Your main efforts in this class will center around weekly homework assignments (see the course calendar for due dates). You should begin work on them as soon as possible, as many problems will require that you think about them more than once. Remember, writing computer programs always takes at least three times as long as you think it will, and so you definitely should not leave those problems for the night before they are due.
You should use the following guidelines for the homework that you turn in:
- 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.
You should write in complete, English sentences when you write up your homework. Mathematical notation is shorthand for English words, so you can incorporate these into your sentences, but they should read as a sentence, and you must explain what you are doing as you do it. In general, your write-up should not be your first draft; you should have done significant work on the problem prior to starting your write up, so it should collect and explain those ideas.
Copies of the best solutions will be made available in a notebook outside my office, 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 information.
See the discussion of the grading policy for the percentage of your grade that will come from your problem sets.
You may work together with others on these homework problems, but you should cite those you work with, and should write up your final solutions on your own (see the Honor Code policy for details).
I will also assign problems that are not collected. This does not mean that they are optional. You will not be successful in this class if you do not do the homework. These problems represent crucial practice in the techniques that we develop in class. If you do not do them, you will not have the experience you need to answer the questions on the exams. If you are unable to do one of these problems on your own, be sure to ask about it in class. I will assume you know how to do these problems unless you say otherwise.