Academic expectations

This text is based on: Zucker, Steven, Teaching at the University Level,
AMS Notices (43), 1996, pp 863-865.
The purpose of this statement is to make you aware of the expectations of your mathematics instructors at UH. You will also find some
suggestions as to how to meet those expectations. If you follow the suggestions you should understand the course better and obtain the
grade you are capable of earning.

IN THE CLASSROOM

Expect to have material covered at a much faster pace than in high school. We expect you to come prepared to class as detailed
below.

OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM

Lecture time is at a premium, so it must be used efficiently. You cannot be taught everything in the classroom. Much of your learning must take
place outside the classroom.
At a minimum you should plan on studying two or more hours outside the classroom for each hour in class.
You should attempt all the homework that is assigned and try additional problems in areas where you feel weak.

THE TEXTBOOK

You are expected to read the textbook for comprehension. It gives a detailed account of the material of the course. It also contains many
examples of problems worked out, and these should be used to supplement those you see in the lecture. Use pencil and paper to work through the material and to fill in omitted steps.

Read the appropriate section(s) of the book before the material is presented in lecture. Then the faster-pace lecture will make more sense.
After the lecture carefully reread the textbook along with your lecture notes to cement your understanding of the material.

EXAMS

Our intent is to determine how well you understand the basic principles underlying the methods and if you are able to apply these
principles to novel as well as routine situations. Some problems on an exam may seem new, but all will be solvable using principles from the material on which you are being tested.

SOLUTIONS TO PROBLEMS

It is your responsibility to communicate clearly in writing up solutions for homework, quizzes, and exams.
Your results must display your understanding well and be written in a correct, complete, coherent, and well organized fashion.
The rules of language still apply in mathematics, and apply even when symbols are used in formulas, equations, etc.

Neatness counts!

Conclusion

It is your responsibility to learn the material. Most of this learning must take place outside the classroom. The instructor’s job is primarily to provide a framework, with some of the particulars, to guide you in doing your learning of the concepts and methods that comprise the course. It is not to “program” you with isolated facts and problem types.

The instructor stands ready to help you learn, but the responsibility is yours. If you are experiencing difficulty, go to your instructor’s office hours for extra help. If you don’t do your part, then there is very little the instructor can do to make up for it.