Math 299, Fall 2011
Problem Solving in Mathematics
Course description: This course is designed to help students prepare for the Putnam Examination, a national competition held each December. Each week, you'll be assigned a set to work on outside of class. You'll also be expected to, independently, choose problems of interest to you. We'll spend the class time discussing the solutions to those problems and introducing the new ones for the coming week. YOU ARE NOT EXPECTED TO BE ABLE TO SOLVE ALL OF THE PROBLEMS PRESENTED!!!! Click here for a more detailed schedule
Instructor: Barry Balof
Office: 236 Olin Hall
Location: 246 Olin Hall Time: Tuesdays at 12
Textbook: The Art and Craft of Problem Solving by Paul Zeitz
Homework: Homework will be posted here . You will be expected to arrive each week ready to participate, having read through the assigned sections in the book. You will be expected to contribute throughout the semester to the in-class presentation of the problems assigned. Notebooks: For this class, you will be required to keep a conjecture notebook. You will use this space to brainstorm problems from week to week, as well as write up solutions, either before or after they are presented in class. There will also be occasional specific writing assignments for the notebooks. I will collect these notebooks roughly every other week. Expected Effort: You should be putting in roughly two hours of work for each hour spent in class. The level of problems that you attack should be commensurate with your background in other math classes and experience in the seminar. The hope is, as with any other athletic or competitive endeavor, that you will improve throughout the semester in anticipation of the....
Putnam Exam: Saturday, December 3 th , 8AM-4PM. See here for more details, or here for a history of past problems.
Grading: 50% Class Attendance & Participation, 30% Conjecture Notebooks, 20% Putnam Attendance