Math 187, Foundational and Discrete Math, Fall 2016, Information and Policies

Please be aware that information provided here is not a promise or contract. It is subject to change at my discretion with reasonable notice. The electronic version, as maintained on the Mathematics Department computer, is the official version.

Instructor Information

I'm (Melvin) Randall Holmes. My office is in Mathematics 240A. My office number is 426-3011 and my cell phone number is 509-3278. Do not call my cell phone between 6 pm Friday and noon Sunday.

In general terms, the best way to reach me is by email. will reach me; replies will come from (and of course you can use that address too). I read my email constantly (on weekends too) and try to respond reasonably promptly.

Course Communication Channels

Course information will usually appear on the class announcements page (when this is created). Information will sometimes be distributed by email, either from the PeopleSoft class page or directly from me. You should be in the habit of looking at the class page regularly, as that is where homework will be posted. I will not usually describe homework sets in class!

Course Information

This is Math 187, Foundational and Discrete Math, section 001.

With no particular guarantee, I offer the department "generic syllabus" for this class: here

We meet in Mathematics room 139 on MWF from 1:30 pm to 2:20 pm.

Our final exam will be on Monday, December 12, 3-5 pm in this room.

The required text is Edward Scheinerman, Mathematics, a discrete introduction, third edition, ISBN-13 978-0-8400-4942-1 ISBN-10 0-8400-4942-0. This is found in the bookstore, and there are probably used copies. You use Amazon or other sources at your own risk entirely, and you are responsible for the consequences of receiving your book late; I provide very limited support for this situation.

Please be aware that I allow use of your textbook on the final. This is a reason to have your own copy (and an e-book, if such exist, would not be allowed).

Important deadlines

Friday 26 August is the last day on which you can add without a permission number. If you are trying to get in, I will not arrange to admit you until after this date when I have control over who gets in. Also, if you are trying to get in you should attend class regularly and turn in papers in the first week: this will give you priority. I will not admit students over the official capacity of the class under any circumstances. The deadline to add the course with my permission or drop without a W is Friday September 2. The drop deadline is Friday October 28th. Attempts to drop after this date will be difficult.

Evaluation Opportunities

I assign homework regularly and try to grade it reasonably promptly. I will usually assign a fair number of problems and grade only one or two; you will not know in advance which ones are going to be graded. 30 points are awarded for merely turning in your homework; the other 70 points are awarded based on your performance on the selected problems (and are only awarded if I have your paper when I start grading: late papers are always accepted and are worth 30 points.)

My usual practice is to assign a problem set and make it due two class sessions later so that there is an intervening session when you can ask questions. A test date does not count as an intervening session. Problem sets due after an exam are fair game for that exam if they were assigned two sessions before the exam, so that you had a chance to ask questions. I will not usually describe homework sets in class: make sure that you look on the class announcements page regularly!!!

Your total homework grade will count as one test grade. There will be four hour exams, held on Sept 16th, Oct 14th, Nov 4th, Dec 2. The final exam will count as two test grades and will in addition replace the lowest of the other five marks if this helps you.

Individual exams will generally be marked in such a way that the average or median is somewhere around 75 percent (it may be above this if you all do well, or below it if I have a low opinion of class performance). 90 = A, 80 = B, 70 = C, 60 = D. 50 = F as usual. I do not award grades of A+ or C- under any circumstances. I only award the other +/- grades under special circumstances: no point total earns such a grade and I will not negotiate such a grade. You should expect that your grade will be an unqualified letter.

On hour exams you are allowed the use of your permitted calculator, your writing instrument and your test paper. I will supply scratch paper if it is needed. Please be aware that on final exams I allow the use of your textbook and one standard sized sheet of notebook paper with whatever you like written on it. This is a reason to have your own textbook!

Classroom Etiquette

I will call you by your last name and expect to be called by mine. Please be aware that I am not good at names and faces; this does not mean that I don't care!

Please ensure that your cell phone does not ring in class. Your cell phone must be inaccessible to you during an exam (you cannot use it as a calculator).

You are allowed to use a standard scientific calculator without graphing or symbolic computation capabilities on exams. It is your responsibility to make sure that you have one.

You may not listen to a portable music player during an exam. This is self-evident, but I once had a fight with a student about it, so I always say it!