Math 522, Advanced Set Theory, Fall 2017, 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 522, Advanced Set Theory, section 001.

Here is the math department catalog language about the course:

MATH 522 ADVANCED SET THEORY (3-0-3)(F). Topics in modern set theory may be drawn from forcing, choiceless set theory, infinitary combinatorics, set-theoretic topology, descriptive set theory, inner model theory, and alternative set theories. PREREQ: MATH 402 or MATH 502 or PERM/INST.

We meet in Mathematics room 124 WF from 9 am to 10:15 am.

Our "final exam" (it will actually be the last hour exam) will be on Friday Dec 15, 10 am-12 pm in this room.

The text is a set of notes which I wrote and maintain here. These notes are a work in progress, and they will develop further as we use them. We are not going to cover all the topics!

Important deadlines

August 25 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. The deadline to add the course with my permission or drop without a W is September 1. The drop deadline is October 27. Attempts to drop after this date will be difficult.

Evaluation Opportunities

I assign homework regularly and try to grade it reasonably promptly. In this class I usually assign homework about once a week and it is due a week later. My guess is that I will as a rule assign problems on Thursday due on the following Thursday; this gives you a chance to ask questions about things you have trouble with on the Tuesday, but you should not be shy about asking me questions in my office or by email before Tuesday!

There might be some computer labs in this class using my Marcel logic software. I am hoping that everyone has a laptop or tablet they can use in class; I will provide assistance with installing the software if we use it.

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. (Such a problem set will probably have been assigned on the Thursday before the exam, which is likely to be on Thursday, and will be due on the Tuesday after the exam; I do not make homework due at exams). 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. I am planning to give four hour exams, the last one to be held in the final exam period. Dates are to be announced. The weights of the hour exams and the homework grade will be the same; the lowest of these grades will probably be dropped or reduced in weight. Adjustments of this scheme are possible: for example the weight of the homework might be increased to two tests if I thought this helpful.

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 writing instrument and your test paper. I will supply scratch paper if it is needed.

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! (In a class this size, I probably will get all your names and faces correlated!)

Please ensure that your cell phone does not ring in class. Your cell phone must be inaccessible to you during an exam.

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!

Open Office Policy

I will have posted office hours, at which times you should expect to be able to find me in my office. When I am in my office and it is not a posted office hour, I will usually be willing to help you. Do not be afraid to try to attract my attention (as, by knocking on the door). If I am very busy, I may tell you so and help you only briefly. I will generally not provide material assistance for an exam in my office on the same day that the exam is given.