How to write up your solutions
The sample problems provided here should be used as guidelines for
writing up solutions to the course assignments. The basic point to
keep in mind when writing up your own solutions is that the
explanation you give should be comprehensible to someone who has
almost no knowledge of Maple. In other words, do not assume that the
marker knows how to solve the problem since, in fact, this will not
always be the case. Here are some other points to keep in mind:
- State the problem clearly; do not expect the marker to have the
problem at hand. Your problem statement should also explain any notation you
will be using, as well as the definitions of variables you use. Hand
drawn diagrams are sometimes useful in this regard.
- State clearly any simplifying assumptions you make. You may not
be able to solve a problem as stated but, may be able to come up with
a partial solution by making a simplfying assumption. This may be
acceptable in some cases (depending on how reasonable the simplifying
assumption is) but you shold not try to hide your assumption. Instead,
state it as clearly as possible and justify it as well as you can.
- Explain the key Maple commands you use in straigtforward
English. (In some cases this explanation can be omitted but, if you
are not sure, include an explanation.)
- It is not always necessary to show the Maple output of each
command. This is especially true for commands which generate long
lists or algebraic expressions which go on for many pages. Maple
output can be supressed by ending a command with a colon ":" instead
of a semicolon ";".
- Your assignment should usually end with a short paragraph
containing concluding remarks. These might include: observations on
unexpected outcomes of calculations, the accuracy of numerical answers
and their source of errors, the effect of simplfying assumptions,
questions left unanswered by the solution and conjectures for further
The sample problems provided cover different types of problems which
might be covered in MATH2041 or MATH2042.
Notice that in some cases you may only be able to provide a partial solution or, your solution may have some defect which you do not know how to correct.
It is important to behonest in such cases. See the
last example to see one way of handling such situations.
- How to dig ditches of minimal
length in order to find hidden pipelines.
- How to cover a triangle
with four circles whose total area is as small as possible.
- How to determine whether two
knots are the same using the
email address: email@example.com
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