HOMEWORK, NOTES, & EXAM FORMAT


 

Homework: We will have six problems due at the beginning of class on the first meeting day of class each week for ten weeks. The weeks when homework is due may not be consecutive. For example, no homework will be due during midterms or finals, and we may elect to skip homework during short weeks when our class doesn't meet due to holidays. No homework will be due week 1, obviously. Homework particulars will be posted on the main page of this website.

I will roll a die in class on the day homework is due to determine which one problem will be collected and graded from all students. This policy is necessary since it is impractical for me to grade every problem from every student every week for every class. All homework problems will be worth 10 points each, so there are 100 possible homework points that can be earned over the course of the semester. Solutions will be discussed that day, so no late work can be accepted. If you cannot attend class that day, you can still submit all the problems under my office door at any time before class is over. I will work all the problems in class and publish them promptly as pdf files on this website under "Class Notes".

Notes: In addition to problem solutions, I will generate a set of lecture notes each day and publish them under "Class Notes". This will give everyone the benefit of being able to focus more on the flow of the lecture without the distraction of taking detailed personal notes, however I encourage you to adopt whatever note-taking strategy works best for you. If you would like to record my lecture, that is fine, but it is up to you. My published notes will satisfy the request for note-taking by Adaptive Services. 

Exams: We will have a midterm and final, each worth 100 points. Both the midterm and the final will have two components: an in-class component with no references, and a take-home component with any "honorable" references allowed (which means independent work done by the student and not a tutor or internet resource). The in-class component for both the midterm and final will consist of a true/false quiz and one narrative problem. The take-home component for both the midterm and final will consist of narrative problems. The take-home component will be due one week after the in-class component.  The in-class part of the final will be given on the last meeting day of the semester, so the take-home part will be due at the end of "Finals Week". Exams in class will be handouts. Take-home components will be published on the main page of this website. Exam solutions will be worked out in class and published under "Class Notes".

Grade calculation: As mentioned above, there are 100 possible points for homework. The midterm is worth 100 points overall. Half of those points are possible from the true/false quiz (so each question is worth one point), and the other half are possible from the five narrative problems worth 10 points each. Recall one of these problems is done in class and the remaining four at home. The final is scored exactly the same as the midterm.

Your grade is based on your total points earned as a percentage of 300. See the section of the general syllabus with the grading scale that maps percentages to letter grades.

 

Answers to anticipated FAQs:

1) The exams are cumulative in the sense that math is intrinsically cumulative. The emphasis for each exam will be on the material studied following the last exam, if any.

2) Partial credit will be given.

3) Use of calculators of any type is encouraged. Our exam and homework problems will always have a piece to them that can't be solved by button pushing alone. For some classes (like abstract algebra or symbolic logic), calculators are largely irrelevant.

4) Quoting Wikipedia or Wolfram is not a solution or proof.

5) Honorable references - you should know what they are. At the very least your work should be yours. Presenting someone else's work as your own is plagiarism.

6) I will make an effort to create new problems, so solutions manuals and web problem solving resources may not be entirely helpful.

7) Neatness is appreciated, but more importantly, logical cohesiveness is crucial in presenting solutions and getting maximum credit. Answers with unsupportive (or even no) work or that gloss over critical details (hand waving) are subject to reductions in credit.