Reading assignments, part 1
|Homework guidelines||Prof. Barbara Kaiser|
Purpose: MCS120 is designed to prepare you for taking calculus.
Prerequisites: While MCS120 has no formal prerequisites, you should have had at least two years of high school algebra.
Text: Essentials of Precalculus, by Aufmann &
This book is intended to be read. For each class session, you are
encouraged to read the pertinent portion of the text at least
twice beforehand and at least once afterwards. Study the
book with a pencil in hand. Make notes in it. Mark where you have
questions. Look at the exercises at the end of the chapter and
use them to check/ improve your understanding of your reading.
Course Webpage: The best source of information about this course is available at http://www.gac.edu/~kaiser/prev-courses/2005F/mcs120/ . There you will find a complete syllabus, course description, current homework and prep problems, and so on.
Classes: Classes will be used for discussions, problem solving, lectures, and other fun activities. You should prepare for classes by doing the reading beforehand (reading assignments are posted on the Web), thinking about the problems in the text, doing the prep problems and the exercises mentioned in the text, and formulating questions of your own. You should also participate as much as possible in class. Class meetings are not intended to be a complete encapsulation of the course material. You will be responsible for learning some of the material on your own.
Attendance, both physical and mental, is required.
Absences from class, late assignments, etc: Should you need
to miss a class for any reason, you are still responsible for the
material covered in that class. This means that you will need to make
sure that you understand the reading for that day, that you should ask
another student for the notes from that day, and make sure that you
understand what was covered. It also means that if we had an
assignment that we did in class that day, you will get a 0 for that
assignment. If there is an assignment due that day, you should be sure
to have someone hand it in or put it in my departmental
mailbox (in Olin 324). You do not need to explain why you missed a
class unless there is a compelling reason to do so.
Should you miss more than four classes, no matter what the reason, I
will lower you semester grade by at least a third.
Homework and Prep Problems: You will need to read a section
of the book and do problems for each day that we have
class. There are two types of problems, prep problems and
Prep problems are designed to help you prepare for class. Each day,
you will have one or two problems that you need to do before we class and hand in at the
beginning of class. This way I can be sure you've read the
material and you can check your understanding.
Homework problems are designed to help you learn the material we cover in class and in the reading. You should read the material and attempt the problems before coming to class. You should finish the problems after class. Each week, you will hand in your solutions to the problems you did. These should be neatly written on standard sized paper, and with all of the pages stapled together. The sections and problem numbers should be clearly labeled. Late homework is not accepted. My grader will only grade a few sample problems.
I encourage you to work with other students on the homework provided that you do so in such a way that every one in your group learns the material. The most effective way to do this is to first discuss each problem as a group and then have each person work on the problem individually. When you're done (or stuck) compare your work and discuss it. Remember that doing the homework is how you learn the material and that you are not allowed to work cooperatively on tests.
If you do work with other students on the homework, you should follow these guidelines:
Tests: We will have three in-class tests, on Sept. 29,
October 18, and November 15,
and a comprehensive final tentatively scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 17,
Honor: In this course, you are expected to to adhere to the highest standards of academic honesty, to uphold the Gustavus Honor Code and to abide by the Academic Honesty Policy. Copies of the honor code and academic honesty policy can be found in Academic Bulletin and in the Gustie Guide.
On homework, you should make a real effort to solve each
by yourself, although you can and should discuss problems
solutions with your classmates after
you've made this effort. You should give credit to any people or
helped you find solutions. On tests, you are expected to
work completely by yourself.
You will be expected to sign the honor pledge on every graded paper
|Intra-term tests||20% each|