Mathematics in Decision Making

Mathematics 1100 Section 04

University of Northern Iowa, Spring 2016

Instructor: Theron J Hitchman

Contact Info:

Office: 327 Wright Hall

phone: 319-273-2646

Office Hours: Mon, Wed & Fri 2pm - 3pm (those are drop-in times) or by appointment

Web Page:

Basic Course Policies and Procedures:

This course will have three main units. The first will be about Graph Theory; the second will be about counting, probability, and statistics; the third is TBA.


Your final grade will be determined by successful completion of assignments, exams, and projects. Each unit will have about four weekly homework assignments, one exam, and one project to complete. Details can be found below in the Grading and Assessment section.

A Note about Homework:

There will be two types of homework assignments for this course:

  • Daily Reading and Guided Practice: To be completed before each class meeting. This is where most of your time should be spent on this course. This is not graded, but it is what you need to do to succeed.

  • Weekly Assignments: Once a week I will collect an assignment for commentary and grading.

Class Materials:

I will hand out resources often in class, and post readings and assignments to the course web page. You should expect to have a reading assignment and homework before each class. I will not track attendance officially, but it is important to come to class and be involved.

Occasionally, it might be helpful to have your own manipulatives. These should be easy to acquire or make, and I’ll let you know when the time comes.

We will often use a classroom response system in class. I have chosen Poll Everywhere for this because it allows students to participate using any web-enabled device, or by text messaging. Please bring a smartphone, cell phone, laptop, or tablet to class so you can participate.

Official and Important Stuff You Should Know About:

Academic Accommodations:

Please address any special needs or special accommodations with me at the beginning of the semester or as soon as you become aware of your needs. Those seeking accommodations based on disabilities should obtain a Student Academic Accommodation Request form from Student Disability Services (SDS) (phone 319-273-2677). SDS is located on the top floor of the Student Health Center, Room 103.

Academic Learning Center:

I encourage you to utilize the Academic Learning Center’s assistance with writing, math, science, reading, and learning strategies. There is no charge for currently-enrolled UNI students. UNI’s Academic Learning Center is located in 007/008 ITTC. Visit the website at or phone 319-273-2361 for more information.

Grading and Assessment

The Idea of Specifications Grading

Grading for Math 1100 will be done clearly and simply, although the system might be new to you. There are three types of graded assignments in this course:

  • Twelve Weekly Homework Assignments (the first one is a double)
  • Three Unit Exams, each broken into
    • Foundational Material
    • Advanced Material
  • Three Project Papers, one per unit.

The idea is that you are in control of what grade you wish to earn. You can choose the workload and grade that you want and work for exactly that. Instead of trying to collect as many points as you think you might need by putting together half-understood material and hoping for enough partial credit, you will complete assignments and assessments completely and correctly, but only as many as you wish to do.

This way, I hope to save us each unnecessary drudgery. You should not turn in work you don’t want to do, or you know will not measure up, and I won’t have to grade work you know is not your best.

Some Details About How It Will Work

  • Each Weekly Homework Assignment and each Exam Section (Foundational or Advanced) will be marked on a Pass/NoPass basis.
  • Each assessed item will have a clear set of grading specifications. Work which meets the specifications will receive a passing mark. Work which fails the specifications in any way will receive a NoPass mark.
  • Specifications will be complete and clear. It should always be clear what you need to do to earn a passing mark. (This does not always mean it will be easy!) You should generally be able to judge for yourself if your work merits a passing mark.
  • Students will each be granted three tokens. A token may be used to get a one-class-meeting reprieve on a deadline.
  • Written Unit Projects can be revised once each if they do not muster a passing mark for mathematical reasons. Projects which do not earn a passing mark for general issues of professionalism are not eligible to be revised.

I believe this system is flexible enough to allow you to work for the grade you want. There is room for mistakes and reassessment, but that is not unlimited because my time is not unlimited. Use your tokens well.

(In my head, your tokens are named forgiveness, mercy and love. That is: F, M, and L, in that order. Is that weird?)

Grading Table

    fnd adv exams
  hmwk   exams     and projects  
A 10 3 4
A- 10 3 3
B+ 10 3 2
B 10 3 1
B- 10 3  
C+ 9 2  
C 8 2  
C- 7 2  
D+ 6 1  
D 5 1  
D- 4 1  
F fail to meet standards for D-

Contact Prof Hitchman
Office: 327 Wright Hall
Phone: 319-273-2646
Course Information
Class Meetings:
TTh 12:30-1:45pm in WRT 09
Office Hours:
MWF 2-3, in WRT 327
or by appointment