Math 252 (Phillips): Some important information on this course

This is not the course home page or course description (the course home page is here), but rather a list of a few important things about how this course will operate which may be different from what you expect.


The most important information

If you are having trouble getting into Math 252

Since my section still has space available, you are unlikely to need anything here, but just in case, here it is.

If you are having trouble getting into Math 252:

  1. Keep trying to get in via DuckWeb. Places continually open up and disappear; you want to catch one before it disappears. Don't just try one class time; try all possible times. You can always try to change later.
  2. Watch for the opening of a new section of Math 252, or for the opening of a previously closed section.
  3. If you are still not in by the first day of classes, choose a section and attend that course. Keep trying to get in via DuckWeb, since people will be moving around a lot during the first few days of classes.
  4. Only after all this has failed should you approach an instructor and ask for an override. (Instructor policies on overrides vary.)

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Pretest: Midterm zero

Midterm zero is usually unique to my class. It will be review; only 20 minutes long. For those who know the material of the prerequisites, it should be an easy way to start the quarter with a high grade. See the sample posted on the course website, and read its instructions. Note in particular that calculators and note cards are not allowed, that there is no partial credit, and that it is graded on an absolute scale. Two attempts will be allowed, Friday of the first week and Friday of the second week.

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Get an old edition of the book and save money

Homework problems will be on WeBWorK, a computer system, or posted on my course website. Different editions of the textbook mainly differ in the numbering of the problems; since this doesn't matter, an older (and much cheaper) edition of the book is essentially as good as the current (expensive) edition. In fact, you can probably use a textbook by a different author covering the right topics (almost all of them do), as long as it is intended for a calculus course for scientists and engineers, treats differentiation before integration, and you can figure out which sections contain the material being treated at any time in class. (Ask me if you have questions. I don't know the other textbooks, so you would have to show me a book you have questions about.)

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Additional important information

Correct notation is part of the grade

Using correct notation throughout will be part of your grade. Many students are careless with notation. More information on notation is here. I suggest reading it now.

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I don't read html or encoded email or Microsoft Word documents

To protect myself from "return receipt email", "self destructing email", and other nasty tricks, I read only plain text email--no encoding, no html, etc. More information in the course description, for University of Oregon official email, here, and for some other email programs here. In particular, if you send me email using UO email's default settings, it will be html only and will not be read.

See this page for how to send math questions in plain text email.

I do not read Microsoft Word documents: not in email, and not in assignment or exam submissions. The same applies to PowerPoint and Excel files.

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No WeBWorK grades posted on Canvas; other grades may be very slow to be posted

WeBWorK is not compatible with Canvas. Therefore WeBWorK grades will not appear on Canvas.

Exams will be graded reasonably quickly, and returned via Canvas. This means you can get your exam score by looking back at the returned copy. But it may be a long time before numerical grades are posted in the grade fields on Canvas.

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Names of files submitted may not contain spaces, parentheses, etc.

Names of files submitted via Canvas, email, or any other means may contain only the characters a-z, A-Z, 0-9, and "_" (underscore), and a single period before the extension (such as ".pdf"). In particular, no spaces in file names! Some software (such as CamScanner) automatically generates file names containing spaces and other inappropriate characters. You will need to learn how to change the names of such files before submission.

The purpose of this requirement is make the file names compatible with the software I use to handle them, in particular, UNIX or Linux commands typed in terminal windows.

You do not need to include any information that identifies you in the file name. Canvas automatically adds such information. Therefore the file name "M1.pdf" is perfectly adequate for a Midterm 1 submission to Canvas. By this time I see it, if you are John Doe, it will be something like "doejohn_99999_9999999_M1.pdf".

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Write your name on every page of everything submitted

You must write your name on every page of everything you submit.

Many things will be graded by printing, writing on them, and scanning. The printed version retains no information about the file name. If one page gets separated from the rest, or if even the first page doesn't have your name, I don't know whose it is.

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Read your UO email frequently

Read email sent to your University of Oregon email account regularly (at lest daily; more often before exams). Some important information will be communicated only via email to this account, including where to find videos of lectures, late corrections to solutions to sample exam questions, and more.

You can have your University of Oregon email forwarded elsewhere. (Since the standard University of Oregon setup is so bad, this is probably a good idea.) But you should be aware that, in the past, forwarding arrangements have broken with no warning and no evidence at the recipient account that there is a problem.

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Course home page.

This page maintained by N. Christopher Phillips, email. Please email plain text (7 bit ASCII) only (no web page coded files, Microsoft Word documents, binary characters, etc.; see here for more).

Last significant change 29 December 2020.