MAT 118
Mathematical Thinking
Fall 1999

Train of gears with multiplying
power of 10^{12} (Leonardo da Vinci).

LINKS: Fall 1999 Staff, Schedule and Homework
Review for Midterm I
Review for Midterm II
Review for Final
This course is
designed for students, typically in the humanities
and in the social sciences, who must take a one semester course in
Mathematical and Statistical Reasoning to fulfill their distribution
requirement (D.E.C. Category C).
Prerequisite: score of 2+ or better on
Mathematics Placement Examination.
The course will help students develop
 Appreciation for the intellectual scope of
mathematics, and its connections with other disciplines.
 Quantitative thinking and problem solving abilities.
The course will give students a taste of several topics in
mathematics, chosen according to
two criteria: approachability by nontechnicallyoriented
students, and relevance to their future activities or
thoughtprocesses.
In each of these topics students will engage in the actual process of
mathematical problem
solving. So this course is not a general
survey of the history of mathematics, nor a ``math for poets'' course.
It will be a regular math course, with problem sets and
problembased examimations.
The text will be Mathematics, A Practical
Odyssey by Johnson and Mowry (Brooks Cole).
Each student should have a scientific calculator.
 Weeks 13. Logical Reasoning and Problem Solving:
Logical assertions, connectives, syllogisms, contradictions.
Strategies for simple problem solving.
 Weeks 46. Numbers, Functions and Modeling:
Arithmetic and algebra  brief survey with exercises.
Elementary functions: linear, powers, exponentials.
Particular emphasis on the modeling of relationships between
reallife quantities, visualization using graphs and the
significance of graph features to the subject being modeled.
 Weeks 79. Combinatorics and Probability:
Counting methods, permutations and combinations.
Basic examples like Fibonacci sequence, Pascal's triangle.
Elementary probability examples.
 Weeks 1012. Growth and Change:
Difference equations. The basic ideas of calculus.
 Weeks 1315. Other topics as time permits, and according to instructor preference.
Schedule in Fall 1999:
Lecture MW 9:2510:20
Recitation 01 TuTh 9:5010:45
Recitation 02 TuTh 12:501:45
For more information contact Prof. Anthony Phillips, Mathematics Department, 6328290.