Class Policies, etc.:
Missed Homeworks and Exams:
Late homeworks will not be accepted, unless a prior arrangement has been made
with me. Please do not ask for exceptions to this, unless you have the most
grave of excuses. Likewise, make-up exams will only be given if prior arrangements
have been made with me.
Required Homework Format:
- Homeworks must be turned in at the beginning of lecture on the due date.
Turning it in 5 or 10 minutes into lecture constitutes a late homework, as
does dropping it in my mailbox during class.
Use green engineering paper,
work within the margins, and only use one side
without grid lines). Uniqueness generally is a valuable trait, but not in
this instance. Remember
Japanese proverb: "The nail that sticks up will be hammered down."
- Follow the format as shown in the annotated
sample here. Homework assignments not following this format will
be returned ungraded, with an option for the student to submit again
in the correct format, with a maximum score of 75% of the original total.
- DO NOT put a box around an answer if your work does not lead to it, or you
will receive a ZERO for the entire assignment. See the Ethics
section below. Be careful of this, especially if you try to work backwards
from the answer.
- Rounding numbers: Following the discussion in the text (sect. 1.6), as a
practical rule, when writing the final answer, if the first non-zero digit
in a number is 1, use 4 significant digits, otherwise use 3. For example,
14,320, 15.00, 40.0 would be correct expressions.
- In addition to the notes on the sample sheet, I will again emphasize that
neatness is important (meaning that points will be lost for sloppiness), and
correct units are essential to any answer. By following the units through
a problem, many errors can be caught early.
- Homework problem grading scale: It is expected that the problem will be
correct (see "Ethics" section below), therefore, it will be graded
for good analytical form and professional style. A typical grade scale would
be as follows:
4 = excellent (good graphs, clear, notes, references, attractive)
3 = generally good, further refinement will help
2 = improvement needed
1 = correct but sloppy
0 = missing or incomplete
- Working with others on some problems can help the learning process up to
a point, and is perfectly acceptable. However, to present the work of others
as your own is unprofessional and unethical (see below), and subsequently
will not be acceptable in this class.
Appealing a Homework or Exam Grade:
If you disagree with the grade you received for a homework or exam, please
bring it to my attention. The method for doing this is to draft a memo (see
example for format), attach your homework to the memo (with a paperclip
or staple), and deliver it to me. Communicating in clear written format is a
good habit to develop.
Since answers are provided for most of the problems in the book, any homework
problem showing the correct answer with significant logic and/or math errors
will be given zero credit for the entire problem set. Similarly, any cheating
on an exam will result in a zero for the exam, with possible further repercussions.
Although dishonest classwork is, in my experience, rare, following SCU policy,
I will take this very seriously.
This raises the larger issue of academic integrity. The Undergraduate Bulletin
states "[SCU] is committed to a pursuit of truth and knowledge that requires
both personal honesty and intellectual integrity as fundamental..." The
flip side of this, academic dishonesty, is a violation of the SCU Code of Conduct
as stated in the Community Handbook. The Office
of Student Life has compiled some illuminating statistics on cheating by
students on homeworks and exams. With the pressure to succeed, the possibility
of suffering an ethical lapse can be strong, even while knowing the strong consequences.
If you find yourself reaching this level of desperation, please consider the
effects of cheating on your classmates, the academic atmosphere, and your own
ability to take pride in your accomplishments. I am always open to discussing
any issues, and I would encourage you to take advantage of the great support
staff and networks on campus.