Course Policies

  • Brief syllabus (includes list of course topics)

  • Course topics

  • Policies

    1. Contact Information

      • Office: Cox Hall, room 518D.
      • Email: alun_lloyd@ncsu.edu
      • Phone: 515-1910.
      • Email preferred
      • Office hours: 2:50-3:50pm, Monday; 10:30-11:30am, Tuesday

    2. Information from the Instructor

      • From time to time, the Instructor may need to inform the class of important changes regarding the lectures, the course or its policies. Announcements will be made in class, but will also appear on the course web page.
      • It is your responsibility to check the course web page from time to time for any such announcements.

    3. Instructor's Commitment

      You can expect your Instructor to:

      • be courteous, respectful and punctual
      • be well-prepared for lectures
      • answer questions in a helpful and positive fashion
      • be available during office hours, unless they have notified the class beforehand that they can not keep them
      • ensure that a suitable guest lecturer will cover for any absences or that the class will be notified in advance of any canceled lectures
      • grade fairly, consistently and according to the posted guidelines.

      Above all, the Instructor is here to help you understand the course material and to help you perform to the best of your abilities. Make use of opportunities such as Office Hours and the lectures to get any help that you need.
      Please bear in mind that the Instructor has other obligations and duties beyond teaching and so will, on occasions, not be able to give immediate help. They will, however, attempt to accomdate any requests as well as they can, given their time constraints.

    4. Course Textbook

      • None. Some notes will be provided.

    5. Attendance Policies

      • Regular attendance of the lectures will improve your performance in this course.
        Because many lectures build on earlier material, it is in your interest to keep up to date with the subject matter.
        The best way to do this is to be present for the lectures and the worked example/problem sheet sessions.
      • The University's regulations on attendance make it clear that you are expected to attend all lectures, unless you have a valid reason not to.
      • Make yourself familiar with the University attendance regulations, which are to be followed for this course.
      • Attendance will not be taken.
      • Please inform the Instructor of any anticipated absences.
      • The Instructor will work with students to make up any work missed on account of genuine reasons.

    6. Behavior During Lectures

      • As a courtesy to other students attending the lecture, please make sure that cell phones are turned off during classes.
      • Disruptive behavior will not be tolerated and may lead to you being asked to leave the lecture or the course.

    7. Assignments

      • A homework assignment will be due each week, unless there is to be a test that week.
      • Not all questions that are set for homework will be graded, but you will be told if this is the case, and which questions are to be graded.
      • The Instructor may choose not to assign homework during the earliest weeks of term because insufficient material has yet been covered. The Instructor may, however, choose to set a more general problem sheet as a way of ensuring that students have the necessary prerequisites to ensure their success in the course. Any problems that emerge during such an exercise will be discussed with the student with regard to whether this course is suitable for them.
      • Assignments will usually cover material from the preceding week's lectures, but additional problems may be added.
      • Completed assignments are to be handed in at the start of class on the due date. If you are late in arriving for the class, or miss the class, homework should be dropped off at 518 Cox Hall by 5pm on the due date.

    8. Incomplete Grades and Late Assignments

      • Late assignments may incur a penalty: the maximum grade to be given to such assignments is 75 per cent.
      • It is your responsibility to let the Instructor know in advance, and preferably via email, if you know beforehand that you will not be able to be present at a class for which a homework assignment is due. In such cases, homework may be handed in to the Instructor's mailbox in Cox Hall (Dr. Lloyd, 518 Cox) before 5pm on the due date.
      • Allowances will be made for genuine medical or other acceptable unexpected absences. The Instructor may choose to request verification (e.g. a note from a doctor stating that there was a genuine medical issue) regarding any absences.
      • If you are persistently late with assignments, the Instructor may refuse to accept them or any further assignments. This will adversely affect your final grade (see below).

    9. Tests

      • There will be two in-class tests: Monday, September 17th and a second date to be announced.
      • Tests will, unless otherwise stated, be 60 minute in-class tests to be completed without the use of textbooks, course material or other notes. A formula sheet will be provided. Calculators, including graphical calculators, may be used, although notes may not be stored on them.
      • If you miss a test without either a certified medical excuse or prior Instructor approval, you may take a makeup test at a designated time during the last week of semester.
      • Only one makeup test will be given, and it will be fair but comprehensive and challenging. This means that even if the missed test covers only part of the course, the makeup test may contain material from any part of the course.
      • Tests missed with certified medical excuses or prior approval of the Instructor will be dealt with on a case by case basis.

    10. Final Examination

      • The final exam will be held on Friday, December 7th at 1-4pm in the regular classroom.
      • The final exam will be comprehensive, covering material from the entire semester.
      • There will be no exemptions from the final examination.
      • Students who miss the final examination without a legitimate reason may be awarded an F grade.
      • Students must inform the Instructor if they have advance knowledge, or could reasonably be expected to know, that they will be absent from the final examination. Failure to comply may also result in the award of an F grade.

    11. Projects

      • Projects will consist of a short research exercise, carried out in pairs, to be written up and handed in.
      • Topic and further details to be discussed later in the semester.

    12. Grading information

      • The Instructor will grade all work and inform students of their performance in a timely manner.
      • If you believe that an error has been made in grading your work on a problem set, test or final examination, the matter must be raised in writing, preferably by email, with the Instructor. Any such questions must reach the Instructor within one week of the work being returned to the class.
      • The final grade will be calculated using a weighted average of the marks obtained on homework (30%), tests (30%), a project (20%) and the final examination (20%).
      • The anticipated marks required to obtain grades A through D are as follows: 92 or above = A, 82 or above = B, 72 or above = C, and 62 or above = D.
      • The Instructor reserves the right to impose some flexibility in these boundaries.
      • Please note that grades are not assigned according to a curve. It is possible for everyone in the class to get an A (or an F). You are NOT competing against your peers, and so it is in your best interests to help (and get help from) your classmates in every legal way possible.
      • Gray areas between grades. There will always be some gray area between obtaining different grades.
        A +/- system will be used.
        The Instructor can, at their discretion, take many factors into account when considering such gray areas. (For instance, exceptional performance in a particular homework assignment, test or exam, or if a general improvement in performance has been observed over the course of the term.) The Instructor will have final say in such matters and will not enter into extended debate over these points.

    13. Academic Integrity

      • Students should refer to the University policy on academic integrity found in the University code of student conduct. Sections 7 through 13 are particularly relevant.
      • By putting their name on any test, homework assignment or examination script, the student gives their agreement that they neither received nor gave unauthorized aid on that piece of work.
        Typically, this means that, unless a group assignment was given, that the item in question represents the student's own work. In the case of group assigment, this means that the student actively participated in the group activity.
      • The previous statement does not mean that students cannot ask each other for help or work together to a reasonable extent on homework assignments. What it means is that you cannot simply copy or paraphrase someone else's work.
      • Any breach of these regulations is a very serious matter and will be treated as such.

    14. Access for Students With Disabilities

    15. Other Information

      • This course does not involve any laboratory work, field trips or extra expenses beyond the purchase of the course texts and consumables typical of most courses.
      • We will make use of computers, but you will not be required to purchase any software.

    16. Questions on Course Policy

      • Questions on course policy should be directed to the Instructor within the first four weeks of the course.
      • Errors and omissions excepted.