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Fall 2015

Important Registration Dates

The last day to add/drop or audit a course without your Dean's permission is Monday, September 14.

The deadline for registering for the pass/fail option is Monday, November 9.

You may drop the course at any time before the last day of class; however, if you do so after November 9, you will be given a W grade for withdrawing.


There will be three non-comprehensive 50 minute midterms, all in class. The tentative days of the midterms are September 28 (Monday), October 21 (Wednesday), and November 18 (Wednesday). There will be a comprehensive three-hour Final Exam at the end of the semester. The Final Exam will be scheduled by the Registrar.

If you want to dispute your midterm grade, you should return the graded exam to your teaching assistant during the recitation in which you received it, with a completed grade review request form. Your exam score will be reviewed within one week.

There will be no make-up midterms except when a student documents an illness or emergency at the earliest possible time.

Students eligible for additional time or other accommodations must contact the instructor at least five days prior to the exam to make arrangements.


Homework is the heart and soul of this course. Solving the problems is the only way to gain mastery of the material. Plus, putting the effort in now will alleviate suffering when you get to higher-level theory courses :)

Homework will be posted each Thursday on the course website and will be collected the following week at the start of your Thursday recitation. Each homework will consist of 10 problems, but only 6 problems will be graded. We will not let you know which problems will be graded, so you will need to do all of them.

Late homework will not be accepted. Homework must be turned in at the start of your recitation.

Each homework should be stapled. No paste, tape, gum, etc. Do not rip and twist to attach pages either. STAPLE effectively your pages together in the proper order. STAPLE in the upper left corner.

The problems should be written neatly and in the order they were assigned. If your work is not legible, you will receive no credit. Missing argument in a proof will be considered a mistake.

There will be 10 homework assignments this semester. Two lowest homework grades will be dropped. It is very important that you do ALL the homework assignments because similar problems will appear in exams.

Preparation and the self-help sessions

On average, you should expect to work 6-10 hours a week on this course in addition to attending lectures and recitations. You will be asked to study from the notes and from the textbook, not all the material in the notes will be contained in the textbook and vice versa. You will not need a calculator for this course.

You are required to attend recitations as they are an integral part of the course and will be devoted primarily to amplifying the material and working problems reasonably similar to the homework.

Please prepare your questions very well before you come to see your TA or instructor during our office hours. You should be familiar with all the definitions and results in your notes. You are responsible for all announcements made in class or on Piazza.

Discussing ideas and problems with others is an excellent way of learning, and we encourage you to work together in small groups. However, you should think about each problem by yourself for at least 30 minutes before starting any collaboration. Remember that when working on homework problems, you need to solve and write up the actual solutions alone. We recommend that you try to solve each problem independently before asking for help from your classmates, TAs and instructors. Every Tuesday, from 9 PM to 11 PM in Doherty 2315, there will be a self-help session. Please come, discuss problems, make friends.

Course Grades

Your course grade will be calculated based on the following:

8 Assignments : 24%
The lowest midterm: 10%
2 other midterms: 36%
Final Exam: 30%

Grades from all assignments and exams may be reviewed for up to one week after they are returned/posted. After this period, the grade is considered final and cannot be changed. We reserve the right to review an entire assignment/exam if an individual part is submitted for review.

Attendance and participation in class, although not formally counted as part of your grade, can impact your final grade if you end up on the borderline between two grades.