MAT 311 Number Theory - General Information

Place and time: TuTh    2:30pm- 3:50pm    Library    N4000

Lecturer: Moira Chas
Email address moira.chas AT,
Office: Math 3-119; tel. 632--8622.
Office hours: Tu 11am to 12pm in 3-119 Math Tower,
                        We  10am to 11am in P-143,1
                        We 11am to 12pm in 3-119 Math Tower, and by appointment

Graders: Alexandra Viktorova

Text: Ivan Niven, Herbert S. Zuckerman, Hugh L. Montgomery, An Introduction to the Theory of Numbers Fifth Edition. (The book has several prices in Amazon. Search a bit before buying if you want to save)

Course outline:  Congruences, quadratic residues, quadratic forms, continued fractions, Diophantine equations, number-theoretical functions, and properties of prime numbers.

Reading: Reading the relevant sections (as well as other treatments of the material) will greatly increase your comprehension, and enable you to ask relevant questions in class.It is very important to read the indicated sections  beforehand

Classwork: While attendance will not be taken, it is very important that you make to  class. The work we will be doing in class is very important, and we will discuss topics not included in the textbook.

Homework and 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.
Homeworks will be due in class on the Wednesday following the week they are assigned. There will be a mix of problems you should prepare for class discussion and those you should write up carefully to be handed in.  Late homework will not be accepted. However, grades for homework assignments may be dropped in cases of documented problems.
The grading of the problems will follow the rubrik from this book.
Score Description.
3 Conceptual understanding apparent; consistent notation, with only an occasional error; logical formulation; complete or near-complete solution/response.
2 Conceptual understanding only adequate; careless mathematical errors present (algebra, arithmetic, for example);some logical steps lacking; incomplete solution/response.
1 Conceptual understanding not adequate; procedural errors; logical or relational steps missing; poor response or no response to the question posed.
0 Does not attempt problem or conceptual understanding totally lacking.

Examinations and grading: There will be two midterm exams, weekly homeworks, and a final exam. Mathematics is not a spectator sport; you must work problems in order to fully understand the material. Don't fool yourself into thinking you understand just because it makes sense when you see the problems done by someone else.
Grades will be based on the following scheme:
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.
The dates, times and topics of the exams will be posted in the course website. Grades will be posted on Blackboard.

Disability Support Services: If you have a physical, psychological, medical, or learning disability that may affect your course work, please contact Disability Support Services (DSS) office: ECC (Educational Communications Center) Building, room 128, telephone (631) 632-6748/TDD. DSS will determine with you what accommodations are necessary and appropriate. Arrangements should be made early in the semester (before the first exam) so that your needs can be accommodated. All information and documentation of disability is confidential. Students requiring emergency evacuation are encouraged to discuss their needs with their professors and DSS. For procedures and information, go to the following web site and search Fire safety and Evacuation and Disabilities.

Academic Integrity: Each student must pursue his or her academic goals honestly and be personally accountable for all submitted work. Representing another person's work as your own is always wrong. Faculty are required to report any suspected instance of academic dishonesty to the Academic Judiciary. For more comprehensive information on academic integrity, including categories of academic dishonesty, please refer to the academic judiciary website at

Critical Incident Management
: Stony Brook University expects students to respect the rights, privileges, and property of other people. Faculty are required to report to the Office of Judicial Affairs any disruptive behavior that interrupts their ability to teach, compromises the safety of the learning environment, and/or inhibits students' ability to learn.