Problem Sets

Problem Set Guidelines

Problem Sets versus Daily Exercise Practice There are 4 problem sets over the course of the semester with annotations or explanations that demonstrate your work and understanding. These differ from daily exercise sets. Work is due on or before the due date by the beginning of class because solutions will be posted. (you can send it with another student to class, slide it under my office door before I leave for class or even turn it in on ASULearn if need be, but I prefer printed work). To accomodate issues that may arise, the lowest problem set will automatically be dropped - save this for emergencies. If all graded hw is turned in on time and you have received at least a grade of 60% for all work, and you have turned in a good faith effort of all except 3 of the other homework, then you will receive +1 added on to your final average.

Annotations for Your Solutions Your solutions, mathematics, and Maple work needs to be explained in words. I expect proper grammar and spelling, and correct units, but there is no need for full sentences. Keep the reader informed of the plan of your solution and how you are carrying it out. This does not usually require a lengthy prose. A good rule of thumb in deciding how much to write is to write enough so that a classmate who hasn't yet solved the problem could understand what you are doing and why--- how you reached your conclusion from the computation or example and persuaded of its validity by the logic and clarity of your reasoning. Be sure to show all work and write out your thoughts clearly, neatly and concisely. If I have trouble reading the problem set, I will count it wrong.

True-False As the book instructs, for true-false questions, if the statement is true, then you must find a general reason why this is so (i.e. a specific example will not do, but a theorem and page number from the book will suffice). If a statement is false, then you must find a specific instance when it is false or explain in detail why it does not always hold. It is not sufficient to state that a statement is false because it looks slightly different from a statement in the book (as this doesn't show why both statements aren't true). Generally you must produce one example, with specific numbers, where the statement fails. Often you will find that counter-examples are similar to the practice problems.

Should I Use Maple and/or By-Hand Work? Be sure to follow directions. If I have not specified, then it is your choice, and you may also use a combination of by-hand and Maple work that is printed. You can draw or write by hand on the printed copy, if this will help the reader understand the commands or pictures better.

Acknowledgments and Group Work You may work alone or in a group of 2 people with one assignment turned in per group. The purpose of homework is to learn and practice computational strategies, concepts, and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, so you should try problems on your own. If you are stuck, you are encouraged to work with other groups and talk to me, but you, or your group, must independently write up your problem set in your own words and be sure to acknowledge any sources including each other like "The insight for this solution came from a conversation with Joel." There is no need to acknowledge my help. If you are referring to something out of a book or online source, refer to the source and page number in your write-up. If you know how to do a problem and are asked for help, try to give hints rather than the solution: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime (or at least this course). Submitting someone else's work as your own (PLAGIARISM) is a serious violation of the University's Academic Integrity Code, which defines:
            Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, borrowing, downloading, cutting and pasting, and paraphrasing without acknowledgement, including from online sources, or allowing an individual's academic work to be submitted as another's work.
If your group is talking to other groups, then you may indeed have the same counterexamples or other similarities to someone else's work. This is fine. However, your group's Maple and by-hand formatting, explanations, and annotations need to be presented in your group's own unique style in order to distinguish your work as your own. It is your responsibility to ensure that I do not suspect you of plagiarism.
  • It is PLAGIARISM to let a classmate borrow your file or problem set or for you to borrow anyone else's for the purpose of copying all or part of it.
  • It is PLAGIARISM to call other work your group's work.