Relativity Theory II (2019-20) -- PHY484S/1484S


Accessibility accommodations

My general policy is to grant requests from Accessibility Services (AS), whenever feasible. I recommend that you show this webpage to AS staff before they send me a letter, to give them an idea of what accommodations are feasible in this particular course. Please submit all AS requests at least one week before the pertinent due dates, to allow logistical planning with my TA. (See also Extensions below.)

Illness or injury

Standard UofT policy is that students experiencing illness or injury should see a Physician, Surgeon, Nurse Practitioner, Registered Psychologist or Dentist and have them fill out a Verification of Student Illness or Injury (VSII) form. Independently, I recommend taking personal notes for your own records, like you would in a lab book. Careful documentation makes discerning patterns easier, which in turn affords more confidence in requesting help from a college registrar or accommodations from a course instructor.

Note that the VSII form concentrates on only the timeline and severity of the illness/injury. The reason for this is that those are the only two factors that matter for the creation of altered grade weighting (for missed homeworks) and/or appropriate make-up work (for missed exams) to cover the exceptional circumstances. Private medical details are none of the instructor's business, and you should not have to disclose them in order to get accommodated fairly.


Deadlines for achieving certain core competencies via homework exercises are important because they help provide scaffolding for your learning. This is the primary academic reason why you should plan to respect deadlines for turning in graded work. Procrastination tends to snowball, making delays cascade and go nonlinear. For my part, I make a genuine effort not to be a deadline terrorist (see Extensions), and I encourage taking advantage of my office hours to get tips on homework problems and exam study.

The Instructors' Handbook makes clear that instructors must turn back a certain percentage of the final grade to the whole class by the drop deadline. I adhere to that rule strictly, with time to spare, because it provides important academic transparency for students. The only exception may occur when a student has obtained an incompatible extension on term work.


In the spirit of further transparency, here are my rules on extensions.

  1. Homeworks are due on the dates specified at the beginning of class (10am). The lateness penalty per day is 5%, up to a maximum of seven days. Any assignment handed in later than one week late will not be graded.
  2. Each student gets a bank of seven Grace Days per semester, which allows handing in assignments late. You may use all seven on one assignment, or spread them out in a different ratio. The only rule is that you must inform me that you will be using a specific number of Grace Days at least 24 hours before the original due date.
  3. The maximum extension for any given homework is one week, because assignments handed in on-time are returned with comments one week after the due date. Assignments turned in late will be returned late.
  4. Homeworks more than a week late cannot be counted. Re-weighting remaining homeworks to cover the missing grade is the primary remedy available; the other is to re-weight onto the final exam.
  5. Extensions beyond Grace Days or AS requests may be granted in exceptional circumstances, at my discretion. Documentation like the VSII form helps make a case more convincing, as does requesting an extension before the last minute. Present me with a good case for leniency and I am likely to grant it.

I hope this information helped. Let me know what else I can do to support you in reaching your academic goals.
-- Professor Peet.