Intermediate Theoretical Methods
of Maryland, Spring 2008
Room 4115 (Physics
Bldg.), 301-405-6020, jacobson_at_umd.edu,
Office hours: After
class, or by appointment.
Class meetings: WF
1:00-2:50pm, Room PHY 1402
Grader: Abraham Sahilemeskel, Room 3101, 301-405-6194,
A Guided Tour of Mathematical Methods for the Physical Sciences, 2nd
Roel Snieder, Cambridge University Press; 2nd edition
(September 23, 2004)
content: Conversational mathematics for physics students.
Math topics: dimensional
analysis, series expansions, approximation, 1-d calculus, vector
calculus, partial differential equations, complex analysis, Fourier
series, linear algebra.
equations, fluid mechanics, vibrations and waves, quantum mechanics.
: Homework assignments, class notes, supplements, and
solutions will all be posted at the course web site, http://www.physics.umd.edu/grt/taj/374c/
encourage students to make use
of e-mail for quick correspondence with me regarding lecture material,
homework problems, or whatever. I will also use e-mail to communicate
with the class at large. I can often be reached at night or on weekends
by email. Students are responsible
for making sure I have their
email address and checking their email daily. Important messages will
be sent to the class by email.
- Usually assigned weekly.
- Please make sure you
name and the homework and course numbers, and staple the pages
- Late homework accepted only
circumstances: if you know it will be impossible to turn in an
assignment on time
must discuss this with me in advance
of the due date. Medical reasons accepted only with
a doctor's note.
- Homework must be turned in to Dr. Jacobson (not to our grader).
- You are encouraged to discuss the homework with
others, but what you
finally hand in should be your own formulation of the solutions.
- Homework sets must show
reasoning leading to the final answers in a
clear and readable fashion to obtain credit.
- It is strictly forbidden to make
any use of solutions from previous classes.
- See Academic
Honesty section below for consequences of violation.
Exams: Three exams,
the third one given at the time of the final exam.
course grade will be based on the homework and exams. The lowest
two homework scores will be dropped. The exam grades will be uniformly
upwards" if I deem necessary. The relative weights will be
adjusted at the end of the semester to maximize the total for each
student, with the homework in the range 25 +/- 5%, and each
of the three exams in the range 25 +/- 10%. The
letter grades corresponding to numerical scores will be
determined after reviewing the class performance as a whole. Spring
2007 worked out this way (apart from +/-): A: 88-105, B: 79-86, C:
62-75, D: 42-58. (The previous year the lowest C was 67.)
For the details, see
interesting is the correlation between homework and total grades.
Tips for doing well :
- Freely ask questions in class.
- Read the textbook.
- Do all of the homework problems. This is mostly where you learn,
and there is a strong correlation between homework and exam grades.
- You are allowed and
encouraged to discuss the homework with anyone you
wish but, to optimize learning, make a serious attempt to solve the
by yourself first.
- Don't wait until the night before
the homework is due
to begin working the problems!!
- Seek help immediately if you don't understand the material.
honesty: The University of Maryland, College Park has a
nationally recognized Code of Academic Integrity, administered by
the Student Honor Council. This Code sets standards for academic
integrity at Maryland for all undergraduate and graduate
students. As a student you are responsible for upholding these
standards for this course. It is very important for you to be
aware of the consequences of cheating, fabrication, facilitation, and
plagiarism. For more information on the Code of Academic
Integrity or the Student Honor Council, please visit http://www.studenthonorcouncil.umd.edu/code.html.
The University has adopted an Honor Pledge, which is a statement
undergraduate and graduate students are asked to write by hand and sign
on examinations, papers, or other academic assignments not specifically
exempted by the
instructor. The Pledge reads: "I pledge on my honor that I have not
or received any unauthorized assistance on this
In this course it is assumed that all students have entered the
agreeing to the honor principle which would apply in general to all
activities, so usually no specific statement is required. As for this
in particular, note that although you are encouraged to discuss
with others, the work you turn in should be your own formulation and
reflect your own understanding. This is perhaps a fine line to judge in
some cases. Please ask Dr. Jacobson if you have any questions. Also, it
is strictly forbidden to make any use of solutions from previous