Mathematics for Computer Science

6.042 Spring '15 Problem Set Instructions

Problem sets are posted on the Stellar web site a least one week before they are due. They are due at 1PM on Fridays. The due date is posted in the class calendar.

Problem solutions should be submitted separately on the class Stellar website as PDF documents. Submissions may be scanned copies of hand-written solutions. Many free apps for scanning are available. Typeset submissions are welcome, but optional.  (If you have an ambition to familiarize yourself with LaTeX, this class offers an opportunity. We recommend TexMaker as a good LaTeX compiler.)

To submit Problem m of Pset n:

  1. Click on the Submit problems link in the sidebar of the Stellar website.

  2. Click on the "submit Pset n - Problem m" link

  3. Click "Add submission"

  4. Click "Select a file" to upload a PDF of your solution.

  5. Click "Submit"

Stellar allows you to submit multiple times--we will only look at your most recent submission before the due date.

NOTE:  We suggest you go to the Submit problems page to check that you have access. If you have trouble, email right away. If you wait until the last minute, your submission may be late.

Collaboration & Effort Statement

There should be a Collaboration & Effort Statement at the beginning of each problem saying:

"I spent approximately <#> hours and <#> minutes working on this problem, and...

 ...I worked on this problem alone using only course materials from this term and last term.''

- or -

 ...on this problem

  • I collaborated with: ...,

  • got help from: [people other than course staff],

  • and referred to: [texts and/or material not from this term or last term].''

Grades for problems without such a statement will not be recorded until the statement is received.

Late Submissions and Regrade Requests

Late submissions will not be accepted once the solutions are posted. Note that solutions are generally posted promptly after the time problems are due.

Graders' time is limited, and they have been instructed to deny credit without unduly struggling to understand unclear or unusual answers. For this reason,

  • unclear answers may not receive adequate part credit (an unclear answer may not deserve full credit even if is ``correct''), and

  • good but unusual answers are occasionally denied credit.

We encourage you to seek the credit you deserve by asking your Team Coach to review your solution. If you are not satisfied with their response, you may appeal to one of the instructors.


Notes on Proofs in General

Proofs must be clear enough for graders to understand without undue effort. A poorly written proof, even if ultimately `correct,' will not merit full credit.

You may assume basic results from high school math and calculus, but you should explicitly mention any nontrivial assumptions. Generally, a set of equations alone is not enough for a clear solution--at least brief explanations in words are usually needed. When a problem asks for the use of a certain method (say, Induction), proofs that use other methods will not receive full credit.

When there is a template for proof organization (as there is for proof by cases, by contradiction, and by induction, for instance), try to follow it, at least for the first few weeks of class.

If you cannot solve a problem in a reasonable time, don't lose sleep over it: you can get useful credit by including an explanation of where and how you got stuck.