Homeworks 20%
Midterm exams (2) 20% each
Final exam 40%
Total 100%

Homework assignments

Assignments will be given a numerical grade based on correctness and clarity of exposition. You may hand in your homework (neatly) handwritten or printed out. If you use a computer, the printout must be typeset with proper mathematical symbols and notation; I strongly recommend using LaTeX.

Homework will be collected weekly, on Wednesdays; the problems are listed on the syllabus. Problems listed next to a given date are to be started on that date. They will be collected on the following Wednesday.

Students are allowed one late submission (up to a week late). You do not have to ask for this automatic extension. Any further lateness will get a 50% penalty on that assignment. Homework submitted more than a week late will not be graded.

You are encouraged to work together on assignments, but you must write up your own solutions.


There is a course question-and-answer forum at This forum is hosted by an educational service, Piazza, and it will be the primary means of electronic communication in this course. It is free to use. Piazza offers the ability to ask questions anonymously (either anonymous to everyone or only to fellow students, but not instructors) and for one student to see others’ questions. You may also use the site to send private messages/questions to the instructors of the course.

If you have a question about the material, the course, extensions, or anything else, please use Piazza.

Piazza also has the ability to send out announcements. Any coursewide information will go through that site, which will send everyone an email with the info.

I do tend to respond to questions during business hours only; something posted Friday evening might not get a response until Monday. However, an advantage to posting on Piazza is that a fellow student or a TA might answer a question before I can.


The course materials are hosted on GitHub. Feel free to submit corrections/ask clarifications there, via GitHub’s pull request or issues mechanisms.

Accommodations for disability

Bryn Mawr College is committed to providing equal access to students with a documented disability. Students needing academic accommodations for a disability must first register with Access Services. Students can call 610-526-7516 to make an appointment with the Coordinator of Access Services, Deb Alder, or email her at to begin this confidential process. Once registered, students should schedule an appointment with me as early in the semester as possible to share the verification form and make appropriate arrangements. Please note that accommodations are not retroactive and require advance notice to implement. More information can be obtained at the Access Services website.


My office hours for Fall 2017 are Tuesdays 1:30-3:30. This means that, at these hours, I am guaranteed to be in my office and expecting visitors – and I really do want visitors. During class, it’s hard to get to know all of you, and I’d love to know more about what brought you into my class, what else you’re interested in (in computer science/math and more broadly), and how your college experience is going generally. Come with a question, come to say hi, or come to play one of my puzzles. You can even use your curiosity about my puzzle collection as an excuse to get in the door.

If you have a conflict with my office hours, please email so we can find another time to meet.

Beyond my office hours, I aim to have an open-door policy. If you see my office door (Park 204) open, please interrupt me: that’s why the door is open!

For a broader discussion than just homework questions, I’d be happy to join you for lunch in the dining hall. Just email or ask!