Excursions in Mathematics (Math 1140)

Instructor: Dr. Kirsty J Eisenhart   Office: 3329 Everett Tower

      Phone:  387 - 4529                               e-mail: kirsty.eisenhart@wmich.edu

        Mailbox:   Everett Tower, 3rd floor (math dept office)

        Office Hours:    by appointment

Note that your first point of contact is your Friday Lab instructor.

Course Prerequisite:  A satisfactory score on the Math Placement Exam, or a C grade in Algebra I, Math 1100 (or equivalent transfer credits).

Text:    For All Practical Purposes, 7th Edition

Calculator:   You will need a graphing calculator for this course.  The TI-83/84 or any calculator which is capable of one and two variable statistics (mean, standard deviation, linear regression, etc.) will suffice.

Course Description and Content:   Excursions in Mathematics is one course which satisfies the general education requirement of a college level mathematics course. This course is designed for non-science majors. As such this will be the first  college level mathematics course taken by the majority of the students enrolled in the course.
As seen in the course description in the undergraduate catalog, its purpose is to develop an awareness of the use of mathematics in the world around us. We will cover selected chapters from the course text including Finance (21 & 22), Statistics (5 - 7), Voting Theory (9), and one of the following: Graph Theory (1 & 2), Digital Revolution (16 & 17), or Size and Shape (18 & 19).
In addition to this, the course is designed to strengthen analytical thinking.  Students will be asked/ encouraged to find patterns, make conjectures, and judge the validity of given conjectures.  The students will test their conjectures and eventually provide counter examples to disprove invalid conjectures or give justifications for conjectures they determine are valid.

Note to Students:   For the majority of you (I would guess over 95% of you) this is your first college level mathematics course (note that according to the undergraduate catalog, math 110 is high school level algebra I).  As such you may be unaware of what is expected of you.  One large difference between typical high school mathematics and college level mathematics is a shift in responsibility; the students are given a more active role in their learning process.  Another typical difference is that a college level class will place more emphasis on the thought process than on the final answer.  Thus assessments will lean more heavily on justifications: explain, verify, compare and contrast, and/or give a counter example.

Student Responsibilities:   Here are some ways you should prepare yourself for these types of assessments:

Assessments: 
Friday Lab Evaluations
150 pts
Projects
  80 pts
 
WebCT Assignments
  70 pts
 
Tests
450 pts
 
 Final Exam
250 pts
 
Total
1000 pts

Grading Scale:
 

A
B A
B
C B
C
D C
D
F
90 -100%
85 - 89%
80 - 84%
75 - 79%
70 - 74%
65 - 69%
60 - 64%
below 60%

Lab Evaluations:    Attendance and homework are vitally important to obtaining an understanding of any mathematical material.
  Attendance:     Since there is a high correlation between attendance and success in this course, there will be several in class assessments. These assessments may be in the form of quizzes, groupwork, or individual assignments. There will be no make-up assessment. Instead for the occasional illness we will drop a few of the lowest assessments at the end of the semester.
     
  Homework: I will be assigning several homework problems from each section that you will be collected during your Friday lab.  In order to succeed in any class, it is also critical that you stay on top of your assignments.  For this reason, late homework will not be accepted.  In the event that you must be absent from class, have your homework delivered to the Math Department mailroom before class.  Each lab instructor has a mailbox in the Math Department office on the 3rd floor of Everett Tower. Be sure to attach a cover sheet to your homework that contains your name, lab time, and lab instructor's name .

Projects:   These assignments are designed to further extend the theory we have discussed in class. The projects will be more extensive then a typical homework assignment, and so they are worth more points than a homework assignment. You will be allowed to complete any of the projects in pairs. If you choose to pair up for a project you must pair up with a student being taught by the same lab instructor as yourself. Click here to see the due dates of homework and projects.

WebCT Assignments:   The purpose of these assignments will vary.  One purpose is to allow for the kinds of conversations that are not feasible in a large lecture class, thus you may be required to participate in topical discussions.  Another purpose is to allow me to assess the general level of confidence and/or understanding of the material, toward this end you may be required to solve problems and write short essays.

Tests:   There will be 3 unit tests worth 150 points each (for a total of 450 points). Most of the problems on the unit tests will be similar to, or elaborations of, homework, group work, and lab problems. Other questions may test definitions, example problems, and/or class work. Note that answers to selected section problems are in the back of your text.  You may wish to use these as practice problems. If you are unable to attend class on any exam day you must notify me before the exam or a make-up will be denied.  The final will be a comprehensive test worth 25% of your grade.  For a listing on exam dates, see important dates listed on the math 1140 homepage

Incompletes:   According to University policy, incompletes are given only in those rare instances when extenuating circumstances have prevented a student from completing a small segment of the course. An incomplete is never given as a substitute for a failing grade. The last day a student can process an officially withdrawal from a class to avoid a failing grade is Monday, March 17th.

Student Conduct:   Please familiarize yourself with the student code of conduct and the definition of plagiarism. The use of mobile phone or two-way radios is strictly prohibited during class, unless it’s a life-and-death emergency. Silence your phones, beepers, iPods, etc. at the entrance of the classroom and store them . For a complete copy of the code go to http://www.osc.wmich.edu.

WMU Policies and Procedures:   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 http://www.wmich.edu/catalog 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 me if you are uncertain about an issue of academic honesty prior to the submission of an assignment or test.