Math 314, Spring 2016: Information and Policies


M. Randall Holmes


We meet Tuesday and Thursday in MB124, from 12:00 m to 1:15 pm.

Our final examination will be on Tuesday May 3rd from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm. (It is quite possible that this event will be simply another hour exam).

Office and Hours:

Office: Mathematics 240A. Office hours to be announced.  My other class meets 10:30—11:45 WF.   I do not expect to be in the office routinely on Mondays at any time.  See ``open office policy'' below.  

Please note that I do not hold office hours on the day of an exam for members of the relevant class.


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 (during the working week) and respond promptly.

This electronic version of this syllabus is the official syllabus (no paper copies will be made), is subject to change, and any changes will be posted here. Please note that this syllabus was prepared by editing an older syllabus for the same class: I would appreciate it if you would bring anachronisms to my attention.   Strange characters in the Fall 2014 syllabi are due to an argument I am having with Microsoft Word; I will try to fix them later but I don’t think the meaning of anything is affected.

Electronic announcements for this class (and announcements to both classes) will appear in three different ways.  Announcements tied to specific assignments will appear on the class schedule.  Some announcements, especially documents such as old sample tests, will appear on the class announcements page for this class, visible on my main web page near where the pointer to this syllabus appears.  Occasionally I may send e-mail to the entire class.  Make sure either that you read your Boise State e-mail regularly or forward your Boise State e-mail to an account you do read regularly.

Title of Course:

Math 314: Introduction to Real Analysis. This is section 001.


Spivak, Calculus, 4th ed. This looks like a Math 170 text, but isn't exactly.

Copies of the book appear to be in the bookstore (as of Jan 7th)


The add deadline (and deadline for dropping without a W) is Jan 15th.

The drop deadline is March 18th. Petitions to drop classes after this date are almost always unsuccessful.

Based on my experience last time I taught the course, I am not scheduling exams in advance.  You will have at least a week's warning before an exam: it will be announced in class and posted on the homework schedule on the web.

The final exam will be Tuesday May 3rd, 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm.  It is useful to be aware that final examinations, unlike hour examinations, are always open book in my classes; the rules for calculators will remain the same.


I'm not sure how relevant my standard calculator blurb is to this class, but I am leaving it in.

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; more powerful calculators will not be allowed.   Make sure you have an allowed 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. These machines have communication capabilities which are inappropriate in this context. You may not listen to Walkmans or portable tape or other media players during an exam.


Homework will be assigned weekly, and will count for a substantial proportion of your grade. What exactly the proportion is may be adjusted. 

There may be computer labs in the course:  these will be homework and graded and counted as such.   I will usually accept and mark late computer labs quite generously; this goes along with a defect of mine of being slow to get around to grading them.

How Your Course Grade Will Be Computed:

What follows is my standard blurb. It is quite possible that I will reduce the number of exams or otherwise alter the formula. Homework might be counted for two tests instead of one.

I expect to give up to four in-class exams this term (the last time I taught the class I only gave three and no cumulative final). There will not be formal 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 will count as an exam (100 points), or possibly as two exams.   The final would normally count 200 points; your percentage grade on the final may replace the lowest of the other grades (in-class exams and homework) if this helps you. The last time I taught the class I did not give a final at all (I gave a third exam in the final exam period); be warned that everything here is highly sensitive to the way I feel the course is going.

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). 

I do not usually give +/- grades.  I will not as a matter of policy give grades of A+ or C- [I did once give an A+, and I fully expect that to remain unique; I will never give a C-].  I do very occasionally give the other +/- grades, for my own reasons only, in borderline situations.  No score earns a +/- grade and you will never succeed in negotiating one.

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 given above. 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 MTWF at 10:40-11:30 am.  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; you should only do this for a good reason, and if you do this more than once I will require official documentation of a genuine emergency. Homework turned in late will be accepted but will have less value (and may or may not be marked, at my convenience).

Academic Honesty:

Collaboration on homework is acceptable, up to a point. This does not mean copying of homework; any paper you put your name on should be largely your own work. In this particular class, where homework counts a great deal, you are likely to hear from me if your work is identical to that of a classmate. 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.

Please note that I reserve the right to check your photo ID at exams. BSU ID or government issued ID such as a driver's license will work. I will not necessarily do this, but it has become an issue and I reserve the right to do so: be sure to bring photo ID to each exam.

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 (as well as PDA's such as Palm Pilots and Pocket PC's) must be turned off and completely out of sight (no exceptions whatsoever) during an exam.

You may not listen to portable music players 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 at all possible, 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 :-)