Quizzes. There will be a 5-10 minute quiz several times a week (in the beginning or the end of the period). The purpose of the quizzes is to ensure that you keep up with the homework. Most of the time the quiz problems will be taken from the list of practice problems assigned for daily homework. The score of the lowest quiz or two may be dropped.
Mathematical Writing. I expect you to write in complete sentences. This rule especially applies to formulas (e.g., "2+2 4" is a "sentence" that misses a verb!).
Exams. There will be 50-minute exams in equal intervals. The exams will be almost entirely based on the practice homework.
Final Exam. It will be comprehensive and cumulative.
Grading Policy. Individual problems will be graded as follows: A - 10 or 9 points, B - 8 points, etc. I will give partial credit if you've made meaningful progress in the problem. Providing explanations, especially intermediate steps, is crucial. A correct answer with insufficient explanation can earn you only a small partial credit. An incorrect answer with no explanation (and no opportunity for me to see what kind of mistake you've made) will earn you zero credit. The quality of exposition will also count. The scores for exams and quizzes will be combined according to the formula provided in the syllabus. The total score will then determine your letter grade according to the scale A: 90-100, B: 80-89, C: 70-79, D: 60-69, F: <60. I assign grades only for individual problems in quizzes and exams; my spreadsheet does the rest. The scale may be adjusted (very slightly) after all scores are in. There will be no curving.
Missed Assignments and Exams. There will be no make-up quizzes or exams. However you can recover the points lost if you have a valid reason (illness, death in the family, approved institutional activity) and submit an explanation in the form of an e-mail (later you may be asked to provide documentation). The procedure is as follows. I will use the score of the next exam as the score for a missed quiz. I will use the score of the final exam as the score for a missed exam. In other words, the make-up exam is the final.
Attendance. I will be taking attendance, so you should make all efforts to be there. You should also arrive on time, but if you are late try not to disturb the class and take a seat next to the door. Expect a high degree of "continuity" from one period to the next, so that if you miss a class (for any reason) next time you may feel lost unless you work out the lesson at home. All graded assignment will be returned during the next period. After that they will be kept in the office and can be picked up during office hours. The attendance record will help to determine final grades in "border-line" cases.
In Class. During lectures, feel free to interrupt me at any time if you want to ask a question, or if you feel that I am moving too fast. In fact, I expect you to participate in class work by asking questions, answering questions, correcting mistakes, making suggestions, comments, possibly solving problems on the board, etc. Immediate feedback will be greatly appreciated! To ask a question, you don't have to raise your hand, just go ahead and ask (you can attract my attention by saying "Question!" or "Peter!"). Participation will earn you extra credit. Bring the book!
Getting Help. Come see me during my office hours. You will get help with homework problems that YOU HAVE TRIED (bring your work), but not simply the answers.
Tutors. Math tutors will be available in the Math Help Room, Smith Hall 526. Here's a good way to use their help: first ask to show you how to do a particular type of problem, then do a couple under their supervision, then do several entirely on your own and ask to check your solutions.
Calculators. You can use graphic calculators (such as TI-83).
READ THE BOOK!! I encourage you to read the section of the text to be covered on a given day before coming to class. Class activities should help clarify what you have read, but you will have to read it a second time after class. This is not unusual. Reading a math book takes time, practice, and patience. Don't expect to understand something the first time through it. Sometimes you may need to read something three or more times before fully getting it. Plan to spend at least 2-3 hours at home for each hour in class. Read this note: General Advice for students.
Academic integrity. Cheating will result in the zero grade for the assignment.
In conclusion I would like to add a few rules about what not to do, simply because it has happened in my classroom:
(online catalog, p. 121, at http://www.marshall.edu/ucomm/catalog/interim.htm)
Each instructor evaluates the importance of student class attendance. The course
syllabus provides a clear statement of the class attendance policy as well as the instructorís
policy on unexcused absences, make-up examinations, and related matters.
Excused absences fall into three categories: (1) university sponsored activities; (2)
absences as a result of illness or death in the family; (3) absences resulting from major
For excused absences, the student should not be penalized. This means that any
benefit or academic choice that accrues to students who are in class will not be denied to
students with excused absences.
1. Academic activities including, but not limited to, performing arts, debate and individual
events, honors classes, ROTC, and departmental functions. These absences are to be
excused by the academic dean within whose unit the activity is sponsored. The
academic dean must pre approve any notice that is sent to faculty regarding absences
of this type.
2. Athletics. These absences are to be excused by the Dean of Enrollment Management,
who must pre approve any notice sent to faculty.
3. Other university activities, including student government and student organizations.
These activities are to be approved by the Dean of Student Affairs and excused by the
Office of Academic Affairs prior to any notice being sent to faculty.
Absences As a Result of Illness or Death in the Family
1. Illness: The student who seeks an excused absence for an illness must submit written
confirmation of treatment by the attending physician or other health professional
which includes: a description of the illness/accident; date of onset; and prognosis/
ability to return to class. (A sentence on a prescription pad will not be sufficient for
documentation.) This documentation should be presented on the day the student
returns to class to the Assistant/Associate Dean of the studentís college for verification
and notification of faculty. Notification will normally be in the form of a memo to
all concerned faculty excusing the student for a specified date or dates.
2. Death in the Immediate Family: ďImmediate FamilyĒ is defined as spouse, child,
parent, legal guardian, sibling, and grandparent. Exceptions to this list can be made at
the discretion of the dean of the studentís college. The student who seeks an excused
122 Academic Information Marshall University
absence for this purpose must submit one of the following to verify the relationship to
the deceased: an obituary with the student named as a relative; a funeral program
with the student named as a relative; a verification of the death and the relationship
by a clergy person or funeral home personnel (must be on letterhead stationery). The
documentation should be submitted to the Assistant/Associate Dean of the studentís
college on the day the student returns to class. The Assistant/Associate Dean will
then send a memo to all concerned faculty excusing the student for a specified date or
Absences As a Result of Religious Holidays
Absences resulting from major religious holidays will be excused when the student
presents the request in advance of the absence to the Dean of Student Affairs. The dean
will indicate his/her approval on the request and send it to the Office of Academic Affairs
for final approval prior to any notice to faculty.
It is the studentís responsibility to present to all of his/her faculty the approved
notice of an absence that would be excused under the terms of this policy.