Math 187, Spring 2004: Information and Policies

Link to class schedule

M. Randall Holmes
We meet Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday in MG 118, from 8:40 am to 9:30 am.
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 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.
Title of Course:
Math 187: Foundational and Discrete Mathematics I. This is section 001. The department generic syllabus for this course is found as an attachment to this document in its paper version or at the URL
Biggs, Discrete Mathematics, second edition. This is a new book; there will not be used copies available.
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: January 30, February 27, April 2, 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, 8:00-10:00 am.
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, collected and graded. Most homework questions will require clearly written answers in English; even questions that are mostly computational will benefit from explanation. You will be graded on clarity of expression as well as on having correct answers...
How Your Course Grade Will Be Computed:
I expect to give four in-class exams this term. There will not be review days for exams, except the final, though I will be willing to take questions about exams during the usual time for homework discussion (within reason). 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 is worth 100 points. The total homework grade counts as an exam (100 points). It is possible that I will increase the weight of homework to as much as two exams. The final counts 200 points; your percentage grade on the final may replace the lowest of the other five 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.
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 10:40-11:30 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:
Collaboration on homework is expected and even encouraged in this class. This does not mean copying of homework. Collaboration on exams is of course not allowed. 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 :-)

Schedule of Sections to be Covered with Academic Deadlines

This schedule shows reading assignments for each day in the semester. They are subject to change if we get behind. The suggested problems are from the book and mostly have answers in the back; to make best use of them, attempt them when you read the section (it is best to try them before I lecture) without looking at the answers!. Write out a full discussion of each problem with supporting remarks in English: the brief "answers" in the back are not a model for what I expect homework answers to look like. For the most part, these problems will not be collected (I may announce exceptions), but they are intended to form the basis of classroom discussion. There will be homework handouts given from time to time which will be collected and graded (or I may from time to time ask you to turn in a complete writeup of a book problem), and I will try to add information about those (days handed out and due dates) as we go along. If I've given out a handout and the data isn't on the web, ask me about it.

This schedule is subject to change (even radical change); you should look at it on the web before studying a section.

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