General Policies and Procedures
Matthias K. Gobbert
While I realize that you have only a limited amount of time available
for this class, the following strategy has proven very successful in
studying for math classes, and I strongly advise its use:
Prepare for the lecture by reading the
scheduled section(s) in the textbook; even if you do not understand
everything, you will have an overview of what to expect in class.
At this point, you should review any section, that might be needed
as background for the new material. Then attend the lecture and take
your own notes. Afterwards, you should review the textbook and your notes
as much as necessary to understand the material; test yourself by
working out the examples in the text! At this point, you are
ready to do the homework problems for this section as a final test
of your understanding.
You should realize that this approach actually saves time over the
whole semester, since it is easier to do homework problems
right after studying the material, and thus reinforcing the lecture.
Also, by starting all homework problems as early as possible, you have
the opportunity to get additional help before the due date.
You should expect to spend at least three hours of your own time for
every hour of lecture per week.
The purpose of homework is to reinforce concepts introduced in class
and to help guide you in your own explorations of the course subject.
Mathematics can only be learned by applying these concepts yourself.
Only as a secondary purpose is the homework designed to help your
evaluation and to prepare you for the tests.
Please note that the homework is due in class, at the beginning of the
lecture to be precise. No guarantee can be given for homework turned in
at any other time and/or place. I will accept late homework only in
exceptional situations, provided approval for late homework has been obtained
by the due date. If late homework is accepted, it will ordinarily still
accrue a penalty of 10 % of the possible points for each day from the
due date until my receiving it (including weekends and holidays).
I reserve the right to exclude any problem from grading on
late homework, for instance, if I have talked about it in class.
Do not leave homework at my office, if I am not present, as it may get
destroyed by the cleaning crew.
Also note that the department does not have sufficient resources to
accept homework, so do not try to turn in homework to the department
Documentation of Computer Problems
The presentation of computer problems should be a complete and
self-contained report such that the reader, who is unfamiliar with the
problem, can understand the problem to be solved, your solution to it
including your computer code, the manner in which the results were obtained,
and your interpretation of the results. The level of your report should
be appropriate for a student, who has a similar background as your classmates
but is not familiar with the problem; as a result of reading your report,
this student should be able to reproduce your results.
Correct and complete results for a computer problem are never worth
more than half of the points for the problem.
The explanation of your solution method and the interpretation
of the results is required in all cases. You are always required to submit
a complete printout of all computer code used.
Here are some ideas on what to include in your presentation:
- State the problem in your own words, introducing notation and
formulas as needed. Then derive your solution as mathematically
- Next explain how you obtained your numerical results. You must
explain the key idea behind your code as well as state how you
used the code. Attach a program listing of your code at the end
of each problem, but it should be possible to understand your
results without reading it.
- Present all enclosed results by introducing and explaining all
tables and figures that follow. These must be accompanied by a
critical discussion; for instance, you should contrast your
results to your expectations, your experience with other solution
methods, or mathematical theorems, as appropriate.
The number and type of exams is given in the syllabus.
The final exam is comprehensive and will cover all material covered in
the course. Additional quizzes might be given, if deemed necessary.
While the grading scale will be adjusted later to some degree to reflect
the level of difficulty of the exams, the following may
serve as a guideline based on prior experience:
| Score above
| Letter grade
Please notice that this syllabus is subject to change by announcement
in class, in particular the weight distribution and the grading scale.
Policy on Academic Misconduct
You are encouraged to work in groups, since it is vital that
you learn to communicate mathematical ideas, but everyone should write
out their own final solution independently. Copying homework or any
other material is considered cheating and a serious violation of the
student honor code as defined in the catalog and the directory. You are
encouraged to review the codes and policies there. If a violation is
observed, you can expect me to pursue the matter to the full extent of the
policy, including but not necessarily limited to issuing a failing grade
for academic misconduct.
The right is reserved to check a picture identification at any time.
I apologize for these drastic statements, but past experiences have forced
me to add this paragraph to the syllabus. Please, remember that I am
charged with enforcing academic integrity in order to preserve the
quality and reputation of your education, grades, and degree at
this university. When in doubt about something or if you have any questions
on this matter, feel free to contact me.
Copyright © 1999-2001 by Matthias K. Gobbert. All Rights Reserved.
This page version 3.2, January 2001.