Math 308 (Mathematics for the Physical Sciences) Syllabus
This is the class webpage and syllabus for Math 308 in Spring 2019. Information about this course will be posted here throughout the semester; any changes will be announced in class and posted here.
- Instructor: Dr. Tyler Bongers, email@example.com
- Office hours: M 10:15-11:30, W 1:15-1:45, F 10:15-11:45 Cupples I 203
- Course location and times: Cupples I 207, MWF 2-3
We will roughly follow Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences
(3rd edition) by Mary L. Boas. You can find substantially cheaper older versions of the textbook as well. This course will give an overview of many topics relevant to physics, including linear algebra and vector calculus and their connections to electromagnetism, partial differential equations and Fourier analysis related to thermodynamics, as well as topics in calculus of variations.
Prerequisites: Math 233 and Math 217, or instructor permission.
Homework, Exams, and Grading Scale
Course grades will be determined based on homework and exams.
Homework: Homework assignments will be posted here throughout the semester, as well as solutions; the assignments are below. Homeworks are due by the beginning of class on the due date, and no late submissions will be accepted; however, your three lowest assignments will be dropped. You are encouraged to discuss homework with each other to gain insight, but submitted solutions must be your own individual work; that is, you must write up your own assignment individually. Copying is not allowed and will be treated as an act of plagiarism.
Exams: There will be two in-class midterm exams as well as a final exam. The first midterm will be Wednesday, February 20, and the second midterm is Wednesday, April 3; the final will be on May 6 from 3:30-5:30 pm.
The points for the course will be distributed as follows:
Your final grade will then be assigned from the table below. If you are taking this as pass-fail, then the cutoff for a passing grade is C-. The grade of A+ will be given at the instructor's discretion.
| Homework || 30%
| Exam 1 || 20%
| Exam 2 || 20%
| Final Exam || 30%
| Grade || Percentage |
| A || [90, 100] |
| A- || [85, 90) |
| B+ || [80, 85) |
| B || [75, 80) |
| B- || [70, 75) |
| C+ || [65, 70) |
| C || [60, 65) |
| C- || [55, 60) |
| D || [50, 55) |
| F || [0, 50) |
There are many resources available to help you succeed in the course - remember that we are here to help you get the most possible out of your time here! Here are some suggestions:
- Attending lecture is strongly encouraged, although it is not required. I always strongly encourage questions during class - if there's a point to clarify, or any confusion, or suggestions of alternative methods, or other relevant thoughts please share them.
- I will have office hours throughout the week. If the fixed times don't work, you can make an appointment. I also have an open-door policy, so please feel free to stop by.
- The Calculus Help Room in Cupples I Room 8 is open from January 15 to May 2.
Other Course Policies and Helpful Information
- In the event that you cannot attend one of the required exams, please contact me as soon as possible to make alternative arrangements. For arrangements in advance, you must contact me at least one week before the exam; in case of emergency (e.g. illness), contact me as soon as possible.
- Washington University is committed to providing accommodations and/or services to students with documented disabilities. Students who are seeking support for a disability or a suspected disability should contact Disability Resources at 935-4153. Disability Resources is responsible for approving all disability-related accommodations for WU students, and students are responsible for providing faculty members with formal documentation of their approved accommodations at least two weeks prior to using those accommodations. I will accept Disability Resources VISA forms by email and personal delivery. If you have already been approved for accommodations, I request that you provide me with a copy of your VISA within the first two weeks of the semester.