Math 333, Summer 2009: Information and Policies

Link to class schedule


M. Randall Holmes


We meet in MP 308 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, from 11:50 am to 1:30 pm.

Office and Hours:

Office: Math/Geology 240A. Hours: To be determined after consulting you all. See ``open office policy'' below.


My office telephone number is 6-3011 (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:

WWW (web page):

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.  Please note that this document was obtained by editing an old syllabus for a different course; please call any editing errors caused by this to my attention.

Title of Course:

Math 333: Differential Equations. This is section 031.


Polking, Boggess and Arnold, Differential equations with boundary value problems. A new edition has been ordered and has not yet arrived at the bookstore as I write this on May 27th. I advise against ordering the book elsewhere in spite of the obvious attractions, as you are likely to get the wrong edition and so have all the homework problem numbers wrong. I will not promise any special services to students who put themselves in this position. Really. Not.


The add deadline (and deadline for dropping without a W) is June 10. The drop deadline is June 29. Petitions to drop classes after this date are usually unsuccessful. Dates for in-class exams: June 18, July 2, July 16, July 30. All exams are on Thursdays; the last is the final. The final exam will be Thursday, July 30, 2009, at our regular time in our regular room.


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.


Homework will be assigned regularly.  If you hand homework assignments in to me 2 days after they are assigned, I will correct and return them.  Questions about homework will be answered at the beginning of each period.  Homework handed in late may or may not be attended to.


How Your Course Grade Will Be Computed:

I expect to give three in-class exams this term and the final. There will not be review days for exams other than the final, though I will be willing to take questions about exams during the usual time for homework discussion (within reason); the review day for the final might disappear itself. Exams will generally be linearly scaled so that the median grade in the class corresponds to a mid-range C (75 percent) unless I am seriously dissatisfied with overall class performance. Each exam and the total homework grade is worth 100 points.  The final counts 200 points; your percentage grade on the final may replace the lowest of the other four grades (in-class exams and homework) if this helps you. 90 or above is an A; 80 or above is a B; 70 or above is a C; 60 or above is a D; lower grades are F (after any scaling).

Eligibility for this Class:

No exceptions will be made. If the computer tells me that you don't meet prerequisite or placement exam standards for this course, I will free your seat for someone who does meet them (in fact, the office staff now does this before it even comes to my attention).


Attendance will not be taken except on the first two days. If you do not attend this class on at least one of the first two days, I will exercise my option to have you administratively withdrawn (though not until after the third day of classes to give you one more chance to show up).

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).  I will not be on campus at all on Fridays.

Late Work and Makeups:

Makeups for exams will be possible, and should if possible be arranged in advance of your absence.

Academic Honesty:

The penalty for cheating (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. 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. Of course, you do need to contact me, preferably in advance, if you are missing an exam.


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 :-)