I will be posting homework questions to the Math 53 Moodle Course, so you should check these each night after class. You and your classmates should answer these on line, and I am hoping that this will lead to a continued discussion of the material from class. It will also help to develop the questions we will be asking during the next class, so your participation in this is very important.
Although you are not required to make a written response to every question every night, you should at least think about them and read the responses by the other students, as we will assume you have done so before the next class. Note that you may respond to the comments of other students, not just the original question. That means you can ask for clarification, or point out difficulties or concerns that you might have with an answer. It is not disrespectful to do so, as questioning is part of the academic process. I hope that you will make this a thoughful discussion, not just a series of individual answers.
In addition, I will be collecting selected homework problems nearly every Monday, and will let you know in advance which problems these are. They will not be part of the on-line forums, but can be found on the assignments page of the main Math 53 web site, so you should check there daily as well.
The homework will be challenging, so don't expect to be able to do it in an hour the night before it is due. You will need to start working on it as soon as it is assigned, and it may take several days of thinking about it and coming back to it before it makes sense. This is a natural part of working on hard problems; don't give up! Many students quit if they don't know how to do a problem immediately. Don't do this! One of the things we are practicing is how to work through hard problems. And don't forget, the fourth dimension is not easy for anyone!
The handed-in homework will be due on Monday; you can reach me by email (
firstname.lastname@example.org) if you need to ask a question about the homework.
You should use the following guidelines when writing up your homework:
- Please staple your pages together, and trim the left edge if they are torn out of a spiral notebook. Unstapled or ragged pages will not be graded.
- Your solutions are due at the beginning of class on the day they are due. Late papers will not be graded.
- Please print on only one side of the paper, clearly and legibly.
- Please leave some space in the margins or between problems for my comments. Begin each problem on a new page, unless both fit comfortably and completey on the same page.
- Do not use graph paper except for graphs. Use lined paper for written work.
- Fully explain your work. That include computations and diagrams.
You should write in complete, English sentences when you write up your solutions (both in class, on hand-in homework, and on line); since mathematical notation is shorthand for English words, you can incorporate equations into your sentences, but you must explain why you are doing what you do. Many students feel at first that this is extraneous, but it is precisely this that should be central to your learning process. See the course philosophy and the last paragraph of the course responsibilities statement for more details on why this is important.
Copies of the best solutions will be made available in a notebook in the Math Department common room, as will any solution that I write up myself. If I circle a problem number in red on an assignment that you turn in, that means I have made a copy of your answer and placed it in this notebook (this is just for your information). See the discussion of the course notebook for more details.
While you may work with other students on homework problems, you must cite the students involved and briefly explain the role each played in doing the homework, and you must each write up your final results independently. See the collaboration policy for more details.
See the discussion of the grading policy for the percentage of your grade that will come from your homework, and for policy on missing assignments.
See the study suggestions for some helpful hints on homework.