MATH 133: Vectors, Matrices and Geometry

About the WeBWorK Assignments

These assignments will be available on the Web and will be answered on the Web. We will be using the WeBWorK system developed by Prof. Arnie Pizer and Prof. Mike Gage at the University of Rochester. WeBWorK is an internet based method for delivering homework problems to students over the internet.

What do I need to use WeBWorK?

The ideal is to have your own computer. Typically it is desirable to have:

If you do not have a personal computer or you do not have all the components listed above, please obtain an account at a computer lab on campus. (If you are a Faculty of Science student, you can get an infopoint account through the SUS. If you are a Faculty of Arts student you are entitled to an account in the Faculty of Arts Computer Lab (FACL), located in the Leacock building, room 110.)

How do I use WeBWorK?

Here are the basic steps on how to get started.

NOTE: Most pages of WeBWorK also contain directions. Therefore, if you are ever unsure of what you should do, try reading the directions and descriptions on the page at which you are looking.

  1. Find a computer with access to Netscape, Microsoft Internet Explorer etc.
  2. Open the browser and go to the WeBWorK page for MATH 133.
  3. This will get you to the main page of your course. This page includes necessary information about logging in.

  4. To log in, click on the 'Login' button.
  5. This will take you to a login page. Enter your login name and password, and click on the 'Continue' button.

  6. Your login name is your 9 digit McGill student ID number.
    Your initial password is also your 9 digit McGill student ID number.
  7. If your login is incorrect, you will be told so, and you can return to the login page and try again. If you are persistently unable to log in, contact the administrator using the feedback button (or directly at

  8. If your login is correct you will see a page where you can do following:
  9. If you are printing out a problem set or looking at a summary of your homework scores, you are done. If you are viewing a problem set via a browser, you will see a page with the problems in the set you chose. To view and/or answer a problem, click on the number of the problem and click on the 'Get Problem' button. Notice that there are three modes of viewing the problem: 'text', 'formatted-text' and 'typeset'. Text output can be hard to read if a problem contains complicated mathematical formulas, so it is better to view the problem using 'formatted-text' or 'typeset' mode. 'Typeset' mode is probably best, but 'formatted-text' mode is usually acceptable, quick and reliable. One caveat is that you need to set the encoding properly (e.g. Western(MacRoman) for Mac Netscape) for best results. Once you choose a problem and click on the 'Get Problem' button, you will see the text of the problem with boxes for your answers. If you wish to submit a solution at this time, enter your answer(s) and click on the 'Submit Answer' button. If you are working on a problem set that is already closed, you will have the option to see the correct answer. To see the correct answer, just check the box(es) and click on the 'Submit Answer' button (you do not have to enter an answer to see the correct answer). Once you have submitted an answer, you will be told whether your answer is correct or not. If not, you may be able to try again. The instructor sets the maximum number of available tries for each problem. This may be a finite number of tries or it may be unlimited. After you've tried a problem, you can either go to the next problem, the previous problem, or see the list of the problems again.
  10. If you want to check the status of your problems (e.g. to double check that your answers have been recorded), use the "Prob. List" button at the top of the page to see the problem list page.
  11. When you are finished, log out using the "Logout" button at the bottom of the page. This may be very important if you are working close to the deadline for completing the assignment. If you close your browser without logging off, it will be at least half an hour before you will be able to log on again.

Things to know