3050 Ending the Semester

Ending the Semester: now and after the Strike.

Last updated (19/04/97)


Unfortunately, the strike continues. Even with all the 'decisions' by the University Senate last week, I am filled with uncertainty, as I expect you are. Nothing will be 'final' until the strike is settled. I anticipate other options to for completing the semester will be announced when we actually know the date of a return to work, and when the back to work protocol is signed.

For your information, I include a slightly edited version of a message which expressed my sentiments on the Senate 'decisions'.

The guidelines as being promoted are already out of date and inadequate.

  1. I know, and my students know, that they never fit the particular situation in one of my courses.
  2. I know, and my students know, that the entire construct: decisions made 'during the first week after the strike'; is a fantasy world.

What can we do now?

I cannot provide certain final information to almost anyone until after the strike is over, information is collected and we see what is really possible and what is impossible.

The current guidelines basically apply if we have completed 65% of the graded work, and you know the results of this work. We have only completed either 50% (or 30% if the final had turned out to be better for you). Unless we are given better options or more creative solutions, some additional work is required.

Current Work

Assignment 6 has been marked. This will be returned after the strike (solutions are posted now).

Assignment 7 is due the first day after the strike. Unless you have major questions, you should just put it into the assignment box on North Ross 5th floor. There will not be any additional assignments.

Even if we have a full week of classes at the end of the strike, we will not cover new material in class - in terms of any class test or final exam.

Future Work

By the guidelines, and my own sense of fairness, there will be an opportunity to write a class test and a final exam, and follow the original grading. That will remain as a real option, after the strike is over.

People who need to leave town soon should contact me. Check out the page of information for Ganong's students and see if you wish to write his version of a final exam. With my permission, he will admit you to the exam and that work will be counted as our final would be.

Special Option to Complete the Semester

I would like to be creative in this situation. Essentially, I want to find ways for you to do independent work which includes learning additional logic and communicating this to me, for additional grades (to bring the completed work up to 65% or more). Learning always has value, and sometimes we can connect this with grades as well!

With this in mind, I propose an option of an 'essay/written presentation' worth 30% of the grade. This can replace the class test - but is both more work and more learning. It is also something you can control the timing of!. Do some reading, some talking, some writing (minimum 10 pages typed double space).
The core task is to demonstrate that you read some additional logic, and understood the key points (concepts) of the topic. I will not expect you to display actual proofs of theorems (such as completeness, soundness etc.) but you should indicate the definitions for words you use. I have a general page about the standards I apply in marking such projects.

The essay will be due 15 days after the end of the strike (unless you apply for deferred standing). If you choose, you can submit an essay as a set of Web pages - and send me the URL!

Group projects are fine - but should be longer (15 + pages) and more complex. Here are a few topics which I have though of - but you can suggest others.

I understand this is an unusual suggestion. However, I hope this provides an opportunity for some to pursue a real question and learn about something that interests you. Nobody will have to use this option. However, anyone who successfully uses this will have sufficient graded work to purse the option of accepted work completed to date, prorated to a final grade.

Contacting me.

Questions? If you have questions contact me by e-mail!
(No I don't get phone messages). If you do not have regular access to e-mail, include your phone number and I will get back to you. In general, I can be found on the Shoreham Picket Line (Shoreham gate - behind the new six rink arena) on the morning shift - 8:00 - 11:00.

As an aside, if you are interested, just for the learning, we (on the picket lines) are discussing a YUFA FREE SCHOOL. If this started, I will work with a seminar on Thinking with Diagrams. [A number of faculty from at least four departments have expressed an interest.] Let me know if you want to be kept informed about such a seminar! It may happen this summer, even after the strike is over.

Walter Whiteley
email address: whiteley@mathstat.yorku.ca
Department of Mathematics and Statistics.
York University