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Picking the right partner to work with

find_the_fun

Active member
Feb 1, 2012
166
From the first day of class we knew we had a project where we were in pairs. I waited too long to find a partner and everyone was taken. This semester there is a project and I made sure I was the first person to find a partner. I went to the front row of the class and introduced myself to someone who had asked a question. Sadly he dropped the class and my new partner doesn't take things seriously.

How do you know who makes a good partner and won't drop the class? I should go around asking to take a look at people's notes and whoever has the neatest I would partner with them:p
 

Jameson

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
4,052
If it's a large class and you don't know anyone then all you can do is observe a bit, like you tried to. Someone who doesn't miss any class and seems to be taking notes is a good start. There's no guarantee though and I think you just got unlucky. You're not missing out on "the secret" of finding a dependable partner. As you move into higher level classes you'll probably know at least one person or recognize someone that has passed a previous course you were in who you can work with.
 

Fantini

"Read Euler, read Euler." - Laplace
MHB Math Helper
Feb 29, 2012
342
I've been in your position and there's no magic trick. I believe the best to do is get to know the people in your class. You might make some new friends and you'll find out who's hard working and willing to partner up for those projects. That way, it will be way more enjoyable and profitable experience. Your collaboration should lead to greater understanding of the material for both parties, as well as sparing work for each. :D
 

find_the_fun

Active member
Feb 1, 2012
166
Things are bad. My new partner wouldn't let me see the files and he told the prof I didn't do anything. I told the prof I couldn't do anything because he never let me do the work. The prof says to send it to him in writing. I'm not sure what to say,

Dear Prof:

My partner, Jack ***, physically is preventing me from seeing the work.

Sincerely,
find_the_fun
 

Jameson

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
4,052
You're studying in a university right? This sounds like a high school so far if you're getting in these kinds of arguments with partners. Having a partner not participate is common enough but to lie and stop you from taking part in the work is crazy.

What class is this? What is the project?
 

alane1994

Active member
Oct 16, 2012
126
Don't sent that. Politely explain the situation. If you have a descent professor, they will understand. Also, can you change partners?... If not, in the future, don't work with them.
 

find_the_fun

Active member
Feb 1, 2012
166
It's a university class on communications and computer networks and the project is to make a program. In my e-mail I don't know how to put it in context, should I be like "in regards to my partners accusation of me not doing any work..."
 

Jameson

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
4,052
It's a university class on communications and computer networks and the project is to make a program. In my e-mail I don't know how to put it in context, should I be like "in regards to my partners accusation of me not doing any work..."
Practice explaining to us what your partner was doing wrong and why your professor should side with you because I'm still not understanding the entire situation from what you've told us.

In more detail, but not too much, what happened? How did he prevent you from doing your work? How long did you have to complete the project? Did you attempt to write the professor at any point and complain?

Don't send anything to your professor right now. Get a clear, coherent argument laid out here first.
 

find_the_fun

Active member
Feb 1, 2012
166
Thanks.
Dear Professor:

My old partner dropped the course and last week I got placed with another student who did not have a partner. Every time I asked for copies of the files he found reasons not to give them to me until he finally said he had finished everything and it would be unfair to put my name on the project. I feel this is unreasonable because I tried my best to work with him but he physically would not give me access to the files. The one time he agreed to meet with me he did not show up until much latter when I had to leave for class. I hope you consider this when replying to his response that I had done nothing. My partners name is xyz.

Sincerely,​
my name

In the lab we are supposed to sign a paper when handing in the project. The prof told me if it comes to my partner physically preventing me from doing this to walk out of the room. I don't think it's my personality to do this, it would really make me made if something like that were to happen.
 

Jameson

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
4,052
Did you ask for copies of the files in person or through email? If through email then you'll have a much better argument.

If not it sounds like it's a situation where it's your word versus his word, and he's got the work. You don't. It doesn't look great so try to think of anything you have that you can use to back up your claims.

I don't understand the signing the paper part and the advice for you to walk out of the room. So when the group project is finished, along with it should be a paper with all signatures on it stating that the group did in fact work together?

Also, you have at least one typo in your email. Make sure you don't have any and that your grammar is perfect. You want to project an image of a solid student (not saying you aren't, just saying that you want to be perceived as such).

Lastly, in the future take care of this stuff as soon as you think there's a problem. You've had some horrible luck with partners it seems and I hope you can work out this issue and you know what to do about it in the future if it happens again.
 

find_the_fun

Active member
Feb 1, 2012
166
I've got e-mails on my phone asking him for a copy of the work and trying to meet up with him. Should I include those in my e-mail to the prof? I'm not sure what it means when I'm signing for when I hand in the project, I assumed it's to prove I was there and handed in the project.
 

Jameson

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
4,052
I've got e-mails on my phone asking him for a copy of the work and trying to meet up with him. Should I include those in my e-mail to the prof? I'm not sure what it means when I'm signing for when I hand in the project, I assumed it's to prove I was there and handed in the project.
Ok, good. I wouldn't include them. Just add a line "I have copies of my repeated attempts to meet with ____ and work on this project, and can provide you with them if needed".

Dear Professor:
My old partner dropped the course and last week I got placed with another student who did not have a partner, (insert new partner's name here). Every time I asked for copies of the files he found reasons not to give them to me until he finally said he had finished everything and it would be unfair to put my name on the project. I feel this is unreasonable because I tried my best to work with him but he physically would not give me access to the files. The one time he agreed to meet with me he did not show up until much later when I had to leave for class. I have copies of my repeated attempts to meet with ____ and work on this project, and can provide you with them if needed.I hope you consider this when replying to his response that I had done nothing. My partners name is xyz.

Sincerely,
my name
Those are my suggested edits and I think you're good to go.
 

Sudharaka

Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
Feb 5, 2012
1,621
From the first day of class we knew we had a project where we were in pairs. I waited too long to find a partner and everyone was taken. This semester there is a project and I made sure I was the first person to find a partner. I went to the front row of the class and introduced myself to someone who had asked a question. Sadly he dropped the class and my new partner doesn't take things seriously.

How do you know who makes a good partner and won't drop the class? I should go around asking to take a look at people's notes and whoever has the neatest I would partner with them:p
Hi find_the_fun, :)

This is just my opinion about the matter, it might not be useful and might not guarantee success but just think about it. :)

Whenever you try to find partners for these kind of projects, lab work etc, try to find somebody who are friends with you or whom you know very well. Don't try to pair with people who has the neatest notes, asks the most number of questions in class etc. The thing is the person whom you pair with should be able to understand and collaborate with you in all occasions; be it good or bad. Sometimes in a lab you might be inclined make up some data to get the things on the right track (this is not to say you should do these sort of things :p). If your partner is the kind of person whom you can't trust you won't have much of a success in your group work.

Hope you'll find a nice partner to work with in your future projects. :)
 

Bacterius

Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
Jan 26, 2012
644
Sometimes in a lab you might be inclined make up some data to get the things on the right track (this is not to say you should do these sort of things :p). If your partner is the kind of person whom you can't trust you won't have much of a success in your group work.
[JUSTIFY]In every single physics lab this is what I did. Collect a couple measurements, derive the rest from the theory and throw some random noise in. They never suspected anything. Needless to say I would not make a very good experimental physicist (Smoking)

I agree with the part about trust, it's very important. If you can't trust your lab partner you will not have fun and you won't be able to work as effectively (and it also leads to ugly situations like.. well.. these). Also, if you don't know anyone in the class, always aim for the middle ground. Don't team up with the nerd writing down the lecturer's every utterance, and don't team up with someone who never pays any attention and is always talking with his buddies.

It's mostly a lottery but presumably most people are in the class to pass it. You just got unlucky this time. I am sure most people are not like your current partner.[/JUSTIFY]