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Galois Groups and Galois Covers
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Homework Policy

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Upper-division 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 class---in 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.

Page maintained by David Meredith, meredith@sfsu.edu. Created: 1/22/01 Updated: 01/29/01