Stony Brook MAT 511 Fundamental Concepts of Mathematics
   FALL 2014

Course Description and Goals

From  the graduate bulletin: Fundamental Concepts of Mathematics. Brief history of mathematics; sets, functions and logic; constructions of number systems; mathematical induction. The main focus of the course will be on the construction and writing of mathematical proofs.

More specifically,  students completing MAT 511 should be able to


Textbook: A transition to advanced mathematics
Smith, Eggen and St Andre.
Cengage Learning


New material is presented each week in the lectures. You should read the corresponding topics beforehand.

Grading System 

The relative weight of exams and problem sets in determining final grades is as follows. Class participation, in Lectures and Recitations, will count in your favor if your grade is "between" two letters.

When and where

20% Thursday Oct 16 in class.

Final Exam
40% Tuesday 12-16, P-131 at 5:30pm

Written homework
20% Weekly

Class Participation
20% Daily, in class!

If you miss a midterm for a documented reason, the score will be replace by the grade on the balance of the course. No make-ups will be given.

Written Homework

Homework will be assigned weekly and posted on the Homework webpage. The homework must be turned to your instructor and will be due at the second meeting of your class  the following week. Only the problems indicated in bold are to be turned in. You should still do all problems assigned.

No late homework will be accepted.

All problem sets handed stapled. Moreover, problems must be legible and must use complete sentences, correct grammar, correct spelling, etc. Problem sets which prove too difficult for the grader to read may be marked incorrect or may be returned to the student for rewriting (as the instructor sees fit). A complete solution will include the following:
Note that the exams will be similar to the homework problems, so use them as a "exam rehearsal".

We encourage you to form teams of three or four students and to work together. We will try to do as many group exercises as possible, in class and in recitation, to get you used to this type of work. Several people thinking together about a problem can often see around a difficulty where one person might get stuck. (This is one reason why the ability to work well in a team is rated very highly by prospective employers. ) Please note that even if students are encouraged to discuss and work on the problems with your team, the final write-up must be individual.

If you do not understand how to do something, get help from your instructor, your, your classmates,  in the Math Learning Center  or at the Stony Brook Tutoring 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.

Never be shy to ask us how to do a homework problem, even if you handed in solution that you do not understand. We will be glad to help you!.

Graded problem sets and exams will be handed back in recitation. If you cannot attend the recitation in which a problem set or exam is handed back, it is your responsibility to attend your recitation instructor's office hours and get your graded work. Failure to retreive graded work is not grounds for a make-up, a regrade or change of a fail to an incomplete.
You are responsible for collecting any graded work by the end of the semester. After the end of the semester, the recitation instructor is no longer responsible for returning your graded work. If you have a question about the grade you received on a problem set or exam, you must contact the recitation instructor (not the grader or the lecturer).

Disability Support Services

If you have a physical, psychological, medical or learning disability that may impact your course work, please contact Disability Support Services, ECC (Educational Communications Center) Building, room 128, (631) 632-6748. They will determine with you what accommodations, if any, are necessary and appropriate. All information and documentation is confidential.  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: ]

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 instances of academic dishonesty to the Academic Judiciary. Faculty in the Health Sciences Center (School of Health Technology & Management, Nursing, Social Welfare, Dental Medicine) and School of Medicine are required to follow their school-specific procedures. 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, or inhibits students' ability to learn. Faculty in the HSC Schools and the School of Medicine are required to follow their school-specific procedures.

Web design due to Scott Sutherland.