(Math 4038 is cross-listed as Mechanical Engineering 4563.)
Organization of this Class
Please understand that it is from the effort of working your way through assigned problems on paper that you learn mathematics. It is by no means sufficient to read solutions in a solutions manual! Although I hope you benefit from seeing solutions presented in class, you must not expect to learn how to solve problems just from watching. You must work out problems yourself, the hard way, in order to learn this work. Examination problems will be very similar to assigned homework problems. Thus your daily effort on homework problems will be strongly reflected in your test grades. Problems will be assigned using Webassign and they will be graded by computer. Your overall homework average converted to 100% basis at the end of the semester will replace your lowest hour test grade if that is to your advantage. If you do not understand how the computer software is grading your homework, please see me or email me so I can check online. Sometimes WebAssign is actually wrong.
These will be closed-book tests. You must keep your eyes on your own paper and do your own work. Do not communicate with your classmates during an examination. No books or notes are permitted, electronic, paper, or on any other medium. No electronic devices are permitted other than a scientific calculator (no graphing calculators and no symbolic calculators) and a watch to check the time. No cell phones, smart phones, or internet-connected devices are permitted. The problems will be similar to those in the homework. However, note that the homework is done online and graded by computer without partial credit therefore. But tests will all be graded by me and there will be partial credit, since the work is at least as important as the answer. At the end of the course, you will have the benefit of replacing your lowest hour test grade with your homework average (converted to a 100-point scale), provided that one of your hour tests is lower than your homework average.
Attendance will be recorded daily, although it will not be counted in your grade for the course. Experience shows a strongly positive correlation between attendance and the test grades in the course. However, if you miss a test, it is your responsibility to speak to me as soon as possible to determine whether or not your excuse is acceptable. Here is some General Guidance regarding appropriate reasons for absence from a test or examination. If you are in doubt, ask me as soon as possible. In any case, your lowest hour test grade can be replaced by your homework average, as explained in the homework description below.
Lateness and Classroom Conduct
Please try to arrive on time for class. But sometimes it may be unavoidable to be late. If you are late, please come right into class, doing so as quietly as you are able so as not to disturb other students. I do not want you to wait outside in the hall. You should have as much classroom time as possible, so please just come in--quietly--and take a seat even if you are late. If you arrive late and have missed the attendance sheet being passed around the room, be sure to sign it after class. Class time is a time for work. So when class begins please put away all cell phones, smart phones, head phones, wrist watch communicators, tablets, laptops, etc, and turn your attention to the work of the class. Thank you.
There will be three hour tests, worth 100 points each, and a two hour final examination, worth 200 points. Your lowest hour test grade will be replaced by your homework average on a 100% scale, if it is to your advantage. I will grade your hour tests and return them to you the very next class meeting each time. Your final test average will be the sum of all your test grades divided by 5. So your final test average will be less than or equal to 100. The minimum grade for each letter grade is as follows:
A+, 97 A, 93 A-, 90 B+, 87 B, 83 B-, 80 C+, 77 C, 73 C-, 70 D+, 67 D, 63 D-, 60 F, below 60. You should save all your graded work for future study and in case you think your final grade is in error.
Unhappy with your grades in Math?
It is especially important not to fall behind. It is very important to attend class and participate in homework discussions. Please do not assume you can take care of difficulties later---see me for help as soon as possible if there is something you do not understand! You are responsible for all assigned problems---not just those which we go over in class! This is a course in which many students have studied the prerequisites at other universities or several years ago. Please ask questions both in class and after class when confused or unsure. It is not possible to anticipate each student's difficulties so you need to bring them to my attention.
HOWEVER, there are businesses both locally and online that sell their own instructional services to students for fees. LSU does not authorize or approve any such services and does not recognize their competence to serve your educational interests. Advertising for any such commerical service is prohibited in our classroom. If you see such advertising being circulated in our classroom please report it to me. And buyer beware!
The full power of Mathematica is available on many LSU computers, including those in the Math Department's computer labs and in the Library as well. Students can access Mathematica on Tigerware through their MYLSU accounts. The DSolve command can solve many differential equations. There is a simplified Web Mathematica which is free to use online if you click on the link in this sentence. If you have not already had the Math Department's course in Mathematica, you might find it simpler to figure out how to use the Web Mathematica. It is not as versatile, but the Plot3D function is there and works fast for surface graphs. There is also a function-integrator which can be fun to use without having to learn very much about Mathematica. But do remember, this is an auxiliary resource. The time you spend working on problems on paper is the most important part of homework when it comes to learning the subject. With that understanding, Mathematica can be fun and helpful too.
Tests, Homework Assignments, and Downloads
Homework will be online using WebAssign. It will be graded on a scale of 1 point per problem or per part thereof for multi-part problems, and recorded. Please do every assigned problem on time! These assignments are not intended to be done in only one night. Since the assignments you will see on WebAssign were generated automatically from old assignments in the 5th Edition of our text, I may change the assignments as the term progresses if the computer did not substitute equivalent problems from the new edition. So don't get too far ahead on the assignments lest you lose credit for your work!! At the end of the course, you will have the benefit of replacing your lowest hour test grade with your homework average (converted to a 100-point scale), provided that one of your hour tests is lower than your homework average. In Webassign, you will have 6 tries to submit an answer for each question. However, after the first 3 tries, Webassign will change the question, usually by modifying one or more coefficients appearing in the question. Different students will also receive different randomized versions of the same type of problem. Please let me know if you have difficulties using Webassign.
The 6th edition of the text is new to me and there might be some errors or glitches in the WebAssign grading. Please come to my office and show me if you have doubts about the correctness of WebAssign's grading. With the previous edition there were some a few such errors that needed to be corrected. The computerized grading seems to be pretty good but it is not perfect. One needs to learn how to enter symbolic answers so that they will be understood. Be sure to reload this page from the website each time you visit, since the table below will be updated as the semester proceeds!
The University has clear policies requiring academic honesty. If you email me about a pending assignment, I may send a hint to the whole class in answer to your question, not giving your name of course! If on the other hand you get a good idea from a book, or from talking with a friend, academic honesty requires that you acknowledge your sources openly. Above all, never copy directly from another person's written work as though it were your own. Remember that your own good name is irreplaceable. This is a sound principle which will serve you well throughout your life. Solutions that are copied tend to be recognizable as not coming from the student, and even the precise source can be identified frequently. This means that the honorable course of action is also the practical one.