HOMEWORK INSTRUCTIONS == CALC 02 == FALL 2005 == page
How to Do Homework
INSTRUCTOR: DOUG JONES
YOUR NAME ______________________________
FALL SEMESTER 2005
"Practice makes perfect
is an old, tried-and-true saying. However, in a math class at the college or
university level, there is not much time during the class period
for you, the student, to practice
The number of required topics and the essentially lecture-type atmosphere do not leave time for
math must be practiced outside the classroom
ll set aside some time each class
period to show you how to work homework problems you're "stuck" on. But in reality
this work does
not constitute "practice" for you; it is really just practice for me. And, hopefully, I don't need too much
Now, what does it mean
to practice math?
I suggest that at the college level it means to actually
problems. And what does it mean to work
problems? It means
to read problems carefully,
to decide which mathematical "tools"
to properly and systematically use those mathematical tools
to analyze the results critically
, and, in the case of
to interpret those results in a written style which is understandable, even to an average,
On a more mundane level,
to practice math
to simplify expressions,
to solve equations,
And how do we do these types of practice? It's called
. This is the bottom line
to do homework to get good at math
. And, evidently, your chosen career requires both analytical
thinking and computational proficiency.
Thus, you do need to
get good at math
So let's agree that homework is necessary. Now it's going to be part of my job this semester to
convince you that "
Homework is a necessary evil
." is an incorrect statement. I must try to show you
that homework is
, but not
, in fact, I hope to show you that homework can be, well, . . .
And really, if you do not enjoy the solving of problems, both mathematical and logical, then, I suggest,
you will not be happy in a career involving mathematical reasoning and/or scientific inquiry. But I
guess we'll see
about that later.
For now, let's get into how I want you to do your homework.
Actually, as a student pointed-out to me years ago . . . .
practice makes perfect.”
In this context, the word "tool" means a formula , equation or maybe even a technique (like
rationalizing a numerator).
Here, "use those tools" means “solve the equations,” or “correctly rationalize the numerator.”
For instance . . . . “Does this answer make sense?”