Mathematics for Computer Science

Problem Set Instructions

Problem sets are posted on the Stellar website. Precise due dates are posted in the class schedule.

How to Submit Your PSET

You should prepare a pdf file for your pset submission, with individual problems on separate pages of the pdf document. Scans of hand written solutions are fine.

You will submit your pset solutions online on the Gradescope website.

Log into Gradescope with your MIT email address and entry code 9YVPDJ. Click on the 6.042 Course Page, where you will see all the currently available psets. Click on
> the pset you are submitting
> Submit PDF
> Select PDF for the file on your computer
> Upload PDF.
Next, you will see a list of all the problems in that pset. For each problem, select the page in your PDF that contains the solution for that problem. Then click
> save.
You're done!

Pset Activity & Effort Statement

There should be an Activity & 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


  • collaboration with: [fellow students],
  • ...with help from: [people other than course staff],

  • ...using the sources: [texts and/or material not from this term or last term].''

The grades for a problem will not be approved until its activity statement is submitted.

Collaborators must write solutions in their own words by themselves.

Helping a classmate with a solution, or letting a classmate look at your solutions counts as an activity that requires citation, even if you received no reciprocal help. If you helped someone after submitting your own activity statement, notify your coach and email .


You don't get into MIT by cheating methodically, and few students, if any, would think cheating was OK. But under the pressure of multiple deadlines and perceived overload, students will sometimes copy solutions. Pset solutions are often easy to find on the web -- or from a collaborator -- which increases the temptation to copy and/or to "forget" to cite a source or collaborator that provided the solution.

Resist the temptation to copy!

  • Graders can often spot copied pset solns.
  • The staff has other means of detecting plagiarized solutions.
  • Even if you found a problem solution somewhere, you can still get credit by
    • describing the specific difficulty that led you to search for a posted solution
    • further explaining what you have learned from the solution you found.
    You can also get a lot of credit for
    • a thoughtful critique and/or suggestions for how to improve a solution you found.

You won't get any credit simply for copying, but as long as you give an accurate citation of the source of a solution you found, you will not be subject to any disciplinary penalty.

The first-time penalty for an inaccurate collaboration statement on a submitted problem solution will be denial of credit for the entire pset.

Late Submissions

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

Concerns about Specific Grades

For specific concerns about how a pset or exam problem was graded, students should go first to their Team Coach. If the Coach is confident about a regrade, they can change the grade. If a student's concerns are not resolved by their Coach, they may appeal to a class session supervisor right after class, or send email to .

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 lose points.

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, Well Ordering), proofs that use other methods will lose points.

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

Creative Commons License
MIT 6.042 class material by Albert R Meyer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License .
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This document last modified Wednesday, 07-Feb-2018 11:25:25 EST