| MAT 118: Mathematical Thinking |
MAT 118: Mathematical Thinking Fall 2010
Text: Using and Understanding Mathematics, A Quantitative Reasoning Approach by Jeffrey Bennet and William Briggs, 4th Edition (Note that during this term the 5th edition is announced but we are using the 4th). The textbook can be also obtained in digital form through CourseSmart
About this course: There is much more to mathematics than just calculations and solving equations. In this course we will examine several mathematical topics accessible to students with an understanding of high-school mathematics. These will be selected from among the following: voting methods; the mathematics of money; probability; graphs, paths, and networks; tilings and polyhedra; game theory; and other topics.
Reading: The textbook is intended to be read. Read the assigned sections before the lecture. This will greatly increase your comprehension, your performance in examinations and enable you to ask intelligent questions in class.
Homework and Quizzes: You cannot learn mathematics without doing mathematics. Expect to spend between 3 and 6 hours a week solving problems; do all of the assigned problems, as well as additional ones to study. If you do not understand how to do something, get help from your lecturer, your grader, your classmates, or in the Math Learning Center. You are encouraged to study with and discuss problems with others from the class, but write up your own homework by yourself, and make sure you understand how to do the problems. Identical submissions will receive no credit and will be reported to the Academic Judiciary.
Problem assignments can be
found on the web at
These will be due the following week in recitation. While you may work together with other students on the homework assignments, write up your own solutions in your own words. The goal of the homework is for you to understand the material, not to merely hand in some paper. Late homeworks will not be accepted.
Every homework assignment must be handed in with a header containing:
The grader will grade selected problems and post the grades in Blackboard. All questions regarding grading of a problems must be addressed to the grader.
Examinations: There will be two midterms exams (in class), and a cumulative final exam. The dates are listed below; Success on the exams will require correct and efficient solutions to the more difficult of the homework problems. Part of your grade will be based on class participation in the lecture (note that asking questions in class counts as class participation).
Make sure that you can attend the exams at the scheduled times; make-ups will not be given. If one midterm exam is missed because of a serious (documented) illness or emergency, the semester grade will be determined based on the balance of the work in the course.
Clickers: We will be using a ``clicker'' during the lecture. This device allows you to interact with the lecturer in a way similar to ``Ask the Audience'' in Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Clicker answers will count for a portion of your final grade. These are used in several other courses, such as economics, physics, and chemistry. You can use the same clicker for all your courses; Stony Books and the campus bookstore both sell them for about $25. Details about registering your clicker will be on the class web page sometime soon.
Math Learning Center: The Math Learning Center, in Math S-240A, is there for you to get help with Mathematics. It is staffed most days and some evenings-- your TA holds some of his or her office hours there. A schedule should be posted outside the room and at the Math Undergraduate Office.
Lecturer: Prof. Moira Chas / Office MAT 3-119 - Math Tower / 632-8622 / The best way to contact me is by email, moira dot math.sunysb.edu
Office hours: Tu 9-11 (3-119, Math Tower); Th 10-11 (P-143 Math Tower)
Schedule: The list of homework assignments and the most current schedule of topics can be found on the class web page. It will change, so check it regularly.
Information for students with disabilities
Students who require assistance during emergency evacuation are encouraged to discuss their needs with their professors and Disability Support Services. For procedures and information go to the following website:
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