Description of Problem Sets for Multivariable Calculus
Spring 2013, Math 236
Even more than in Calc 1 or Calc 2, balancing your need to get plenty of practice using new techniques with exploring deeper ideas inevitably means a lot of homework. At the same time, it is really important that you practice writing up well-written solutions to problems -- but doing that for upwards of 20 or 30 problems every week can be a bit much. You will therefore have brief daily assignments practicing the section just covered, and weekly problem sets. The daily assignments will be done through WeBWorK; you will get instant feedback on how you've done on each problem.
The weekly problem sets will consist of two types of problems: WeBWorK problems, on which you can get immediate feedback, and for which you will not write any formal solution, and problems (usually from your textbook) that you will turn in, following the Guidelines for Homework Presentation.
(Incidentally, this will also allow me to grade most or all of your handwritten problems, which in the past I have not been able to do, instead dividing them into graded and ungraded portions.)
- When you look at the problem sets, you'll see that each problem set consists of WeBWorK problems, and a list of problems (usually) from your textbook.
- I will grade the handwritten problems for both clarity of explanation and for mathematical correctness. Follow the Guidelines for Homework Presentation when you're writing them up, including being sure to recopy them. Each of these will graded out of 5 or 10 points.
- Work on the problems through the week. I collect them only once a week to allow some flexibility in your schedule, but the material reflects a week's worth of learning, and the length reflects a week's worth of work. Saving them up for the day before the problem set is due will both mean that you are getting less out of the intervening classes and will make for an unpleasant Tuesday.
- The homework is due at the beginning of class each Wednesday.
- Even if I get ahead of myself and post a couple of problem sets, be sure to check the current assignments on the web each week, as they are likely to be adjusted as our syllabus shifts somewhat.
- You may consult with other people in the class on problems, under the following conditions:
- You must work on every problem -- do not divide the problems amongst you.
- The final result that you turn in must reflect your own understanding, word choice, and work. (See the last page of the course policies, on the Honor Code.) If two people turn in solutions that I consider to be too similar, both people will receive 0s on those problems. If this occurs for more than a couple problems in a problem set, I will stop grading those problem sets and return them as 0s.
- You must cite the people you work with, either at the beginning of the problem set or on individual problems. (Please note that this includes citing a tutor, if you work with one or go to the tutoring sessions.)
- There may sometimes be links to supplementary exercises - please don't forget to work on those.
- Please come to see me for help! A lot goes on in class, and it would be surprising if you understood everything the first time around. Also, of course, everyone learns differently; in office hours, I can tailor my explanations to you (or at least, to a smaller group).
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Norton, Massachusetts 02766-0930
TEL (508) 286-3973
FAX (508) 285-8278
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