ARCHIVE: PHYS 1303 – Introduction to Mechanics (Spring 2021)

Course Information

I am very pleased to be co-teaching, with Prof. Jodi Cooley, Introductory Mechanics in Spring 2021. We foster an active learning environment, in which students take direct ownership of the learning process. You will be immersed in physics learning: outside the classroom in readings, videos, and problem-solving; inside the classroom by learning how to setup and solve problems and engagement in the principles and implications of physics through experience with physical phenomena and inquiry-based learning, both at the individual and the group level.


Professor Stephen Sekula (Co-Lead Instructor)
Professor Jodi Cooley
(Co-Lead Instructor)
Brandon Stevenson (Graduate Learning Assistant)


  • Zoom Only – Tue. and Thur. 9:30AM – 10:50AM

Textbook and Learning Systems

Required: Halliday, Resnick, Walker. “Fundamentals of Physics Volume I” (11th edition with WileyPLUS and Orion).

  • Instructions for Purchasing the Book for my Section
  • OUR RECOMMENDATION: to save a lot of money and some paper, we strongly recommend that you purchase only the online textbook with WileyPlus, since you have to have WileyPlus no matter what. The electronic textbook can be printed, if you prefer a paper copy, or otherwise used on a mobile device, laptop, etc. I like to print the chapters as PDF files and read them in a Kindle app or on a physical Kindle device, for instance.

Other Information

Lecture Notes

The lecture notes from this course are compiled into a single (long) PDF document. These include the slides accompanying the online lecture videos and the problem-solving activities associated with each topic and class period.

They have not changed since Spring 2019:


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Lecture Videos

These would be assigned before class, so you have been briefed on the new material and are ready to learn to solve problems using that material.


I create media to add some fun, levity, and even thematic elements to the class. Please find below the media created for Spring 2019.

SMU Physics Marvel-Inspired Opening Title Roll

Remember that time Andrew (“Thor”) broke the hammer during the bed of nails demonstration?

Course Marvel-Inspired End-Credits Roll

Marvel films are famous for teaser scenes at the end of credits. Here is an “Avengers”-inspired end-of-class scene, credit roll, and teaser scene for the next course I taught after PHYS 1303.

Outtakes from Shooting the End Credits Teaser Scene

We had a fun Saturday shooting the “PHYS 3305: Introduction to Modern Physics” class teaser at the end of the credit roll above. We are NOT filmmakers (and it shows!). Here are some of the goofs, pranks, and laughter we had while trying to get 1 minute of actual film.