Math 1900 - Survey of Mathematical Ideas (HC)

Control number 40849
Fall Semester 2010
Department of Mathematics
Western Michigan University

Updated September 2, 2010.

Time and location:  Class meets 10 - 11:50 a.m., TR, in 3307 Rood Hall.  Final exam period is Tuesday, December 14, 8 - 10 a.m.

Instructor:  Jay A. Wood, 6617 Everett Tower, 387-4812, email: jay(dot)wood(at)wmich(dot)edu .

Office hours:  TBA.

Course description (from the undergraduate catalog):  "A survey of significant, active areas of mathematics with the emphasis on concepts rather than calculations. The historical origin and development of certain mathematical ideas will be included. The areas of mathematics investigated will include topics from set theory, probability theory, number theory, computer mathematics, and graph theory. This course will not satisfy any program requirements in mathematics." 

General Education:  This course is approved for Proficiency 3, College-level mathematics or quantitative reasoning.

Prerequisites & Corequisites: Prerequisite: MATH 1100 or satisfactory score on Mathematics Department placement mechanism. ACT/SAT score of 19/460 or greater.

Credits: 4 hours

Textbooks:  Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird, The Heart of Mathematics, third edition, with manipulative kit, Wiley, 2010.
          G. H. Hardy, A Mathematician's Apology, Cambridge University Press, 1940/2009.  (Any edition or publisher is acceptable.)
          Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, Dover, 1884/1992.  (Any edition or publisher is acceptable.)

Calculator:  No calculator required.

Homework:  Homework will be assigned regularly in class. 

Grades:  Grades will be based on homework exercises (worth 20% of the class grade), two reaction papers (worth a total of 10%), three tests (worth a total of 45%), and a final project and presentation (worth 25%).  When calculating grades, I will be at least as generous as 90% for an A, 85% for a BA, 80% for B, 75% for CB, 70% for C, 65% for DC, and 60% for D.

Exam dates:    Test dates are Thursdays: September 30, October 28, and December 2.  Final projects and presentations are due during the final exam period Tuesday, December 14, 8 - 10 a.m.

Collaboration:  You may work together on homework and projects, but not on papers or exams.  If you do work together, or if you receive assistance from someone else, please say so on your paper (e.g., "I worked with Karen Uhlenbeck on problems 5 and 7, and with Ingrid Daubechies on problems 10 and 15").  Each person is responsible for writing up his/her own version of the solution.

Accommodation for Disabilities:  Any student with a documented disability (e.g., physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing, etc.) who needs to arrange reasonable accommodations must contact Ms. Beth Denhartigh at 387-2116 or at at the beginning of the semester. A disability determination must be made by this office before any accommodations are provided by the instructor.

Student Conduct and Academic Honesty (wording courtesy of the WMU Faculty Senate's Professional Concerns Committeee):
"You are responsible for making yourself aware of and understanding the policies and procedures in the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs that pertain to Academic Honesty. These policies include cheating, fabrication, falsification and forgery, multiple submission, plagiarism, complicity and computer misuse. [The policies can be found at under Academic Policies, Student Rights and Responsibilities.] If there is reason to believe you have been involved in academic dishonesty, you will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct. You will be given the opportunity to review the charge(s). If you believe you are not responsible, you will have the opportunity for a hearing. You should consult with your instructor if you are uncertain about an issue of academic honesty prior to the submission of an assignment or test."

Please visit , , and to access the Code of Honor and general academic policies on such issues as diversity, religious observance, student disabilities, etc.