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Galois Groups
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(CIRE course notes)
Homework Policy
Math Dept
Grad Program
AMP
SFSU
 
Upperdivision and Graduate
Homework Policy
The assignments are the centerpiece of each course. You learn the material by solving
the problems and writing complete solutions. The writing is important; by writing complete
solutions you make sure you that understand all the details of the mathematics.
Consequently there are two rules for assignments:
 Each solution must be presented in complete sentences and paragraphs, like the textbook.
 Every word and formula your page must be part of a sentence that starts with a capital
letter and ends with a period. 
 Do not write as though your reader had a copy of the problem statement available.
Introduce all parts of the problem and define all symbols as part of your solution. 
 If in my opinion even a couple of sentences from one student's work are copied to
another, both problems will receive no credit. You should form study groups to work on the
problems together, but you learn by writing in this course so your answers must finally be
your own words. 
 I will have more to say about mathematical writing as the semester progresses. 

 Wrong answers receive no credit.
 Wrong answers are less valuable than no answer. If you haven't got an answer, there is
always hope you will get one. Once you have accepted a wrong answer from yourself, you
have eliminated the possibility of getting the problem right. You are responsible for
judging your own work and only submitting answers that you know are correct. (If you
aren't sure, that's a sign that you don't completely understand the material.) 
 Generous partial credit will be given for problems that are correct, presented in
finished form, but incomplete in that some parts were not done.
 If you cannot do a problem, do a related problem. Try a simpler problem, a numerical
version of a symbolic problem, or just explain clearly in your own words what the problem
asks and where you got stuck. 
 If you cannot do a proof, at least (1) state the result clearly; (2) do an example of
the result; and (3) show how the result fails if one of the hypotheses fails. 


This policy will not change the overall grade distribution in the course. However, now
students will be compared on how many homework problems they get right regardless of how
many they attempted.
Late assignments will be accepted only if you (a) are unavoidably
prevented from attending classin which case I expect an email or phone message by the
next morning and an assignment by the next class; or (b) you have shown me substantial
written progress on a problem and I allow you more time.
I encourage you to use class time and my office hours for questions about the
assignments. You learn best when your mind has been opened by a question.
