MATH105: Selected Topics in Mathematics

Syllabus | Schedule and Assignments | Quizzes and Final Project | Extra Credit | Links | Text

Section 004: Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:20-1:35 Moakley 217
Instructor: Heidi Burgiel,
Office Hours: Monday 1:45-2:45, Hart 223; Tuesday and Thursday 2-3, Math Services, AAC

Description: The nature and process of mathematical thinking (inductive, deductive, and algorithmic), as well as applications and results, are the underlying components of this course. Possible topics to be explored include sets, logic, number theory, geometry, graph theory and probability. A selection of three or more such topics will be offered. Satisfies the Foundations of Mathematical Reasoning core requirement (CMAR).

This particular section of MATH105 focuses on the use of mathematical reasoning to accomplish tasks and make decisions. The topics chosen are measurement, modeling, and polynomials. These will be studied from the perspective of hands-on group projects. Regular attendance in this class is essential to student success.

Course web site:

Last day to withdraw from this course: 2/21/07 (W), 4/20/07 (WP/WF)
Final Exam: 5/11/07, 11:00-1:00

Grades for this course will be computed as follows:

Grades will be posted on the course's Blackboard web site for your inspection.

Class Participation: Please use common courtesy during class. Turn cell phones off, refrain from discussing subjects other than mathematics, and remain in your seat for the entire period. Your attention in lecture will be noted and appreciated.

Because of the many in-class group activities in this course, attendance in class is essential to success. Attendance will be taken and poor attendance will affect your grade. At times you may miss a class or need to leave early due to illness, athletics, responsibilities to your family or for other reasons. Should such a situation arise please contact me by email, phone, or before or after class to explain the situation and discuss possible accommodations.

Blackboard Registration: Grades, web resources, and the poster presentation schedule will be posted on Blackboard. All students in the class must have a Blackboard account by the end of the first full week of class. To claim an account use the Account Registration page accessible from the lower left corner of Bridgewater State College's home page.

Homework will be assigned from the exercises at the end of each section. Homework will not be collected or graded, but many quiz problems will be based on homework problems.

Quizzes will be given roughly every other week; many quiz problems will be based on problems assigned as homework. If you miss a quiz you will receive a grade of zero -- there will be no makeup quizzes. At the end of the semester you will be allowed to resubmit one corrected quiz or in-class assignment to improve your grade on that quiz or assignment.

In-Class Assignments are hands-on group projects that will be done in class. Your work on these will be graded. Depending on the number of assignments, these may carry more weight than a quiz grade. Late assignments will only be accepted up to the day of the quiz on that chapter; a late penalty of 5 points or more will be subtracted from late assignments. At the end of the semester you will be allowed to resubmit one corrected quiz or in-class assignment to improve your grade on that quiz or assignment.

Final Project: In all, the final project for this class will account for nearly one third of your grade. The goal of this project is to use mathematical reasoning to make a decision and then to communicate your decision and reasoning to your peers. Over the course of the semester you will submit a project proposal, write a written report, and do a poster presentation or other public demonstration portraying your conclusions.

Materials: Pencil and paper will be required for in-class exercises. Laptop computers may be required for work with the program Graphmatica during certain class periods -- those periods will be announced in advance.

It is strongly recommended that students bring two pencils (not pens), a calculator and an eraser to quizzes and exams. Students may wish to have a block or package of graph paper for homework problems that require graphs and some type of straightedge to draw lines, when needed. Students may find it helpful to use a calculator but calculators are not required to do well in this class.

Office hours: I will be available in my office during these hours for consultation on a first-come-first-served basis. You do not need an appointment in advance. In addition, many brief matters can be handled directly after class, and in special cases we can schedule appointments at other times.

I will check my email frequently, but email is not a good way to get help on your homework or to make up lectures. For help with the mathematics in this course, I encourage you to visit me in my office. If you miss class, please either visit me in my office or contact a fellow student to learn what material was covered during class.

Additional help: The Academic Achievement Center is located on the ground floor of Maxwell Library; tutors at the Mathematics Services desk can help with your homework and studying. You can also schedule appointments to get help with oral and written reports at the Academic Achievement Center.

Academic conduct: The Academic Misconduct Policy will be enforced in this class.