Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Not Happy

I am so irritated by this math class right now I could scream. It's fine that he wants us to find the limits of the functions using the 6 properties of limits or he will return our homework and make us redo it. However:

(1) The specific proof that he tells us we should follow in answering the questions does not actually exist in the study guide as he claims.

(2) The proof that is included in the study guide uses a step which says

lim as x -> infinity of (1/x) / (1/x) = (1/2) / (1/2) = 1.

I have wasted the last 1.5 hours or more trying to understand what his expectations are for these proofs, trying desperately to make sense of this 1/2 business, and then writing an email laying out my questions. And since he has two days to respond to my email, yet more time will be wasted before I can make any forward progress.

I gave him a pass on a previous boneheaded error, where he gave the answer to his own problem as being -5/3 when it should have been -3/5 (or vice versa) but I am not feeling charitable in the slightest about this limit crap.

I realize that perhaps my instructor did not write this study guide but (1) his name is on it, and (2) he was responsible for ensuring that the information in it was accurate.

Am I the very first person to take this class via the UT extension service using this study guide? Am I truly a guinea pig as they figure out all their mistakes? If so, I even more thoroughly resent that I am paying hundreds of dollars for this class. They should be paying me to point out their myriad flaws. And these errors are big-time eroding their credibility. I am quite eager to see what the response is going to be and to what degree my instructor will respond in a way that recoups any of that credibility.

Perhaps I am going to find myself thinking back fondly on the Rice days when my math professors were arrogant jerks but could be trusted to actually, you know, do third week of first semester level calculus without errors.

1 comment:

Tam said...

You may, unfortunately, need to adjust by, when you are frustrated, lowering your estimation of the probability that you are not getting something, and raising your estimation of the probability that the materials contain an error.