You may also ask any questions directly via phone or e-mail. If I'm not in when you call, please leave a message on the voice-mail or answering machine with your name, number, and a good time for me to call you back. I will try to respond to your phone or e-mail message as soon as possible.
This is very different from courses like pre-calculus, calculus and differential equations, which are primarily focused on computations. Although there are computations in this course, they are a tool for discovering, and proving, more general mathematical truths.
You may also go through one additional lab, or another topic of your choosing (with my approval), on your own, at the end of the semester (more details about this option are below).
You may work in small groups of your choosing in class (as well as out of class). There will also be whole-class discussions about your experimental and theoretical discoveries.
After two weeks of work in class (and while you are starting the next lab), you will have a week or two to write up your discoveries, both experimental and theoretical, into a clearly-written report. (Guidelines and suggestions for how to write and format your report are on pp. xvii-xviii of the text; more details, and a rubric, are on a separate handout.) Although you may work with other students during the lab, you must write your report yourself. You may not consult any outside resources (including the internet) without my approval.
After each report is graded and returned to you, you will have approximately one more week to revise your report for a better grade, if you like, up to one letter grade higher than the grade of your initial report. Revised reports must be complete; in other words, it should be possible to understand your revised report without reading your original report. (But do turn in your original report with the revision.)
At the end of the semester, you will have the option of turning in one extra revision of one lab; in this case, the grade you receive on the extra revision will replace the grade of the original revision (still, only up to one letter grade higher than the grade on your initial report). Alternatively, you may investigate, on your own, an additional lab, or another topic of your choosing (with my approval); in this case, the grade you receive on the additional lab will replace your lowest final grade from among the first six, if this helps your grade. Note that you may turn in an extra revision or an additional lab (or neither), not both.
Your grade for the course will be the average of the final grades for each of the six labs.
I hope everyone will complete the course successfully, but if you are having doubts about your progress, I will be happy to discuss your standing in the course to help you decide whether or not to drop. You are only allowed three enrollments in this course, so please exercise the drop option judiciously.