Math 387, Spring 2004: Information and Policies

Link to class schedule

Instructor:
M. Randall Holmes
Schedule:
We meet Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday in MG 120, from 10:40 am to 11:30 am.
Office and Hours:
Office: Math/Geology 240A. Hours: To be determined after consulting you all. See ``open office policy'' below.
Telephone:
My office telephone number is 3011 (426-3011 from off-campus). My home telephone number is 345-2899: students are welcome to call me but please no calls after 8:30 pm any day or between 6 pm Friday and noon Sunday.
Electronic Information:
e-mail:  holmes@math.boisestate.edu

WWW (web page):  http://math.boisestate.edu/~holmes
I read my e-mail constantly and respond promptly. An electronic version of the syllabus, which will include homework assignments, will be accessible from my web page. The electronic version is the official syllabus, and any changes will be posted there and not distributed on paper.
Title of Course:
Math 387: Foundational and Discrete Mathematics II. This is section 001 (the only section).
Textbook:
Biggs, Discrete Mathematics, second edition. This is a new book; there will not be used copies available. We will use this book for "discrete math" topics later in the semester; we will be working from lecture notes prepared by me initially.
Dates:
The add deadline (and deadline for dropping without a W) is January 26. The drop deadline is February 20. Petitions to drop classes after this date are usually unsuccessful. Dates for in-class exams: February 13, March 19 (the Friday before spring break) and April 30. The last exam date is firm: it is the last possible day before dead week. All exams will be given on Fridays. The final exam will be Wednesday, May 12, 2004, 10:30 am-12:00 pm. If there is a take-home component to the final, it will be distributed on April 23.
Aims of the Course:
My aims in this class are two-fold: I want to teach an acceptable standard of both formal and semi-formal proof (that's the ``foundational'' part in my mind) and teach some discrete mathematics content. Given my particular interests, there will be more "foundational" than "discrete" content.

I am making no predictions in this syllabus about what material we will cover or how fast. If there is material that you would like to see in the course, you might want to approach me about it!

Format of the Course:
I would like to spend less time on my feet than usual. I will require students to present some of their homework at the board. I will invite students to attempt work at the board on questions that arise in class. When I am on my feet, I will first answer questions about homework, then lecture. I will endeavour to indicate sections of the book relevant to each lecture (when applicable) and to provide lecture notes of my own, which I will put on my web page. Criticism of my lecture notes (or of the book, for that matter) will be gratefully received!
Computer Content:
There will be some computer content in this course. We will use software developed by me to develop and verify formal proofs (on a quite simple level). We might find occasion to use the computer in connection with the discrete math content as well. Computer accounts will be supplied to anyone who doesn't already have one before the first computer lab.
Calculators:
We may sometimes have occasion to use calculators in class. Use of a plain scientific calculator (without graphing or symbolic computation capabilities) will be allowed on tests. Make sure you have such a calculator if you want to use a calculator on tests. You may not use cell phones or PDAs (such as Palm Pilots or Pocket PC's) as calculators during any exam. No exceptions will be made. (This is my usual statement about calculators; I'm not sure how relevant it is to this class).
Homework:
Homework assignments will be given once or twice weekly. Normally, homework will be due one week from the day it is assigned. I will answer questions (guardedly) in class and (more freely) in my office while you are working on it. Clear writing in English is important in this class! You will be asked to present some of your homework solutions at the board in class. Your homework grade will count as half of your course grade. Your homework must be your own work.
How Your Course Grade Will Be Computed:
I expect to give three hour exams in class and a final exam. Some of these exams may have a ``take-home'' component. Each hour exam will count for 20\% of your total test grade, and the final will count as 40\% of your total test grade; your total test grade will count as the other half of your course grade. Projected exam dates: February 13, March 19, April 30. These are all Fridays. Please note that one of these is the Friday before spring break. If there is a take-home component to the final, it will be distributed on April 23.
Eligibility for this Class:
M187 is the only prerequisite. If you don't have this course, you need to talk to me to present a case to stay in the class.
Attendance:
Attendance will not be taken except on the first two days. If you do not attend this class on one of the first two days, I will exercise my option to have you administratively withdrawn.
Open Office Policy:
My office hours for these classes are to be announced. I will almost always be in my office at the officially scheduled times, and I will try to warn you when I will not be. If I am in my office during a posted office hour, I am available to help you. Don't assume that these are the only times when you can get help! I am never offended by a student asking me for help if I am in the office (though I may help only briefly if I am very busy). My other class meets 8:40-9:30 am every day except Thursday. I will provide a summary of times when I am likely to be on campus when this is clearer.
Late Work and Makeups:
Makeups for exams will be possible, and should if possible be arranged in advance of your absence. Homework turned in late will be accepted but will have less value.
Academic Honesty:
It is expected that you will do your own work in this class, both on homework and (of course) on exams. In a class with a significant proportion of your grade determined by homework, it is important that your homework be your own. The penalty for cheating on an exam (defined as looking at another student's paper or unauthorized use of books or notes during an exam) will be a grade of zero (0) on the relevant exam. A repeat offense will mean an F in the course.
Courtesy Issues:
Cellular phones must be turned off during class. If there is a good reason that you must await a phone call during class, please inform me in advance and minimize the disruption by sitting near an exit. Cell phones must be turned off (no exceptions whatsoever) during an exam. I usually say "You do not need to contact me if you are missing class or if you need to arrive late or leave early; but I do need you to enter or leave the class quietly in either case.", but with this few students it would be polite to let me know if you aren't going to make it. Of course, you do need to contact me, preferably in advance, if you are missing an exam.
Definitions:
The word ``yesterday'' is defined to mean the previous class session; the word ``tomorrow'' is defined to mean the next class session, unless I specifically say otherwise :-)

Schedule of Events with Academic Deadlines

For the moment this schedule is mostly blank, but we might have a use for it later on.

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

Have a nice Spring Break!

Week 11

Week 12

Week 13

Week 14

Week 15

Week 16

Final Exam