|MCS-313 homepage||Reading and class schedule||Peer review guidelines|
|Prof. Barbara Kaiser||
Course web site: The best source of information about this course is available at www.gac.edu/~kaiser/mcs313/. There you will find a complete syllabus, course description, current homework assignments, and so on.
Text: Contemporary Abstract Algebra, sixth edition, by Joseph Gallian.
This book is intended to be read. For each class session, you are encouraged to read the pertinent portion of the text at least once beforehand and at least twice afterwards. Study the book with a pencil in hand. Make notes in it. Mark where you have questions. Do NOT try the exercises without reading the text; simply skimming the examples is not sufficient. You will find that it will be necessary to read the text several times before attempting any exercises. To survive this course, you must learn how to read a math book!
Classes: Classes will be used for lectures, problem solving, discussions, 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, 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.
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 a friend for the notes from that day, and make sure that you understand what was covered. If there is an assignment due that day, you should be sure to have a friend hand it in or put it in my departmental mailbox (in Olin 324). You do not need to tell me why you missed a class unless there is a compelling reason for me to know.
Homework: I will assign homework at the beginning of each chapter by posting them on the web. The problems will be designated as ``practice problems'', ``mastery problems'' or ``exam problems''.
Practice problems are meant to give you practice solving, writing and reading mathematics. For these problems, you will be assigned a partner. You may work on the problems with anyone you like except your partner. You should write up your solutions and give them to your partner for peer review. These problems will not be handed in; however, you will be graded on how many you do and on the quality of your review. Reading and evaluating others' work will greatly help your performance on the other homework and on the tests.
Mastery problems are homework problems which are graded on an ``acceptable'' or ``incomplete'' basis. You may resubmit incomplete problems until they are acceptable. You may discuss the problems with each other, if you like, but I recommend that you work more independently, since you will learn more that way. Your grade on mastery problems will be based on what percentage of the problems you finish.
Exam problems are problems that each of you must do
You can think of these as miniature take-home tests; you are on your
not to cheat by consulting other people or books. These problems
will be graded using a 5 point scheme for each problem, and, except in
you only have one chance to do each one.
Tests: We will have two midterm exams, tentatively scheduled for Oct.11 and Nov. 18. The final is on Sat., Dec. 18, at 8:00am.
Academic Integrity 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
and in the Gustie
On practice problems and mastery problems, I encourage you to discuss problems and their solutions with each other; however, each of you should make a real effort to solve each problem by yourself, and you should give credit to any people or texts that helped you find solutions. Should I detect students copying each others work, I will first talk with the people having similar work. In case of a second infraction, I will give you a 0 on that assignment and notify the Dean of Faculty. Further violations will result in increasing penalties, up to failing the course.
On tests and exam problems, you are expected to work completely by yourself, and to sign the honor pledge on each of these assignments. The first violation of this policy will result in a 0 on that assignment and notification of the Dean of Faculty. Further violations will result in failing the course.
I may adjust your course grade based on the quantity and quality of your class participation.
Accessibility: Please contact me during the first week
of class if you have specific physical, psychiatric, or learning
and require accommodations. All discussions will remain
confidential. You can provide documentation of your disability to the
Advising Center (204 Johnson Student Union) or call Laurie Bickett