Guidelines for Problem Sets
Math 217, Mathematics, Voting, & Democracy, Spring 2022

One of the central goals of the course is that you improve your ability to communicate mathematics clearly, both in writing and verbally. Learning to write precise and complete mathematical arguments is a challenging endeavor that you will refine over your undergraduate career. However, the process will not only aid your mathematical development but can also greatly improve your clarity of thought in other disciplines as well.

I firmly believe that one of the best ways to build your understanding of mathematics is to explore the ideas with other students. Therefore, I encourage you to discuss the assignments with other students, but your solutions should represent your understanding of the problems. If you do work with another student on an assignment, you should indicate that in a note on the top of your paper.

Format for the Write-ups

I have high expectations for the organization and presentation of your Problem Sets. I am not being unnecessarily annoying about this. Learning to carefully organize your thoughts and clearly communicate them is one of the most important skills you will learn in college.

Evaluation of Problem Sets

You should always have a target audience in mind whenever you write. Here is a good rule of thumb to follow for your Problem Sets:

Write your solutions so that you could hand them to a sophomore-level math student with a background in the course content and she would be persuaded that your solution is correct and that your conclusions are believable.

There are three types of errors* that frequently occur:

Each problem will be graded on a scale of 0-7 with the following criteria: