Math 238 Course Policies

Textbook

Linear Algebra and Differential Equations, by Gary Peterson and James Sochacki, 2002

Graphing Calculator

A graphical calculating device is allowed for this course. You are free to use a graphing calculator for this course on homework, quizzes, and exams -- however they are not required. The exams and quizzes will be designed so that the only thing you need is a thorough understanding of the material and a good pencil.

Grading

Homework

Most Tuesdays will be homework day. See the syllabus. You are responsible for understanding how to do all of the assigned homework problems. Each week I will randomly assign (in advance) students to present certain problems at the board. Your homework grade is determined by your presentation of your problem(s). I grade each homework presentation out of 4 points on the following scale:

 Fully Correct 4 Almost Correct 3 Wrong, but Good Effort 2 Completely Unprepared, but Present 1 Absent 0

In addition, I drop the lowest homework grade.

Quizzes

At the beginning of class on most Wednesdays (unless otherwise noted in the syllabus) there will be a 15 minute quiz based on the HW that was due the Tuesday before. The purpose of the quiz is to encourage everyone to work (and understand) ALL of the homework problems, not just the homework problem he or she has been assigned to present. In addition, I drop the lowest quiz score.

Exams

There will be three exams given during the semester and a final exam. The Final Exam is mandatory, and unless you have documentation of extenuating circumstances, you cannot pass the class if you do not take the final.

Course Grade

Your grade in the course will be determined by your performance on the three exams, a final exam, and your lecture grade. The lecture grade consists of your HW grade, quizzes, and in-class groupwork. Your entire grade is out of 600 points (see below):

 Exams (100 points each) 300 Final Exam 150 Lecture Grade (HW/quizzes) 150 ==== 600

Your weighted average (as a percentage) determines your grade for the class on the standard 10pt scale (i.e. 100-90 = A to A-, 89-80 = B+ to B-, 79-70 = C+ to C-, 69-60 = D, below 60 = F).

Attendance

I do not take attendance. However, if you are absent on a homework or quiz day, then you get a zero for the quiz and homework on that day. Also, it has been my observation that grades are strongly correlated with attendance. Simply put, if you skip most of the classes, then you probably won't do as well as you could in the course (that's obvious isn't it?). Furthermore any anncouncements or changes to the course will be announced in class. You are responsible for the material discussed in class.

Academic Integrity

Honesty with oneself and with others is of utmost importance in life. The work you do in this course should reflect your honesty and integrity. In practical terms, this means that you should be honest with yourself about how much time you spend on homework, how well you understand the material, and the level of reliance you have on others to complete the assignments. For example, you are encouraged to work with others on homework; merely copying someone else's work and turning it in as your own does not enhance your understanding and is dishonest.

If there is clear evidence that a student has committed fraud to advance his/her academic status (for example, cheating on an exam or quiz), your instructor will be obliged to deal with the matter in accordance with the James Madison University Honor Code. If you are aware of such activity by another student in the course, you should bring the matter to your instructor's attention immediately.