This page provides some general information about the course in addition to the information covered on the course outline. If you have any further questions, then please do not hesitate to ask.
Mathematics is a skill learned by PRACTICE, just like playing a musical instrument or a sport. There is a big difference between watching someone else do math problems and doing them yourself. Consequently, the best way to do well in this course is to do lots of problems. Try to develop a positive attitude toward doing problems, perhaps by thinking of them as little puzzles.
If you get stuck on a problem, check the solutions manual and the solutions posted online for help. If that does not clear up the difficulty, talk to others in the class about it. You are doing other students a favor by asking them for help, because one of the best ways to learn the material is to explain it to someone else. If none of these approaches work, ask the TA or myself.
Exams are meant as diagnostic devices, to help you discover which areas you have mastered and which areas you have not. You should go over your exam carefully, compare your answers with the solutions discussed class and/or posted on the website, and make sure you understand why you missed the problems you missed. Be sure to work extra problems on those topics. In mathematics, later topics often build on earlier ones, so it is not wise to skip things you do not understand.
Attendance is strongly recommended but not required. Most students who do not attend regularly do not do well in the course. If you miss a class, then you are still responsible for finding out from fellow students what happened in class. So, make sure you introduce yourself to some of your classmates early in the semester in case you happen to miss a class here or there.
Late Homework or Missed Exams
Homework assigned to be graded is due at lecture on the posted due date. If you are not able to hand in your homework on time due to illness, for example, then you should contact the TA prior to the due date. Homework handed in after the due date (and without prior arrangements made) is subject to a penalty. The late homework penalty will be discussed by your TA.
It is your responsibility to be prepared and to be on time for all exams. If you are unable to attend an exam, it is important to contact me immediately. A make-up exam will be given in the rare case when a missed exam is excused (such as for an illness which is confirmed by the Health Center). A missed exam without a valid excuse will result in a zero for that exam.
The general philosophy is that work you present as yours for grading should indeed be your own.
With respect to exams and quizzes, this means that you should obtain your answers without the assistance of others and within the rules established for each test. If you are uncertain about the rules, then you should ask for a clarification.
For suggested problems that are not to be handed in and graded, you are free to seek assistance from any person, book, or computer. For homework assignments to be turned in for a grade, you may work with others, but you must hand in your own handwritten solutions. It is important when working with others that you understand the solutions fully since similar problems may appear on a subsequent quiz or exam.