Excursions in Mathematics
Math 1001, Spring 2003
[ rogness@math.umn.edu ]


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Last updated on 05/11/03.

Welcome to the class web page. This is the place to look for any information about the class, or materials mentioned in class. You should look in the syllabus if you're trying to remember anything about the course -- calculator policy, policies on incompletes, etc. Let me know if you have any questions.

Test 3: As announced in class, I'll give 3 points back to anybody who answered "False" to 1(g) on the third test. See the Test 3 solutions below an explanation. I need to see your midterm to give you the points, so bring it on Monday if you haven't shown it to me yet!

Final Exam Information:

Handouts and Other Downloadable Material

Many things here will be PDF files; you need Adobe's Acrobat Reader to view them. This comes installed on most computers, but you can download a free copy here if you need it.


Quiz Makeup Policy: The quizzes exist for two reasons: (a) so that I can see how you're doing more often than just the midterms, and (b) to encourage attendance. You can think of them as a class participation grade, which means you need to be there to get the points. So in general there are no makeup quizzes! In a few cases -- like a verified illness or University sponsored activity -- we will excuse you from a quiz. (This means we'll leave your score blank, then fill it in at the end of the semester with your average score on the other quizzes.)

It's not likely that you could be excused from a pop quiz, unless you tell me beforehand that you're going to be gone for a verified, acceptable reason. (See above) This is to prevent a flood of requests from people who skipped class and realized afterwards that they missed the quiz points. In particular, these are not good excuses:

Incidentally, if you're trying to figure out how good your quiz scores are, you might want to look below in the grading section, where you can see average quiz scores and other statistics.


Current Office Hours

Here's a list of our current office hours. You can either go to my office hours or to Jason's. Or both, if you like!

Jason's office is Vincent Hall 522, and mine is Vincent Hall 358. Both of them are in the north skyway between Murphy Hall and the main part of Vincent. (North means the side closer to Northrup Auditorium, not the Ford Hall or Washington Ave side.) That means you can get to our offices from Vincent or Murphy. (Murphy Hall doesn't have a fifth floor, but there's a short staircase from the fourth floor to Vincent Hall's fifth floor at the end of the skyway.)

Day 10:10 11:15 12:20 1:25 2:30
Mon   Class Jon    
Tue   Jason    
Wed   Class Jon    
Thu Class Class Class Jason
Fri   Class Jon    

I highly encourage you to use office hours -- they're a great resource for you. If you have some questions and none of them work for you, email me or your TA to arrange an appointment. If you want to know when I'm around, you can look at my whole schedule. I try to be flexible about meeting times for students, but be aware that some big gaps on my schedule aren't really open, because I'm at home taking care of my son.


Help me, Please!

Occasionally somebody will ask me how to do well in a math class. After twenty some years of math classes, I can tell you that there is only one surefire method: do lots of math problems. This is why we assign homework; the only way to learn math is by doing math! If it makes you feel any better, I realize this isn't the most welcome advice in the world. Sometimes I don't follow it myself in my graduate courses. But it really is true. You can read something in a book and think you understand it, but you'll only know for sure if you work out some of the exercises.

If you need specific help with the course, you have many options!

If all else fails, you can always ask Dr. Math.


Grades and Gradelines

After each quiz and exam, I'll post the average score of everybody who took it. I'll also post the "median" score, which is also called the "50th percentile" score. Roughly translated, it means that half of the students did better than the median score, and half did worse.

Normally I'd expect both the median and and average scores to end up in the C+ range, although this can vary somewhat on individual tests or quizzes. Also, the "true" average and "true" median scores might be somewhat lower than what's shown here, because some students didn't take a quiz and will eventually have a 0 filled in for a score. That brings the average down...

So if you're trying to figure out how well you're doing, I'd suggest you (a) use the "grade calculator" in your syllabus (you can download another copy up above), and (b) compare your scores to the ones listed here. If you're doing a lot better than the average and median scores, then you can probably expect a higher grade than a C. If you're well below them, you need to put more work in if you want a B or an A. (Roughly speaking, it's probably more important to compare your scores to the median, but on a quiz it might be more useful to look a the average.)

Remember: On the Hamilton Quiz, add 5 points to the score written on your quiz. (So if I wrote "8" on the bottom right hand side of your quiz, your "true" score is 8+5=13.)

Quiz/TestAverageMedian
Probability 12.8 13.0
Population 9.5 10.0
Exam 1 80.5 83.0
Voting 11.7 12.0
POP QUIZ #1 13.5 15.0 (!)
Weighted Voting  12.4 13.0
Fair Division 13.8 15.0 (!)
Exam 2 78.5 79.0
Euler Quiz 11.6 11.0
POP QUIZ #2 14.0 15.0 (!)
Hamilton Quiz 13.0 13.0
Network Quiz 12.8 13.0

Thoughts on Teaching

If you're interested, I think you have a right to know my general outlook on teaching. So here goes. Before I taught my first class at the University, I asked the professor if he had any advice for a brand new teaching assistant. He said, "If you let students know that you actually care about them and about how they're doing in the class, everything else will fall into place." That has been my goal since I started teaching, and it has served me pretty well. If you're in my class, I promise to respect you and put a lot of effort into helping you learn the material. All I ask is that you return the respect and put some effort into the class yourself!

In short: I want you to do well, and I put a lot of work into my teaching. I can't guarantee that if I'm your teacher, you'll get a good grade. My goal, however, is to make sure that nobody can ever say, "I would have done much better, except for my teacher."


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