This is what I have been reduced to:
“Let P (x), Q(x), R(x), S (x, y) be the predicates, “x is a true dungeon master”, “x has sex appeal”, “x is a wood-elf ”, “x is a friend to y”. Translate the following statements into predicate logic.
• A true dungeon master is a friend to all wood-elves
• Only true dungeon masters have sex appeal
• Bob is not a friend to some wood-elf
Prove from the statements that Bob does not have sex appeal.”
I’m not sure when it happened, but for at least several years it has been the case that solutions for the problems in any good textbook can be found somewhere on the Internet. When I first started teaching, my homework sets were usually a combination of easier problems from the text book and harder problems that I made up. These days, even for the easy problems, I can’t really assign anything from a text book.
Definitely the ubiquity of solutions to written hw problems has its downsides. It has made my job a little bit harder, but this hasn’t been a big problem really. The major downside is that there some very good problems that students are missing out on. For example, I recently covered the proof that square root of 2 is irrational in my mathematical foundations of computer science class. A great hw problem to ask students after they see this proof is to prove that square root of 3 is irrational. However, I really don’t feel it is fair to assign this hw problem in a large class where certainly at least one student will look up the solution on the Internet.
I’m curious how other lecturers are dealing with this issue, and how students feel about it. Should we be trying harder to hide the solutions to good hw problems? Should we plant “fake” solutions on the web? What happens when you google “dungeon master” and “sex appeal”? (P.S. Hello to my CS261 students!)
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