MA562: Topics in Geometry
Fall 2004

Monday, 6:00-8:40, Moakley 224
Instructor: Heidi Burgiel,, (508) 531-1430
Office Hours: Monday 4:30-5:30, L106; Wednesday 2:00-3:00, Academic Achievement Center

Text: TBA

Course web page:

Course Description: This course employs classical and modern tools to explore topics that extend and enrich the standard high school geometry curriculum. Possible topics include transformations, tesselations, non-Euclidean geometries and fractals.

The intent of this course is to present an unfamiliar field of geometry (repeating patterns) using modern teaching techniques and technology. This constructivist approach to a fresh subject is intended to encourage future teachers to examine the experience of being learners while observing new techniques for teaching geometry.

Grades for the course will be determined as follows:

Last day to withdraw from this course with a grade of W: 10/13/04
Last day to withdraw from this course: 11/18/04

Homework: will be assigned weekly. You are encouraged to ask questions on the homework at the start of the class period during which it is due, but there will not be time to cover the entire assignment in detail. If there are multiple problems on a homework assignment, it is likely that only a few of those problems will be checked and graded.

Final Report, due 12/13/04: Choose a topic in geometry relevant to this course and write a 10-15 page paper of explanation or proof.

Class Participation: Ideally, this class will have a relatively small class size and a large number of group activities. This will work best if each student attends regularly; repeated absences will result in a lower final grade. Please also try to be courteous in the classroom; turn cell phones off and refrain from discussing subjects other than mathematics.

Make-up work: If a student is unable to take a quiz with the rest of the class or to turn in homework on time, they may be able to submit the work at a later date, with a penalty for late work applied to the grade.

Materials: Students are expected to have a pencil, eraser, paper and straightedge at all class periods. Compass, protractor, graph paper, colored pencils and computer may also prove useful.

Office hours: I will be available during these hours for consultation on a first-come-first-served basis. You do not need an appointment in advance. In addition, quick questions can be handled after class. If you are unable to attend the scheduled office hours you can schedule appointments at some other time.

I will check my email frequently and try to respond in a timely manner. If you miss class, please do not email me asking what you missed; you can either attend my office hours or contact a fellow student to learn what went on during class.

Additional help: Professor Burgiel will be working in the Mathematics Services center in the basement of Maxwell Library several hours a week this fall. Some of the material in this course is related to material covered in the University of Minnesota's Technology in the Geometry Classroom course.

Academic conduct: The Academic Misconduct Policy will be enforced in this class as described in the student handbook.

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