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Thinking about what's wrong with something, by itself, is an unbalanced approach to decision-making. Let us also consider what's right about it.

Policies for Bro. Brown's classes


General Statement | Disclaimer | Spirituality | Dropping a Course | Reasonable Causes | Collaboration | Grading | “Standard” Grade Scale | Extra Credit | Attendance | Campus Email | Calculators | Harassment | Students With Disabilities


General Statement: You and I will support the official policies of the Department, the College and the University. This includes, but is not limited to, the Student Honor Code, the Dress And Grooming Standards, and policies governing disruptive behavior and the abuse of drugs. Academic dishonesty in any of its forms will be rewarded according to University policy. This can include a failing grade or even expulsion from school.


Disclaimer: I reserve the right to interpret the syllabus, course description, objectives and materials, course requirements, grading, policies, tentative calendaror schedule, tentative homework assignments and any all other materials relating to this course. Your continued registration in my class is your consent to be governed by these things. I also reserve the right to make any changes I deem necessary to any or all the above, with or without notice. In practice, of course, I try not to make any drastic changes at all, and I do try very hard to communicate with students about any changes.


Spirituality: Brigham Young and Joseph Smith taught that all truth belongs to the Gospel. It should be possible, therefore, to find connections between mathematical and other kinds of gospel truth. For example, mathematics is the only discipline which can make both qualitative and quantitative statements about infinity; such statements may help us better understand the Atonement and the Atoning One. We may talk about such things from time to time. Please cooperate respectfully and reverently in this matter, remembering that neither you nor I have the final say in the Kingdom of God.


In any case, you will find that you learn better when you are keeping the commandments, studying the scriptures daily, praying often, attending your church meetings, magnifying your calling, and so forth. You will also find that it’s easier to balance your time when you are doing all these things, because the Spirit will guide you. The Spirit will also bring all things to your remembrance; this includes mathematical things that you have studied.


Dropping a Course: Don’t just disappear. If you simply stop attending class, stop turning in assignments and stop taking tests, you will almost certainly receive a failing grade for the course (either an F or a UW). If, at any time, you consider dropping out of this course, please talk to me and your advisor about it. Dropping a course can have far-reaching implications. If you do decide to drop the course, please do everyone a favor and go through the official procedure. (For details, consult the University website.)


Reasonable causes for not turning in an assignment on time or for not taking an exam on any of the correct dates are things like school-excused field trips and other school-excused activities, illness, incapacitating injury, or death or disaster in the family. If you have conflicts with your work schedule or your obligations to other classes, then you need to carefully consider whether you should be doing all that you’re doing. Careful planning on your part can usually overcome such conflicts. I may offer a certain degree of flexibility to those who discuss their conflicts with me, but do not expect to be automatically allowed to turn in something late or make up an assignment or an exam.


UNIVERSITY POLICY STATES THAT ALL STUDENTS MUST ATTEND THE LAST DAY OF CLASS, WHETHER THEY HAVE A FINAL EXAM OR NOT. Exceptions are very hard to get. Officially, even getting married during the last week of classes is not excusable. Attending this class on the last day of classes will be rewarded; failure to attend will result in undesirable consequences.


Collaboration: You are encouraged to work with your fellow students, after you have made an honest effort to do the work yourself. HOWEVER: EVERYTHING YOU TURN IN MUST BE IN YOUR OWN WORDS. Failure to follow this rule will be interpreted as academic dishonesty. Sometimes, you will be required to collaborate with other students. Assume each of you will be required to turn in your own version of the work, unless otherwise specified. If you have a question or a concern about the appropriateness of some action or behavior with regard to academic dishonesty, please ask about it. It's better to ask than not to.


Grading: I give partial credit, when appropriate. But to get it, you must show your work, when appropriate. When I grade, I try to determine whether the student’s putative solution to a given problem can actually be a solution, whether it actually is a solution, whether the student seems to know what they’re doing, uses the symbols and vocabulary correctly, interpret their result correctly, etc. You have the responsibility to show me what you understand.


The “standard” grade scale is:

93 – 100 is an A;   90 – 92 is an A – ;    87 – 89 is a B ;     83 – 86 is a B;    80 – 82 is a B – ;

77 – 79 is a C ;      73 – 76 is a C;          67 – 69 is a D ;     63 – 66 is a D;    60 – 62 is a D – ;

0 – 59 is an F.     The grade of "UW" may be given under some circumstances, say, for disappearing.


I do round averages to the nearest whole number. I do not curve grades unless a convincing reason presents itself.


Extra credit: If the course outline for your class does not specifically mention extra credit, then there is none; don’t even ask. But I do sometimes allow students to complete or revise their work, especially if there are extenuating circumstances. Come talk to me if you have any questions on this point.


Attendance: Your attendance may or may not be directly graded (except during the last week of classes--see your class's Course Outline for details). Likewise, your participation in class may or may not be directly graded. In any case, students tend to do better if they attend and participate. It is your responsibility to be aware of what goes on in class, (including announcements). It is not sufficient to rely on the things other students say or have in their notes.


If you miss more than two or three class days, please talk to me about it.


UNIVERSITY POLICY STATES THAT TRAVEL PLANS ARE NOT AN EXCUSE FOR MISSING THE LAST DAY OF CLASS. Exceptions may require the approval of an associate vice president and are typically only granted for things like leaving on your mission. Officially, you cannot even be excused for your own wedding! DO NOT MAKE ARRANGEMENTS OR BUY TICKETS OR ALLOW YOUR PARENTS TO MAKE ARRANGEMENTS OR BUY TICKETS FOR TRAVEL FOR ANY DATE BEFORE THE OFFICIAL END OF THE SEMESTER.

Here is an excerpt from an email faculty have received from Brother Burgener, Associate Vice President for Academics: "By policy, students are obligated to be available through the official end of the semester (all instructional and final exam days). This is now the official date given to students on the Academic calendar...Students should not make travel plans before the semester ends and should not request to take a final exam early. Faculty should know that they have full right to require students to attend the final exams."

Campus email is the official means of communication between the University and the student. Though other means (telephone, snail mail, etc.) are still in use, you must check your campus email account regularly and often. I send emails to my students from time to time with announcements that you need to be aware of.


Notes: (1) You can only have so many emails in your email box; sometimes students do not receive important notices because their boxes are full. It is your responsibility to keep your email box clean. (2) Sometimes, I-Learn says it doesn't have your correct email address. This can lead to you not receiving important information about the class. It is your responsibility to ensure that I-Learn and the University have your current contact information at all times.


Calculators: In my opinion, graphing calculators are like greeting cards. They're nice; they're convenient; they help people feel good things. But the real reason they exist is to make money for their manufacturers. We could all get along without them quite nicely.


I also believe calculators of all kinds are often abused in today’s mathematics classroom, beginning in the earliest grades. However, they do have appropriate uses. Consequently, you will sometimes use certain appropriate capabilities of your calculator, and I will comment on their uses and abuses. But you may well be required to some things with computer software, or even by hand. I can answer questions about calculators, but your best resources for learning about your calculator are your owner’s manual, the manufacturer’s website and your classmates.


Some people enter formulas, examples, notes or other such things, into their calculators for use during exams. This practice puts other students at a disadvantage. It also robs those who do it of valuable learning opportunities. Much of the time, it's cheating. You will not be allowed to do it in my class, unless explicit permission is given to the entire class. Some students will want to enter the information into their calculators, but not use it on exams. This puts these students under temptation to abuse the calculator, and is difficult to police. You will therefore refrain from entering such information into your calculators while in my class. If I find out that even one student is not cooperating, no one in that student's class will be allowed to use calculators on exams.


Preventing Sexual Harassment: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination against any participant in an educational program or activity that receives federal funds, including Federal loans and grants. Title IX also covers student-to-student sexual harassment. If you encounter unlawful sexual harassment or gender based discrimination, please contact the Equal Employment Office at 356-1130.


In compliance with applicable disability law, qualified students with a disability may be entitled to “reasonable accommodation.” It is the student’s responsibility to disclose to the teacher any special need she/he may have before the end of the first week of class.

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