Teaching Policies

I am collecting, in this page, a number of policies that I abide by in the teaching of classes. Over the years I have experimented with different choices, but have now settled down to what you see here. I am sure that I have not covered every possibility, and should you need to know something that is not here, please let me know and I will add it. Subjects are arranged alphabetically. In all cases, I abide by the rules set down by the Mathematics Department, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the University of Colorado. What you see here are my implementations of those rules and my predilections in those cases where I have free choice.
Appeal Procedure
In any situation where you believe you have been unjustly dealt with, the first thing to do is to talk with me. If we can not resolve the issue, a second appeal can be made the chair of the Mathematics Department (or the designee of the chair). If this does not lead to a satisfactory resolution, an appeal can be made to the Dean of CLAS. Appeals to the Dean are final.
I do not require that students attend my lectures and I do not take roll. However, those students who decide not to attend are clearly not participating in the class and can not benefit from my impressions at the time I make up final grades. This means that the grade determined for such a student is entirely based on grades of written work throughout the semester.

If you are going to miss a class, you need not inform me unless there is information you need to obtain from me.

If I suspect a student of cheating on any material submitted for a grade, but have a doubt about it, I will generally give a stern warning that this is not tolerated. A second instance, or a first instance where there is no doubt, will result in punitive measures, i.e., a grade of 0 on the material, and a form letter will be issued. Any further activity of this sort will result in an "F" for the course. If two or more students are involved, for instance, someone copying from another's exam, then all students involved are considered liable for the infraction and all will receive the same treatment.
Turn off beepers and cell phones during class. My commitment is to create a climate for learning characterized by respect for each other and the contributions each person makes to class. I ask that you make a similar commitment.
Curving of Grades
I am philosophically opposed to the curving of grades and do not do it as a general rule. There is nothing wrong with this statistical procedure, the problem lies with the assumptions upon which it is based. The only instance in which I might curve grades is when I am teaching a new course and I am convinced that there is something wrong with the instrument I've designed for evaluation.
Students with disabilities who want academic accommodations must register with Diability Resources and Services (DRS), 177 Arts Building, 303-556-3450, TTY 303-556-4766, FAX 303-556-2074. DRS requires students to provide current and adequate documentation of their disabilities. Once a student has registered with DRS, DRS will review the documentation and assess the student's request for academic accommodations in light of the documentation. DRS will then provide the student with a letter indicating which academic accommodations have been approved. Once you provide me with a copy of DRS's letter, I will be happy to provide those accomodations DRS has approved.
Extra Credit
Although I will from time to time provide opportunities to regain points lost on an exam (but not always), I do not believe in extra credit. I require a student to demonstrate mastery of the material covered in a course. If this can not be done, then showing me that you have mastered some other material is of little consequence.
If I become aware of any firearms in class, concealed or not, legal or not, I will immediately cancel class. Students will be held responsible for the material that would have been taught. This is a personal policy and not a requirement imposed by UCD.
Honor Code
I expect all students to abide by the Student Conduct Code. This means that any material handed in for grading must be the result of the individual student's efforts. Collaboration, plagiarism and other forms of cheating on take-home exams or homeworks submitted for grades will not be tolerated. You have a duty to report to me any instances of this that you are aware of.
Late Assignments
You should make every effort to hand in work when it is due, however if you miss a deadline you should get the work to me as soon as you can. I will normally accept late work without penalty until the time I am finished grading the assignment. After that point, a grade penalty will be imposed. As I make an effort to grade material and return it as soon as I can, this does not give you much leeway. I will not accept late assignments after I have returned the graded material to the class.
Make-Up Exams
I rarely provide make-up exams, and at that, only if they have been arranged before the time of the actual exam. The only exceptions to this are the quizzes that may be taken on the web, however, these must be completed before the written quiz is graded and returned to the class (you may request that I postpone handing back a quiz until you have had an opportunity to take it on the web).
Student's Rights to See Graded Material
I consider material that is handed in to be graded to be the property of the student. I hand back all such material. If I want a copy of the material, I must ask permission to make a copy.

It sometimes happens, especially with final exams, papers or projects, that I can not get the material back to the student (it is however available to be picked up). Such material I will hold in storage for at least five years. After that time it will probably be disposed of.