Course policies

Prerequisites:MATH 116 or MATH 120 or the equivalent. If you are not sure whether MATH 205 is the right class for you, please see me.

Workload:You are expected to exert a good amount of effort in working through the course material, and you should not be discouraged if a certain topic remains elusive when you first encounter it: read your class notes, read the book, try some homework problems, talk to me in office hours, and collaborate with your peers. Some tips on how to study math are given on the materials and handouts page.  The typical student will need to put in between 8 and 10 hours per week going over the notes and the material in the textbook and working on the assigned problem sets. If you find you are consistently spending more than 12 hours on problem sets, please discuss this with me so that I can help you manage the time you spend on this class more effectively.
Attendance:    It is not required that you come to class, although it is doubtful that you will do well in the course if you miss too many lectures; the homeworks and exams will be based on the material taught in class. If you have to miss a class, you do not have to let me know, but make sure to copy the notes from a classmate.  I will not relecture the material in office hours, but will be happy to clear up any confusion you might still have after you have studied the notes and the textbook.  When you arrive to class, please be on time.

Solutions:             I will do my best to provide you with the solutions to the problem sets and exams. However, please keep in mind that I am under no obligation to do this and may in fact not be able to do it for all the assignments. It is your responsibility to solve all the problems and are of course more than welcome to talk to me in office hours about them.

Calculators:Calculators are not required for this class. You may find them helpful in working out some of the homework problems, but I will try to assign exercises for which this should not be necessary. Further, calculators will not be allowed on exams. The emphasis in this course will be less on computation and more on understanding the mathematics itself, and reliance on calculators can work against this process.

Electronic devices:Please silence your phones and put them away during class.  Same should be done with all other devices, such as tablets and laptops, unless the use of such a device is necessitated by a documented disability.

Makeup exams:I will not determine if you deserve a postponement of an exam or an extension of a take-home exam deadline, but will accept your personal judgment based on the following policy:


There are only two contingencies which are acceptable for the postponementor an extension (unless you need special arrangements that you talked to me about already): personal illness or family crisis. If either of these prevents you from taking an exam or turning in a take-home exam, you are entitled to take the exam at a later date. However, any illness or crisis which allows you to study for / take another exam or to prepare a paper for another course, but not this class, does not entitle you to a postponement or extension.

If a postponement or extension is taken, the following steps must be followed:

1. Prior to the beginning of an in-class exam or the deadline for a take-home exam, notify me (x3103 or that you will not be able to take the exam or turn it in by the deadline. This notification must be made before the actual exam is handed out for in-class exams or before the deadline for take-home exams.

2. If you are eligible for a postponement, please submit to me a written statement indicating that you are acting in accord with Wellesley's Honor Code and state that the reason for your not being present at the exam or not begin able to turn it in on time is consistent with the criteria I have established. Note that you do not have to specify the reason, just that you fit the criteria. I will assume that anyone who does not notify me before a test or a deadline that she will be unable to be present or to turn in the exam is opting to take a zero for that exam. Unless the circumstances are very unusual, I will ask that you make up the exam within 3 days of the original exam date. The makeup will take place in my office, will be an oral exam, and will not be curved.

Academic integrity: You are expected to read and understand the college's Honor Code.  Incidents where academic integrity is compromised will be dealt with severely.  Although most students have a good feel for what constitutes a violation of the Honor Code, for this class you will also need to be familiar with my policy on homework collaboration (see the grading page). Please be sure to read it carefully to avoid an inadvertent violation of the Honor Code.

Important dates:
Please familiarize yourself with the important dates listed on this webpage (exam dates, Wednesday meeting dates, etc.). Also familiarize yourself with the college-wide important dates such as breaks, holidays, add/drop deadline, credit/non deadline, reading period, finals period, and so on. All of these dates are listed on the registrar’s website. It is your responsibility to stay abreast of the deadlines and other scheduling matters. If there are any changes in the schedule, either for our class or at the college, I will announce them in class.