Problem sets

Class points: 38 out of 50.

The primary aim of the problems distributed throughout this course is to help you understand the concepts of the course and to develop your problem-solving skills. However, if you solve the problems there is a lot more you can get from them with a relatively small amount of extra effort. In this class we will use two extra tools:

  1. A double blind peer review system, and
  2. Blackboard solving by students.

The aim of this approach is to model a scaled version of mathematical research. As additional positive effects, I hope that this method will foster collaboration, provide an opportunity to engage with different problem-solving approaches, promote critical thinking and also give you some constructive feedback.

More explicitly, problem sets in this semester will follow the following scheme:

  • A problem set gets published. This consists of around 10-15 problems and 2 extra problems which are aimed at those who are interested for some extra challenge.
  • You have around two weeks to solve as many problems as you want from the problem set. You are encouraged to form teams when solving problems.
  • One day before we solve the problems in class, you can submit your solutions to any amount of problems to me (excluding the extra problems). You may submit solutions by yourself or as a team. In return you will receive the solutions of other students. You have to give constructive feedback to these solutions preferably within 1 week (you can also take longer if needed). Both the solutions you receive and your feedback will be anonymous. For each group that submits solutions and gives feedback, the whole class gets as many points as the people in that group.
  • On the day of the problem sessions students voluntarily solve problems on the blackboard. This is done to train your presentation skills but also to give the chance to the class to view different solutions. For each student that tries to solve a problem in class, the whole class gets one point.
  • After the problem solving session, the solutions to the problems are posted online.

If the class manages to collect 50 points by the end of Problem Set 6, then we will have a special 2-hour game session at the end of the course!

2024-05-02, Laertis Vaso