Math.155.002 Elementary Math Models Fall 2017
Homework Details

Textbook Problem Sets.  There are several kinds of homework problems in the text. The reading comprehension problems are essay questions. Write your answers in the form of short paragraphs. There will be similar kinds of questions on exams. The math skills questions are probably what you are used to seeing in math books. Notice that these are not emphasized here nearly as much as in traditional math courses. The problems in context give you a chance to use the ideas from each section in connection with a real problem situation. Your answers to these may be a combination of writing, mathematical operations, graphs, and so on. On all of this material, you are encouraged to work with other students.

Problem sets should be neatly done on lined binder paper, following the format of shown on this sample homework page.  Clearly show your name, the chapter of the assigned work, and problem type (e.g. Reading Comprehension, Math Skills, or Problems in Context) and number.  Leave a 3 inch margin on the left side of each sheet for comments and corrections.  For computational problems, show steps leading to the final answer; for essay questions or explanations, use complete sentences.  Do NOT put multiple problems on one line, or use a multi-column format.  

Reading.  The most effective way to learn the important concepts in the course is to read each chapter at least twice: once before it is covered in class, and once after. On the first reading, try to get a sense of the main ideas of the chapter and note any questions or parts that are unclear to you. On the second reading, try to get a complete understanding of the material. On some days, there will be group activities rather than lecture. To make best use of this class time, it is essential that you are prepared to work with the new material. Make note of anything you do not understand on the first reading, and raise it at the start of class. 

Usually I will not announce or post specific reading assignments.  It will be up to each student to do a careful reading of each section before starting homework problems, and to also skim the next section listed in the class schedule.

Exam Solutions.  After each exam, students will work in groups to correct the errors of all group members.  The objective will be to compile, as a group, a completely correct set of solutions to the exam questions.  Each group will submit one set of solutions for grading, and each member of the group will receive the same grade for this assignment.

Class worksheets.  Class time will often involve working alone or in groups to complete worksheets.  If you do not finish a worksheet before the end of class, you should plan on completing all or most of it before the next class meeting.  These worksheets will not be collected or graded, but should be kept in the appropriate section of your portfolio.

Do a little math every day.   You should plan on doing homework for this class every day, even if no homework assignment will be collected the next day. Ideally, spend at least half an hour on the material every day of the week. That is the most effective way to understand and retain the ideas we will cover.

Homework assignments will not always be announced in class.  A detailed assignment sheet is available on our course webpage.  Check that before every class to see what has been assigned and when it will be due.  I will also often send emails about the course.  Please be sure your email address in Blackboard is correct, and check your email frequently.

Homework assignments will be collected for review on a regular basis. This will usually happen once or twice per week. If you complete an assignment early, leaving a day with no specific assignment, you should still take at least half an hour to review the assignment. Redo one or two problems; reread a confusing part of the book; review the main ideas or techniques. Make a commitment now: half an hour or more each day on math!

Get Help If You Need It.  If you get stuck on an exercise, DO NOT SPEND HOURS SPINNING YOUR WHEELS!!! Sometimes a few short minutes with a classmate, tutor, or with me can get you back on track again. This can even be done over the phone. Please feel free to call me in my office if you have a question. You can also seek assistance at the Math/Stat tutoring lab.

In any case, DO NOT LET IT SLIDE. Get the help you need right away, so you don't fall behind. Working with another person, or in a group, can be very helpful in this regard.

Although you are encouraged to work with others, you are expected to work actively on the problems. Do not let someone else do all the work, or just copy their answers. This will not contribute to your understanding, and will result in poor exam grades. Remember, handing in assignments is not an end in itself. The assignments are there to help you learn the material.