Here are some guidelines and other thoughts on homework solutions.
- Problem write-ups are your permanent record of your understanding
of the material covered. This is especially true in a course such as
this where there are no exams.
- Solutions should be clearly and logically presented. This means
- Your method should always be clear. It should be easy to figure
out what you're doing and why.
- Use a lot of space. I recommend skipping some lines if you use
- Equations should usually be accompanied by prose. Before plunging
into algebra, state what it is you're solving for. If there are any
non-obvious steps in a calculation, explain them.
- Write equations in a logical order.
- Most of the problems in this course are not short plug-ins. They
will require you to work through a multiple-step process, often
devising and testing a mathematical model along the way. It is
absolutely essential in such problems that you explain your reasoning
clearly. For these sort of problems, the explanation and narrative
is the solution.
- Solutions should stand on their own; they should be understandable
to someone who hasn't read the problem. This means that you should
paraphrase the question before writing your response.
- For many problems you will find yourself using Maple. For all but
the simplest Maple calculations you should include a printout of your
- I will not give numerical grades on HW assignments. Instead, I
will give a letter grade and try to include as many comments as I
can. I'm mainly interested in seeing that you thoughtfully attacked
the problem and wrote it up in a clear and coherent way.
- Finally, a few minor requests:
- On the top of the homework, please write the assignment number.
- If you don't have a stapler, that's ok. But please don't mangle
and fold over the corner in an attempt to get the pages to stick
together. Just write your name or initials on all pages and I'll
gladly staple them together.
- Please don't hand in problems on paper that has been torn out of a