Matthias K. Gobbert
General Policies and Procedures
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 first purpose of homework is to reinforce concepts introduced in class
and to help guide you in your own explorations of the subject matter.
Mathematics can only be learned by applying its concepts yourself.
If you defeat this goal by not doing the work yourself, you are
essentially cheating your own education, but you might also be committing
academic misconduct; see below.
A second purpose of the homework is to provide feedback to me
about your learning progress, and the third purpose is to prepare
you for the exams.
Only as a fourth purpose is the homework used to evaluate your
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 5% 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 it was discussed in class.
Never leave homework at my office, if I am not present, as it may get
destroyed by the cleaning crew.
Rather, you should use properly addressed campus mail envelopes submitted
at the departmental mail slot.
Always write your name clearly on the homework. I suggest to add my
name and the class number, which helps to recover the homework,
in case it gets lost somewhere.
Your student or social security numbers are not needed at any time.
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.
Please note that you are encouraged to write your solutions in permanent
ink. If you decide to use pencil or other erasable media, I will generally
not be able to entertain grade changes or corrections afterwards.
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 note that this syllabus is subject to change by announcement,
in particular the weight distribution and the grading scale.
Policy on Academic Misconduct
You are welcome to talk to others, because it is important that
you learn how to communicate mathematical ideas, but you must do
all assignments on your own.
If you make use of any information from any source,
you must include a reference to that source, e.g., to books, articles,
software, webpages, individuals, etc.
This is a vital issue of academic integrity.
Failures to properly cite sources constitutes plagiarism and a serious
violation of the student honor code as defined in the catalog and the
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 anything or if you have any questions
on this matter, feel free to contact me.
Copyright © 1999-2002 by Matthias K. Gobbert. All Rights Reserved.
This page version 5.0, January 2002.