How to Succeed in CS 313k


These are my recommendations for how to be successful in cs 313k. In this class, you will need to develop your ability to think abstractly and increase your reasoning skills. This class is not only about memorizing rules of logic and facts about sets, functions and relations (though there will be a good bit of that!). Here are some things you can do to improve your chances of success.

0. Attend lecture. Our textbook will be very helpful, but it gives brief coverage to some of the course topics. We will cover many topics in a great deal more depth than the Velleman text. Course handouts and the text are no substitute for attending class.

1. Read the assigned reading before you come to class.

2. Take notes during class. If I post slides for lecture, print them out beforehand - read them over and bring them to class. Take notes on your printed notes, since typically the slides are just a starting point for lecture. I wlil certainly add to the material on the slides during class.

3. Participate during class. Don't hesitate to ask a question. If you have a question, it is almost certainly the case that other students are wondering about the same thing. By asking and answering questions in class, you learn more and you help your classmates learn as well.

4. Attend and participate in discussion sections.

5. Do your assignments by yourself. We may or may not catch you if you cheat on the assignments (we will try), but regardless, the assignments are what prepare you for the exams. If you don't do the assignments, you will have little chance of doing well on the exams, which are worth 70% of your course grade.

6. Ask for help. Come to my office hours (and those of the TA and proctor) any time you have questions. We want you to succeed in the class and want to help you learn the material. If you are struggling in the class, come and see me early - don't wait weeks before you talk to me. If you are having trouble, you have many sources of help at your disposal: my office hours, the TA office hours, the yahoo discussion group, the ACM tutoring service (which is free), and UT learning center tutoring.

7. Work extra problems. Re-work class examples (without looking at the solution first). The only way to learn the material is by working a lot of problems yourself. Trying to learn just by watching me do examples in class is like trying to learn to drive by watching someone else do it!

8. Study for exams. Work the problems on the review sheet. Re-read all the reading assignments.