Vic Reiner- Syllabus supplement

The purpose of this syllabus supplement is to give you somewhat more information about my classes than one can fit on the usual one-page syllabus. The hope is that having this info will help you as a student, and help you to feel that the University is not such a cold, unfriendly place.

Information about me and my office

My name is Vic Reiner, and I prefer if you call me ``Vic". I will generally call you by your first name, unless you prefer something else.

Office: 256 Vincent Hall
If you cannot make the office hours agreed on for your class, feel free to see me in class, phone me, or e-mail me to arrange an appointment for another time.

Please do not see office hours exclusively a time to address problems with the course. You can use them to clarify points you don't understand, find out about additional readings, talk about your particular interest in the material, or make suggestions about the content of the course. You don't need a crisis to make productive use of these hours.

Wheelchair access: There is a wheelchair ramp near the Physics building, between it and Murphy/Vincent Halls. This leads to a tunnel into Murphy Hall, and an elevator to the second floor. My office is on a second floor hallway that is a bridge from Murphy to Vincent.

Office phone: (612) 625-6682
The best time to reach me is during the regularly scheduled office hours for your course, or most mornings. Make sure you leave your name and number (the voice mail automatically records the time) if you want me to call you back.

Math dept. FAX: (612) 626-2017
E-mail is probably the best way to reach me, as I am generally more diligent about checking my e-mail than my phone messages. I also consider it entirely appropriate for students to ask me questions about the homeworks by e-mail.

Departmental mailbox: in the mailroom next to Vincent Hall 105 (Vincent Hall is attached to Murphy Hall).

General info on courses


Depending upon the class, I may not insist that people attend all of the class sessions if they feel that they understand the material as presented in the book. If you plan on missing a class, talk to me first so that I can warn you about any extra material not in the book which I will be talking about. Also, some of the classes will be intended to be more interactive and participatory, possibly involving cooperative learning in groups. Although at present I do not base a student's grade at all on how much they participate in these class activities, my feeling is that you will be missing out on an important part of the course if you do not attend these classes.

When you do come to class, I expect your mind to be engaged. The process of learning should not resemble the process of watching television. I strongly encourage and expect that you will ask me questions if you don't understand something. I will be happy to try to explain it again, or in a different way if possible.


I generally encourage collaboration on homeworks, but each student should understand the solution to problems they have collaborated on, and be able to explain it in their own words on the pages they hand in. My feeling is that collaboration is extremely valuable, and you may learn more from your fellow students than from me.


I detest giving incompletes, and will do almost anything to avoid giving them out. My policy generally is that incompletes will only be given in the case where a student has completed almost the entire course with a passing grade and something unexpected happens to prevent completion of the course. In particular, incompletes are not intended for the student who figures out late in the course that it was too much for them and wants to "bail out"..

Students with disabilities

If you have a disability which requires accommodation in this course, please see me as soon as possible. I will be happy to make (what I consider to be) reasonable accommodations.

Resources for help

If you are having trouble with the course, there may be help available. Chances are, the lower the level of the course (e.g. 1000-level vs. 5000-level) the more resources there will be. Come and talk to me, or to the people in the Undergraduate Math Office in Vincent Hall 115.
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