General Policies and Procedures

Matthias K. Gobbert

Study suggestion

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, which 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.


The purpose of homework is to reinforce concepts introduced in class. Mathematics can only be learned by applying these concepts yourself. Only as a secondary purpose is the homework designed to help your self-evaluation and to prepare you for the tests!

You are encouraged to work in groups on the homework problems, since it is vital that you learn to communicate mathematical ideas, but everyone should write out their own final solution. Working in groups also offers the opportunity of interacting with other people in general, a valuable part of the college experience.

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 at my office only in exceptional situations. Do not leave homework at my office, if I am not present, as it may get lost. Also note that the department does not have sufficient resources to accept homework, so do not try to turn in homework to the department secretary, please.


See the syllabus for the date(s) of the tests and quizzes (if applicable). There will be one final exam of two (2) hours. Unless otherwise announced, the tests will cover the sections in the text, whose contents have been covered by homework that has been already returned prior to the test. In other words, tests generally cover material up to about one-and-a-half week before; see the syllabus. The final exam is comprehensive and will cover all material covered in the course.

According to university policy, attempts at cheating are considered a violation of the student honor code and will be looked upon seriously. The right is reserved to check a picture identification during any of the exams.


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 90% 80% 65% 50% otherwise
Letter grade A B C D F

Both the weight distribution and the grading scale are subject to change by announcement in class.

Copyright © 1999 by Matthias K. Gobbert. All Rights Reserved.
This page version 1.3, January 1999.