Let's Roll

21-260: Differential Equations

Course Description


Instructor and TA's

Course Schedule and Homework

Grading Information

Other Course Policies

Frequently Asked Questions

Classroom Courtesy

When attending class, please act in a manner that maintains a positive learning environment. Avoid behavior that may be distracting to your classmates or your instructor.

You should schedule your activities in a way that allows you to arrive before the start of class, and remain throughout the entire class period. If it should be necessary to arrive late or leave early, please do so with a minimum of commotion. In particular, you should make an effort to sit near the door and at the end of a row.

At times during the course, you may need to talk to your neighbor to check a fact or clarify a point. Lengthy discussions, however, are to be avoided. If you find yourself involved in more than a brief exchange, you should consider raising your hand and asking your instructor to clarify the point. Chances are that you are not the only one feeling confused.

Academic Integrity

This is a very important topic, and one about which I feel quite strongly.

For the purposes of this course adhering to Carnegie Mellon's Statement on Academic Integrity means primarily one thing: making sure that work you turn in for credit is yours and yours alone.

This does not mean you can't work with other students. Indeed I strongly encourage you to form study groups. Working together to find solutions to homework problems or while studying for exams benefits everyone involved. When someone explains something to you, you gain the benefits of their understanding. Explaining topics to another student forces you to clarify your own ideas.

It is clear that when an exam begins collaboration stops, and each student works alone to complete the problems. But what does it mean for a homework paper to be "your own work"? Once you have found a solution, you should write it up by yourself. You may need to refer to notes you have taken while collaborating, but you should not be referring to other peoples written work while producing your own.

  • You should make yourself aware of Carnegie Mellon's Policy on Cheating and Plagiarism and Undergraduate Academic Disciplinary Actions Overview, which can also be found in the student handbook (The Word).
  • This table provides a brief guide of some behavior is permitted, and some that is prohibited:

    you may... you may not...
    • Consult with you instructor or your TA .
    • Use other textbooks or online resources to gain a better understanding of the materials.
    • Work together with your classmates to find solutions to problems.
    • Copy another students homework paper, or any portion thereof.
    • Copy a solution found in another textbook or web page.
    • Copy a solution from notes that are also copied by another student.
    • Ask questions of any proctor (the proctor may or may not answer the question).
    • Ask any question of another student or answer questions asked of you.
    • Consult any unauthorized materials (books, notes, papers) or have these materials in a position where they may be consulted.
    • Attempt to view another student's exam or materials (authorized or unauthorized).
    • Listen to headphone devices.

    This table does not address every situation. If you have any questions about a situation not addressed here, consult with your instructor or TA.

  • Any failure to abide by this policy will, at minimum, result in a zero on that assignment and may result in a failing grade for the course. [In the past I have recorded the negative of the grade that otherwise would have been earned --- Dr. Handron] The incident will be reported to the Dean of Students per University policy.
  • A second incident (in this or a later class) will result in an academic board review. In this case the penalty may be much more severe, possibly including suspension or expulsion from the university.
Now proceed to the First Homework Assignment

Save your receipt.

  • Your graded assignment is your "receipt". You should hold on to all of your work until you receive your final grade. From time to time grades do get recorded incorrectly. Changes to the grade record cannot be made, however, without evidence that such a change is warranted.
  • If you wish to dispute your grade on an assignment, it must be presented to your instructor before the next exam.

How to succeed in this course (and elsewhere).

  • Attendance will not be taken in this class, however, it is expected that you will attend class regularly. If you do miss a class it is your responsibility to find out what was covered and whether any important announcements were made.
  • The single most important thing that you should do is work out 125% of the homework. Even if your schedule ensures that you can not finish before the assignment is due, you should still do the assigned problems, along with an assortment of unassigned problems, as a study aid.
  • Collaboration on homework is a good thing. You are encouraged to discuss the homework and to work together on the problems, but each student is responsible for the final preparation of his or her own homework papers. For your own good, this does not mean simply copying another's work; the object is understanding, not penmanship.
  • The course is a 9 unit course, which nominally means that you should expect to spend 9 hours per week on the material (3 in class and 6 outside the classroom). The real time needed will vary, of course, but if you find that you are spending much more time than this, it is likely that you are "spinning your wheels", and that you should seek help from any of the various sources available to you: these include your instructor, your TA, your fellow students, the learning center and the tutoring center.
  • Like all mathematics, the material in the course cannot be learned passively. However reasonable, simple, or rational you may find what you read or hear, you do not understand it if you cannot apply it yourself. Thus it is imperative that you test yourself by doing problems. If you have difficulty with a problem, ask your instructor or your fellow students about it; do not suppose that your difficulty will cure itself without treatment.

If bad comes to worse...

  • If, due to illness or another legitimate reason, you are unable to complete the work required for this course by the end of the exam period, I will assign a grade of I (incomplete). You must request this action and provide documentation of the cause.
  • Enrollment Services will only allow a grade of I to stand for one semester. If the grade is not amended by that time it will revert to a default grade (the grade you earned based on the material completed). Once the grade reverts to the default grade I will not change it.