Math 187, Summer 2004: Information and Policies

Link to class schedule

M. Randall Holmes

We meet Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in MG 120, from 7:50 am to 9:30 am.

Office and Hours:
Office: Math/Geology 240A. Hours: 9:30-10:30 am MTWTh. See ``open office policy'' below. I cannot say how likely I am to be in my office later in the day during the summer.

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 (at least when I am at the university) 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 030.

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 book was used in the spring semester; there may be used copies available.

The add deadline (and deadline for dropping without a W) is June 11 (I think).

The drop deadline is June 28. Petitions to drop classes after this date are usually unsuccessful.

Dates for in-class exams: All exams will be given on Thursdays. Test I on June 17, Test II on July 1 (do not plan to leave early for the 4th!), Test III on July 15, Final Exam on July 29th.

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 three in-class exams and a partially cumulative final exam this term. The pace in the summer will not permit review days for exams, 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 class will be 9:30-10:30 am MTWTh (the hour right after class). 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 provide a summary of times when I am likely to be on campus when this is clearer; this is less predictable in the summer. I will never be in on Fridays; I might be in in the afternoons some or even most other days.

Late Work and Makeups:
Makeups for exams will be possible, and should if possible be arranged in advance of your absence. Very few if any requests to delay the exam date on July 1 will be accepted. 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, 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

I indicate my current plans with regard to covering sections from the book. The indicated coverage is about the same as the coverage I achieved in the spring semester with this book; the pace will be very fast, as it has to be in the summer! The schedule is subject to change depending on how things go. The test dates are set in stone.

The dates on which homework handouts are distributed and the dates on which they are due will be added to this page as we go.

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Assignment VIII in Postscript and PDF formats. Due July 13.

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8