Colorado State University — Pueblo, Summer 2016
Math 109, Math Explorations

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Class meetings: M-F 9-12 in GCB 111 and 1-3 in GCB 315, plus required Saturday excursions.     Office Hours: M-F 1-3pm

Instructor: Jonathan Poritz     Office: GCB 314D     E-mail: jonathan@poritz.net
Phone: 549-2044 (office — any time); 357-MATH (personal;please use sparingly)

Text: Excursions in Modern Mathematics (8th ed.), by Peter Tannenbaum.

Prerequisites: Satisfactory placement exam score or Math 099 or equivalent.

Postrequisites: This course is one of the six classes which satisfy the Quantitative Reasoning Skill of the General Education Requirement. It is also one possible course required for admission to the Teacher Education program and for the courses ACCTG 201, MATH, 361, and MATH 362, and is recommended for MATH 360.

Course Content/Objective: The Catalog describes it as:

Emphasis on quantitative reasoning and problem solving. Topics chosen from logic, sets, algebra, linear programming, probability, statistics, number theory, geometry, voting theory, and graph theory.

Calculator: A scientific calculator may be used in this course. The TI-30X IIS is recommended.

Attendance: You are expected to be present at every meeting of this class, both physically and mentally. Classroom participation is a part of your grade: contribute during class!

Quizzes: We will have three large quizzes (like midterm exams, for our accelerated summer schedule) on Fridays: July 22, July 29, and August 5. announced at least a week in advance).

Worksheets: Most class days will have a corresponding mathematical worksheet to be completed in the afternoon. You are free (and encouraged) to work in groups on these worksheets, and to get frequent suggestions and guidance from the math TAs in the PM work sessions, but the work you hand in must be your own.

Other mathematical writing: There will be a number of other occasions where you will be writing about mathematical ideas. These will include posing a problem inspired by each Saturday outing (and suggesting a [method of] solution), short impromptu expositions of recent ideas in class, etc.

Final: The final exam for this class will consist of a written part on Thursday, August 11, as well as a mathematical component of your symposium project.

Revision of written work: A great learning opportunity is often missed by math students who get back a piece of work graded by their instructor and simply shrug their shoulders and move on — often depositing their graded work in a trash can without even looking at it! In fact, painful though it may be, looking over the mistakes on those returned papers is often the best way to figure out exactly where you tend to make mistakes. If you correct that work, taking the time to make sure you really understand completely what was missing or incorrect, you will often truly master the technique in question, and never again make any similar mistake.

In order to encourage students to go through this learning experience, they may hand in revised solutions to all written work (except the final). There will be an expectation of higher quality of exposition (more clear and complete explanations, all details shown, etc.) but you will be able to earn a percentage of the points you originally lost, so long as you hand in the revised work at the very next class meeting. The percentage you can earn back is given in the "revision %" column of the table below.

Grades: In each grading category, the total points will be multiplied by a normalizing factor so as to make the maximum possible be 100. Then the different categories will be combined, each weighted by the "course %" from the following table, to compute your total course points out of 100. Your letter grade will then be computed in a manner not more strict than the traditional "90-100% is an A, 80-90% a B, etc." method. [Note that the math department at CSUP does not give "+"s or "-"s.]

   revision %   course % 
Worksheets: 75% 30%
  Classroom participation,  
various writing:
75% 20%
Quizzes: 50% 30%
Final Exam: 0% 20%

Academic integrity: Mathematics is more effectively and easily learned — and more fun — when you work in groups. However, all work you turn in must be your own, and any form of cheating is grounds for an immediate F in the course for all involved parties. You may not use a cell phone or share a calculator with another student during a quiz.
The CSUP policy on Academic Dishonesty is spelled out in detail in the Catalog, on p45 (here is a direct link). See also The Student Code of Conduct for a description of how violations of the policy are handled.

Accommodations: The University abides by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which stipulate that no student shall be denied the benefits of education "solely by reason of a handicap." If you have a documented disability that may impact your work in this class for which you may require accommodations, please see the Disability Resource Coordinator as soon as possible to arrange accommodations. In order to receive accommodations, you must be registered with and provide documentation of your disability to the Disability Resource Office, which is located in the Library and Academic Resources Center, Suite 169.


 


 


 

 
both from xkcd.com


Jonathan Poritz (jonathan@poritz.net)
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