Math 260, Spring 2006
Introduction to Higher Mathematics
Course description: The course will serve as the basis for all upper level mathematics you will take at Whitman and beyond. We will be looking at many different proof techniques through exploring many different branches of mathematics. We will foreshadow some of the topics you will be covering in Abstract Algebra and Real Analysis, as well as studying the topic of Surreal Numbers in depth. Click here for a more detailed schedule
Instructor: Barry Balof
Office: 236 Olin Hall
Location: 221 Olin Hall Time: Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, 9-9:50
Textbooks: How to Read and Do Proofs, 4th ed. by Daniel Solow, Surreal Numbers by Donald Knuth
Homework: Homework will be posted here . Homework will be assigned daily and collected weekly. It is recommended that you attempt all problems assigned, not just those that will be collected.
In addition, students will be responsible for leading the class discussions during the unit on Surreal Numbers. They will not only be responsible for discussing the previous night's reading, but for writing up the 'minutes' of the class discussion to use as the unit progresses. More details on this to follow.
Tests: This class will have two exams, a take-home midterm as well as a final exam. Additionally, there will be short quizzes every other week on definitions during the first half of the semester. The take-home exam will be 48 hours long and to be done in the week before spring break. The final will be scheduled by the registrar's office and may have both oral and written components.
DO NOT PLAN TO LEAVE CAMPUS BEFORE THE FINAL. YOU WILL BE PENALIZED EITHER BY MYSELF OR THE AIRLINES.
Grading: Grades will be assigned on a rougly 90-80-70 scale, with grades weighted as follows.
As you can see, class participation is crucial to your success and to the success of the course. A great deal of what the class will cover falls outside the boundaries of the textbooks used. As a result, it is critical that you arrive to class prepared to be an active participant.
25 % Each
Class Participation to include Presentations
Academic Honesty: Students are allowed, and in fact, strongly encouraged, to collaborate on homework assignments. Mathematics, in general, is a very collaborative effort. However, the work that you turn in must be your own. No copying from any source! Exams and quizzes will be given with instructions as to what sources are appropriate.
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.