### remarks on recent work

there’s info on assignments here;

i’m hoping everyone knows this already.

i only graded three homework problems.

three points possible apiece, plus one

for appearing-to-have-done-most-of-the-rest:

ten points possible. the 5-day-a-week classes

have a scale of “grade *two* problems at

*two* points apiece, plus one for completeness”.

so, while any slight mistake (using my scale) is

already 10% of the grade on the whole paper,

this is a heck of a lot better than 20%.

when i noticed something without even trying…

an inappropriate long-digit decimal approximation,

for example… on an *ungraded* problem, i went

ahead an remarked on it. but there’ll be quite a

bit of interesting work going *unremarked* here

of course. ideally, every student would talk over

the homework with at least one other student…

a few papers had “no slope” for “zero slope”;

don’t. i let these go by… but, unfortunately,

some writers use “no slope” for *undefined* slope.

so it’s best not to use this language at all.

using graph *paper* for graphs seems to correlate

(positively) with “good grades on HW1”.

intercepts are points, not numbers…

the x-intercept might be (3,0) for example

(not 3). not an enormous big deal…

but it pays to try to be as precise

as we know how.

there was a system-of-equations having

*no solution* on the quiz. i gave full

credit for “parallel lines” in one case…

but we’re looking for “no solution” here.

at least one student panicked pretty badly

on this problem… and *erased* what looks

to’ve been pretty good progress toward the

answer. when you get an equation that

*can’t be solved*… remember that this

doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve done

anything wrong! (and *whatever* you

do… don’t “blank out” on a problem!).

when there *is* a solution for a system,

we’ll prefer *ordered pair* solutions

(for “abstract” problems like the ones at

hand… for “word” problems, it is of course

more appropriate to give “word” answers

[typically including units]).

fractions are *more algebraic* than decimals

and much to be preferred. the calculator is

pretty good at making the conversions, too.

so-called “mixed numbers” like are

much harder to work with than (so-called)

“improper fractions” like 25/8. students

of algebra should make the effort to get

used to this situation. again, the calculator

can be very helpful.

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