Syllabus for Math 461

Homework: Homework will be assigned more-or-less weekly. Late homework will not be accepted or graded, except by prior arrangement. Only your best 10 homework scores will count.
I encourage you to form groups of two or three to discuss the homework problems. After discussing them, each of you should write up your own solutions, writing on your first page the names of all people with whom you discussed the homework (this is an ethical matter - give credit where credit is due). Solutions that are simply duplicates of one another may receive no credit, because to help you learn the material, it is essential that you put solutions in your own words.

Homework Due by 5pm on the due date, to my office 20%
Test 1 Information and Solution Wednesday 27 September, in class 20%
Test 2 Information and Solution Friday 3 November, in class 20%
Final Exam Information and Solution Monday 11 December, 8-11am 40%
The tests and exam are closed book (you may not use any written or printed materials, or any electronic devices).

Make up tests will be given only if you present written evidence, as soon as possible, that you did (or will have to) miss an exam for a legitimate reason, e.g. illness or family emergency. Travel and leisure plans are never a legitimate reason. Late homework accepted only if you get an extension from me.

There is no formula fixed in advance for turning your numerical score into a letter grade. But after each test I will indicate approximate grade ranges, so that you have an idea of how you are doing.

IPROM Software. We will spend some class periods in the computer lab using the free software package Iprom, which runs under Matlab. Some homework will involve Iprom projects. I will create accounts for all students on the Mathematics Department computer system, and engineering students can also install Iprom on their EWS account at (The download page also gives a link for buying Matlab at the student price, if desired.)

How to Succeed: Always re-work your lecture notes before the next class, checking every step and filling in missing details. (Allow 1 hour for this.) Read the text as you re-work your notes. We cover only the most essential points in class, and the text has helpful additional comments; reading them will help you get the big picture. Before each class, ask me about the points you didn't follow in the last class!
Go over your HW solutions the day you get them back, debriefing on your successes and (more importantly) on your non-successes.