Extra credit Extra credit points will be granted if you answer
someone else's math question on the WebCT bulletin board.
There will be other extra credit opportunities during the
semester for which points will accumulate. When final grades are
given, extra credit points are taken into account in the determination of
-,nothing or + attached to a letter grade.
You can obtain a passing grade in this class by
completing your work and missing no more than 8 credit hours of
class. You should expect to work hard in this class,
and put in the necessary time outside of class
in order to complete homework
and assignments on time, as I also work hard to help you succeed.
To obtain an A in this class, you must demonstrate deep understanding
of the material.
Material is covered very quickly.
Do plenty of exercises, more than those that are assigned.
In college, you can expect to spend 1.5-2 hours
outside of class for each hour in class. Plan to spend at least 7-10 hours
per week, out of class, on average, on this course.
This is standard for mathematics courses.
As a general rule of thumb, on average, you can expect to spend
about 2-3 hours outside of class per week
reviewing material and class notes,
3-6 hours outside of class per week for homework assignments, and about
1 hour outside of class per week on checking the
main web page and bulletin board.
If you find that you are spending fewer hours than these guidelines
suggest, you can probably improve your grade by studying more.
If you are spending more hours than these guidelines sugges,
you may be studying inefficiently; in that case, you should
come see me.
Attendance and participation are expected and required.
Please try to be punctual in attending, as I try to start each class on time.
If you must be late to a class, or must leave early,
then do still attend, although
you can expect that the portion of the class that you miss will be deducted
from your attendance allowance.
This class does not follow the standard lecture format.
There will be days when the activities are designed to be completed
during class and handed in at the end of the period.
Thus, attendance is required at ALL lecture and lab periods.
You are responsible for all material covered and all announcements
and assignments made at each class, whether
you are present or not. You are also responsible for announcements
made on the main web page and WebCT bulletin board, so check these
two places often.
Certain homework or assignments will require use of a computer with
web access, as
this is a computer intensive designated course. Either you will be given
some time in lab to do the assignment, or you will have at least
36 hours to complete such an assignment - enough time
to access a computer from school if you do not have one at home.
If, due to work or other responsibilities, you cannot
access a computer with web access
at least once every 36 hours, then you should drop out of this section.
As mandated for
writing designated courses,
you will be assigned a significant amount of writing.
You can expect to have your graded projects returned to you
after the same amount of time that I gave you to complete the assignment.
When writing up work, be sure to give acknowledgment where it is due.
Submitting someone else's work as your own (PLAGIARISM) is a serious
violation of the University's Academic Integrity Code.
Asking questions, and explaining things to others, in or out of class,
is one of the best ways to improve your understanding of the material.
This course is to be an environment in which everyone
feels comfortable asking questions,
making mistakes, offering good guesses and ideas, and is respectful to
You should think of me as
a combination between a coach and a future boss and you should
respect this dynamic in class, office hours and the bulletin board as
I try to
guide you to success in this class by
helping you develop professional skills.
You should explore each problem
and write out your
thinking in a way that can be shared with others.
Focus on your own ideas.
Turn in projects or prepare to present problems
even if it they are not complete, even if only to say, "I do not
understand such and such" or "I am stuck here."
Be as specific as possible. Conjecture.
In this course, you will be challenged with problems that you have never
seen before. I do not expect you to be able to solve all the issues
immediately. Instead, I want to see what you can do on your own.
Out in the real world, this is important, since no matter what job
you have, you will be expected to seek out information and answers
to new topics you have not seen before.
This may feel uncomfortable and frustrating. I understand this
and want to help you through the process.
It helps to remember that
there are no mathematical dead-ends!
Each time we get stuck, it teaches us
something about the problem we are working on, and leads us to a
deeper understanding of the mathematics.
In the real world though, you are not expected to face your work alone.
You will be allowed to talk to other people
may even be expected to work with other people.
In this class, you are also not expected to face your work alone.
I encourage you to talk to me often in class, office hours,
and the bulletin board,
and group work will also be encouraged.
I am always happy to help you in class, during office hours (or by
appointment), or on the WebCT bulletin board, and will
try to give you hints and direction.
At times though, to encourage the exploration process,
I may direct you to rethink a problem
and to come back to discuss it with me again afterwards. This occurs
when I believe that the struggle to understand is imperative for your
deep understanding of the material.
The text below is taken from Jeff Bennett's
HINTS ON HOW TO SUCCEED IN COLLEGE CLASSES.
Copyright 2000, Jeff Bennett.
May be copied, but not modified, freely for educational purposes;
please include this credit/permission line when copying.
Presenting Homework and Writing Assignments
All work that you turn-in should be of collegiate quality: neat and easy to read, well-organized, and demonstrating mastery of the subject matter. Future employers and teachers will expect this quality of work. Moreover, although submitting homework of collegiate quality requires "extra" effort, it serves two important purposes directly related to learning.
- The effort you expend in clearly explaining your work solidifies your learning. In particular, research has shown that writing and speaking trigger different areas of your brain. By writing something down - even when you think you already understand it - your learning is reinforced by involving other areas of your brain.
- By making your work clear and self-contained (that is, making it a document that you can read without referring to the questions in the text), it will be a much more useful study guide when you review for a quiz or exam.
The following guidelines will help ensure that your assignments meet the standards of collegiate quality.
- Always use proper grammar, proper sentence and paragraph structure, and proper spelling.
- All answers and other writing should be fully self-contained. A good test is to imagine that a friend is reading your work, and asking yourself whether the friend would understand exactly what you are trying to say. It is also helpful to read your work out loud to yourself, making sure that it sounds clear and coherent.
- In problems that require calculation:
- Be sure to show your work clearly. By doing so, both you and your instructor can follow the process you used to obtain an answer.
- Word problems should have word answers. That is, after you have completed any necessary calculations, any problem stated in words should be answered with one or more complete sentences that describe the point of the problem and the meaning of your solution.
- Express your word answers in a way that would be meaningful to most people. For example, most people would find it more meaningful if you express a result of 720 hours as 1 month. Similarly, if a precise calculation yields an answer of 9,745,600 years, it may be more meaningful in words as "nearly 10 million years."
- Pay attention to details that will make your assignments look good. For example:
- Use standard-sized white paper with clean edges (e.g., do not tear paper out of notebooks because it will have ragged edges).
- Staple all pages together; don't use paper clips or folded corners because they tend to get caught with other students' papers.
- Use a ruler to make straight lines in sketches or graphs.
- Include illustrations whenever they help to explain your answer.
- Ideally, make your work look professional by using a word processor for text and equations and by creating graphs or illustrations with a spreadsheet or other software.
- If you study with friends, be sure that you turn in your own work stated in your own words - it is important that you avoid any possible appearance of academic dishonesty.