305 -Homework set 4

February 22, 2009

I am not happy with the solutions I received for problems 4 and 5 of Homework set 2 so, for this new set, due March 2 at the beginning of lecture, you must redo these two problems correctly. As usual, the homework policy is detailed in the syllabus. However, there are a few points I want to emphasize:

  • Although I have so far allowed collaboration, each student should write their own solutions. If a group of students collaborate in a problem, they should indicate so at the beginning of their solutions. 

Let me explain this a bit. I do not simply mean that each of you has to write or type your own set of solutions. Of course I expect that, but I expect more than that. When you write your solutions, you should do this on your own. I do not want to see exactly the same mistakes in different people, exactly the same notation, exactly the same equations. If I see it ever again, even if it is not intentional, I will not allow collaboration any longer. Collaboration means that you work together and help one another and give suggestions to one another. Once you have come up with a solution, then collaboration stops and you should write your own version of what was found. 

  • Also, if references are consulted, they should be listed. This means you should mention the books you look at that gave you ideas. This means you should give the name of the book, the author, the edition, the theorem you are using or quoting or being inspired by. Similarly, if you find ideas online, mention the webpage where you found them. 

Now, and this is very important: Your solutions are your own. It may be that by accident in some book you run into the solution of a problem I assigned. This is fine, as long as it is not done intentionally, and I trust your honesty in this regard. Remember that you are bound by an honor code. It is not acceptable to copy the solution the book gives, not even if you give a complete reference that makes it clear that the solution is not your own. If you find a useful idea in a book, make sure you understand it before you use it. Just copying it down will not be acceptable, even if you change notation or the order in which the idea is presented. If you find a solution in a book, and you do not understand it, you will be better off not attempting to use it.  

If I see that the two points above (or any of the details of the homework policy) are not followed, I may change the grading policy and increase the number of quizzes we will have and the percentage they contribute to your total grade. 

Please make sure your solutions are reasonably self contained. If you use a result we have not shown in class you need to provide a proof. Please make sure you turn in your homework on time. This means at the beginning of lecture, not at the end of lecture or in the middle of lecture.