18.05: Basic Structure of the Course
- We will take an active learning approach similar in some respects to TEAL.
- You must do the reading before each class.
- In class we will assume you have done the reading. We will lecture on the material assuming this.
- We do not expect that you will have mastered the material on first reading. The goal is to start the process, so class will be more productive.
- The reading questions will prepare you for the harder questions we will work during class and on the problem sets.
- The reading questions will count toward your grade.
- We meet three times a week.
- Monday/Wednesday (80 minutes each) will be a blend of lecture, concept questions and group problem solving.
- Friday (50 minutes) will usually be a "studio" day. It will involve longer problems and the use of R. You will need to bring your laptop on Fridays.
- We will make frequent use of R for computation, simulation and visualization.
- We will teach you everything you need to know to use R as a tool.
- You will not be expected to use R to do any hardcore computer programming.
For in-class group work we will use groups of three.
- You will be able to choose your own group.
- After a week or so groups will be more or less permanent.
- Groups should sit together at tables.
- If you need to find a group or your group needs a third person let us know and we will help.
There will be no assigned text for the class. We will post the reading to this website.
Problem Sets and Exams
- Problem sets
- Problem sets will be due most weeks, usually on Monday.
- You will turn them in to the homework slots outside room 4-174. (Do NOT use the boxes outside our classroom!)
- They must be turned in by 9:30 a.m. on the day they are due. Late homeworks will not receive credit. This is an absolute rule, based in part on the logistics of grading. (Note that your lowest pset score is dropped.)
- The graders have strict instructions not to accept work that is
excessively sloppy or difficult to read.
- Your work should be formatted like any paper or book. That is,
it should be given in lines that are written left to right and go down the
- You should work the problem out on scratch paper first
and then put the final version in your homework.
- Problems should be presented in order, so the grader can find them
easily. You might do each problem on a separate piece of paper, in whatever order you like, and then staple the pages into the correct order.
- There will be two in-class midterm exams and a comprehensive final exam.
- The midterms will be designed to take one hour, but you will have the
entire 80 minutes of class to finish.
- We will have one R-based quiz. For that quiz you will be allowed to use the internet in any way except to communicate with other people.
- If you have a disability accommodation
letter from SDS, please speak with the Mathematics disabilities
accommodation coordinator, Theresa Cummings, in MAS
(email@example.com) as soon as possible to make arrangements for
- Your code from R studios will count for 10% of your grade.
- Problem sets will count for 15% of your grade. In computing your pset average we will drop your lowest score.
- The midterm exams and R quiz combined will count for 50% of your grade (20%, 20%, 10%).
- The final exam will count for 25% of your grade.