All Classes / Mr. Hansen
9/4/2002 [rev. 9/16/2004, 9/29/2005]
of Good Math Homework
normal minimum homework expectation is 35 minutes per class day (30
minutes if you are submitting an e-mail HW report in addition to your
paper work). Calculus and STAtistics students should realistically plan on
spending more time than that if they hope to do well. Also, there are students
who may require several hours to do a half hour’s worth of work. If you
are allowing yourself to be interrupted by IMs, podcasts, e-mail, voice
mail, younger siblings, TV shows, and other annoyances, you will need to spend
much more than 35 minutes to satisfy your math HW requirement. Suggestion: Set aside a quiet work
area, and tell your friends and siblings that you will get back to them
3-hole punched paper in 3-ring binder, not frizzy-edged spiral notebook
paper. Homework with frizzies at the time of grading will not be scored.
Frizzies removed during class will count as an additional penalty (–1 if
thrown away, –2 if left as litter).
paper is not required. Any type of 3-hole punched paper you desire is
fine, including graph paper.
- There is a 1-point deduction if assignment is
sloppy or not in format shown above. You may use both sides of paper, but
always leave a wide column blank for corrections.
name on upper right corner of first page, initials on later pages.
show due date, not date assigned. Write the word “due” as shown above so
that there is no confusion.
section (§) and problems as shown above.
denotes reading assignment. Reading notes are almost always required if
assignment included reading. (Exceptions will be announced.)
Note: Reading notes can be quite brief. Simply list key
points or questions you had as you were doing the reading. By keeping the
right half empty, you will have room to write the answers when you ask
your questions in class.
diagram/setup information for each problem.
Note: Geometry students must write the diagram, “Given”
statements, and “Prove” statement before beginning any two-column proof.
If the problem says “Conclusion” instead of “Prove,” you may use a
paragraph proof format if you wish.
Calculus and statistics problems may not have a diagram. However, always
write out the starting point or “givens” of the problem, and then show the
steps that lead to the final answer. Do not simply write the answer, even
if you can compute it in your head. There are two reasons for this
seemingly annoying requirement: (1) math and statistics are more about
communication and analysis than they are about coming up with an answer,
despite what you may have previously thought, and (2) through practice you
will learn how to think and write at the same time, so that your writing
becomes a “transcript” of your thought process.
vertically, one thought per line. This means that you may have a line
break in the middle of a sentence. Leave right half of page blank for
units (e.g., cm2) if appropriate.
you cannot finish your homework, make a time log as illustrated above, and
leave placeholders as described below. WARNING: I reserve the right
to revoke the placeholder rule, i.e., to require full homework for full
credit. I have done this in the past, and I may do it again if I have
reason to believe that people are falsifying their time logs or
plagiarizing homework. Your homework and time logs are written records,
and to falsify them would be an honor code violation. Believe it or not,
one year I had students who not only copied each other’s HW papers but also
copied the time log entries!
log indicates time during which you worked uninterrupted on the HW assignment. If you had to start and
stop several times, indicate that in a clear manner.
you have to estimate a time log entry, write “(est.)” next to the time. Reasonable
estimates are acceptable.
- If you are absent, see a classmate to get
lecture notes and corrections covered in class.
- Working together (sharing ideas, comparing
answers) is encouraged, but the work that you commit to paper must be your own work, in your own words, and
in your own notation. Copying or paraphrasing another student’s work,
with the exception of lecture notes and corrections covered in class, is
an honor code violation.
Similarly, falsifying a time log is an honor code violation. If you are
caught, you will face the Honor Council. Please do not ask if you can
receive another warning. This is your warning.
placeholders for problems you did not finish (15a and 18e in the example
above), and mark “?” for points of confusion to be corrected. After the
answers have been covered in class, full solutions (not merely
placeholders) are required for credit.
Note: Be sure to allow ample room for your placeholders
(8-10 lines for medium-length problems, perhaps half that for shorter ones).
If you have run out of
time, but if you have made a good effort, you may use placeholders for any
remaining problems so that you can fill in the gaps the next day in class.
PLACEHOLDERS MUST INCLUDE DIAGRAMS
AND/OR SETUP INFORMATION. A BLANK PLACEHOLDER WILL NOT EARN CREDIT.