Math 108, Fall 2007

Introduction to Mathematical Thinking


Course description: This course will present various topics from mathematics. These topics will include problem solving strategies, logic, number theory, set theory, graph theory, game theory, probability theory, and decision theory. If this sounds like a lot of theory, don't panic, as all topics will assume no prior knowledge and will be presented for an interested, though not necessarily mathematically inclined, audience. Click here for a more detailed schedule.

Instructor: Barry Balof

Office: 236 Olin Hall

Location: 210 Olin Hall Time: /Tuesday and Thursday, 1 to 2:20

Textbooks: The Heart of Mathematics by Edward Burger and Michael Starbird, Problem Solving Through Recreational Mathematics by Bonnie Averbach and Orin Chein

Homework: Homework will be posted here . Homework will be assigned daily and collected weekly. So much of learning anything in mathematics is dependent on reading and working through examples. Therefore, it is recommended that you attempt all problems assigned, not just those that will be collected. I try and devote the first few minutes of each class period to answering specific questions, so don't be afraid to try many many problems. Late Homework will be subject to substantial penalties.

Tests: This class will have one midterm and a final. The exam dates are approximate, and may involve both in-class and take-home portions. The final, as scheduled by the registar's office, is Friday, December 14, from 9-11 AM. Please make your travel plans accordingly!!

Mini-Projects:At several points in the semester, there will be assigned several mini-projects, which are longer and more in-depth than normal homework assignments. Details to follow in class.

Class Participation: We will be doing many interactive in-class activities throughout the semester. Please arrive in class prepared to be an active participant. If you need to miss class for any reason, let me know in advance.

Grading: Grades will be assigned on a rougly 90-80-70 scale, with grades weighted as follows.
Midterm Examinations 25 %
Final Examination  30 %
Miniprojects 15 %
Homework & Class Participation 30 %

Academic Honesty: Students are allowed, and in fact, strongly encouraged, to collaborate on homework assignments. However, the work that you turn in must be your own. No copying from any source! Exams will be closed book, closed notes, and closed colleague.

Special Needs: Any student with a disability for whom special accommodations would be helpful is encouraged to discuss this with the professor as soon as possible.

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