concerns.

Best, Aaron Lee

Aug 19th

Greetings GSIs,

Thank you for promptly responding to the previous E-mail. It shows me that I probably do not need to say this, but I will anyway: Get in the habit NOW of checking your E-mail frequently and reading through E-mails carefully. Some messages from Alex or me may contain timely material that needs to be addressed quickly. Once we start using bSpace more, make sure bSpace messages are not being tagged as spam.

As for our meeting, we have narrowed down on one time:

Monday, Aug 24, 4 pm in 501 Campbell Hall.

Most of you will be in 501 already with Josh for Ay300, so let us just continue the discussion there. I may attend this particular 300 myself, so I will get to meet most of you then. This will also help me get a sense of what you already talked about with Josh so I do not have to repeat the basics. A detailed itinerary of our first meeting will follow in a day or so.

I will mention one quick side note since some of you have E-mailed and asked me: Alex will provide you with a copy of the textbook and the student course packet. You do NOT have to buy them at the bookstore.


The times of next week's meetings will only be for next week. After that, we will have one weekly meeting with Professor Filippenko. Alex and I would like to have these meetings on *Monday at 1 pm* in the 6th floor lounge of Campbell Hall. Let me know if this time will be an issue. (There are no sections or graduate astronomy classes scheduled during this time.)


The bSpace website is up and you are all registered. Login here : https://bspace.berkeley.edu/ There should be a tab for 'Astro C10 / L&S C70U Fall 2009' . If not, let me know ASAP. I encourage you to explore the site and become familiar with it.

If you really want to prepare, you can read through the Syllabus section. It contains the same information that is in the student course packet. We will go over some of this material (and bSpace in general) on Monday.


This year we are experimenting with having a website for Filippenko's C10 course. The address can be found at the bottom of the 300 webpage. The direct link is the following:


It is hoped that this site will be frequently visited and will serve as a forum for many useful discussions related to teaching. Where Ay300 covers teaching in general, this site is hoped to help GSIs come up with better ways to teach specific topics in C10. The site itself is still a work in progress. There is more to discuss about this site, which we will talk about in our first meeting.


In summary:

  1. Our meeting next week will be on Monday at 4 pm in 501 Campbell.
  2. Our weekly meetings from then on will be on Monday at 1 pm in the 6th floor lounge.
  3. Check out bSpace and the C10 websites. Explore and discover.
  4. E-mail me if you have pressing questions. Well done to those who already have done so.
  5. Stay tuned for an itinerary of our meeting and messages from Alex.

Best, Aaron Lee

Aug 17th

GSIs of Astro C10 / L&S C70U,

Welcome to a new year at Cal and to the Astro C10 / L&S C70U team! I–Aaron–am the head GSI this semester, happily serving as your go-to person and mentor (and boss). I am looking forward to working with each of you. Let's do all that we can to make this class really great!

The time before classes begin is fleeting. I would like to schedule a meeting for next weekend to go over course logistics, assign sections, discuss teaching at the C10 level, and maybe even talk a little physics (doubtful). I suggest the following possibilities:

Sunday, Aug 23, 1 pm Monday, Aug 24, 1 pm (before Ay300) Monday, Aug 24, 4 pm (after Ay300) ←- My preference

Also, some of you may need keys to Campbell Hall. This is information I need to know. There are a total of three keys: One to the front door of Campbell, one to the mailroom, and one to the telescope dome on the roof. For example, the students outside the astronomy department will probably need all three keys. Incoming first years will only need the telescope key. Previous GSIs might need nothing.

Give me your date preferences and key needs here : http://www.doodle.com/4udc3mf2din7ppwe

Professor Filippenko (Alex) would also like to meet with all of us sometime on Tuesday, Aug 25 (He'll E-mail us with times). Sections and lectures begin the following day. (Note: Wednesday, Aug 26 sections will still meet even though the students have not yet attended lecture 1.)

Once we finalize a date, I'll send you another E-mail with an itinerary and more information. If you have any questions you cannot wait to ask, please E-mail me. This is always encouraged: never be shy to flood my inbox. And if you cannot make any of these times, E-mail me ASAP.

I look forward to meeting some of you for the first time in the coming week. For those I already know, I am glad for this opportunity to see you again.

PLEASE click on this link NOW : http://www.doodle.com/4udc3mf2din7ppwe

Best, Aaron Lee