Math 580

Guide to Team Homework

Team homework problems are more challenging problems that you are to solve working together in teams of 4 or 5 individuals. I will allow you to choose your teams, though if there is less then 4 people or some people do not have a team I will assign people to teams. The assignments and due dates for the assignments are listed in the assignment section on this website.

You should expect that the problems assigned for team homework will be quite difficult and you should not expect to just sit down and solve them on your first try. It is vital for you to make an effort to solve the problems on your own before meeting with your team so that you at least have an idea of what the problem requires. When you meet with your team you should work together to combine your ideas to arrive at a satisfactory answer. It is not enough for one person in the team to understand a solution, you should make sure that EVERYONE on the team completely understands the solution being turned in.

I STRONGLY encourage you to type up your team homework solutions. I highly recommend that you use the math type setting software LaTeX. I will provide you with a "skeleton" file that you will only need to add your answers to for each team homework assignment if you are going to use LaTeX. LaTeX may seem daunting at first, but you will not need to learn much of it to be able to type your solutions for this class. To get started, you should check out the document "Introduction to LaTeX". You do not need to read the entire document, just get a sense of how things are typed. Of course, I can also give you a quick introduction in office hours as well. I assume that most of you are using Windows and not a Unix machine. The best LaTeX type-setting program I have found for windows is WinEdit. This is basically a fancy version of Notepad. It is nice in that it has several of the common TeX symbols right along the top of the page for easy point and click implementation. The downside is that you have a 31-day free trial before it costs you $30. You will also need to install MiKTeX on your computer to have access to LaTeX if you are using a windows machine. This is completely free and can be downloaded at the site linked here. The webpage also has instructions for installation. I can help if need be, though I assume that most of you know more about computers then I. If you are going to continue in mathematics you will need to learn LaTeX at some point, you might as well start learning it now so you gain a good grasp of its many uses. Another benefit to typing your solutions is that if you notice something you forgot to say or a team member thinks something should be worded differently, it is much easier to add the sentence or reword it on the computer then to rewrite out the entire solution again.

You will be graded not just on whether you have the correct answer, but also upon your presentation of the solution. Your solution should be written up on complete sentences giving a full explanation of what you're doing. You should write your solutions not as if I will be reading them, but as if someone else in the class who has no idea of the solution is reading it. That person should be able to read your solution and come away with a complete understanding of the solution. If you have questions on what I mean by this, or how you should write you solutions, please stop by my office and ask.