MATH 4320 is a four–credit course, so you should plan on spending at least twelve hours a week working on it. Homework is the most important part of MATH 4320 since mathematics is really learned by doing it.
Homework assignments will be due in class on Wednesdays. Papers should be stapled to the assignment sheet, and your name clearly filled in. Late homework will not be accepted. The lowest two scores across the semester will be dropped (as everyone has a bad week sometime). If you have a longer-term medical excuse or other serious circumstances, allowances will be made; please contact your instructor at the earliest opportunity.
I expect homework to be graded and returned within a week. Due to constraints on resources, not all problems may be graded.
Collaborating. You may collaborate with other students on homework. I believe, however, that for maximum benefit, you should try hard to do all the problems yourself before consulting others. What you turn in should represent your own solutions expressed in your own words, even if you arrived at these solutions with others. Remember, you are doing the homework to learn the material; do not try to defeat its purpose. Copying someone else's homework and presenting it as your own will be treated as a violation of Cornell's Academic Integrity Code, as will copying solutions that you might find on the internet or elsewhere.
In keeping with the good practice of acknowledging all contributors to a piece of work, if you do collaborate, please give the names of your collaborators so on your homework. (Your grade will not be affected.)
Writing well. Mathematics is not mere computation; arguments and abstract concepts must be communicated. Use complete sentences with proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Write linearly down the page rather than scattering words, symbols and equations around. Explain your reasoning carefully. Indicate the significances of and relationships between any calculations which contribute to your answers. Define and employ clear and concise notation. State clearly any results (from lectures or from the textbook) to which you appeal in your solutions. Imagine your fellow-students as your readers — ask yourself whether they would they be able to follow your arguments.
Here is some helpful guidance from Peter Kahn, a previous instructor of this course, on communicating mathematics.
Support. The Mathematics Support Center in Malott 256 provides free tutoring. Details of my office hours and those of the T.A. are on the course homepage.