Math 267 Intro to Abstract Math, Section 001
Department of Mathematics
Towson University

Introduction to Abstract Mathematics

Fall 2010

Instructor: Alexei Kolesnikov
Office: YR 350
Office hours: Mondays 4-5pm; Thursdays 2-3pm; Fridays 11am-noon; or by appointment
Schedule: Class will meet Mondays from 1 to 3:15pm and on Wednesdays from 2 to 3:15pm. The room is YR 126.

The main goal of the course is to provide basic training in rigorous mathematical reasoning. To pass the course, you will need to learn how to understand mathematical arguments and how to express your own arguments in a clear and mathematically correct way.

You will learn problem-solving techniques as well as basics of mathematical logic and proof methods. Those will be applied to study basic mathematical objects, such as sets, functions, sequences, and natural numbers.

More often than not, mathematics is a collaborative activity. Mathematicians rely on their peers to review their work to see if there are any gaps in the arguments. For you, peer review is also an efficient way to learn proofs. That is why this course will emphasize team activities.

TEXT Reading, Writing, and Proving, Daepp and Gorkin. Publisher: Springer.
CALCULATOR Will not be needed.
GRADING There will be written team homework, individual homework, bi-weekly open-homework quizzes, two tests, and a comprehensive final examination. The two mid-semester test scores will contribute 20% each toward the final grade. Written homework will count 20%, quizzes 10%, and the final 30%. Individual homework will count as a letter-grade adjustment at the end of the course.
TEST DATES Test 1: September 29
Test 2: November 3
Final:  Monday, December 13, 12:30-2:30pm
TEAM HOMEWORK Written team homework will be assigned weekly. It is a very important part of the class, information about it and additional resources can be found here.
INDIVIDUAL HOMEWORK This homework will be assigned after every class and will be due the next class period. Typically, it will consist of a reading assignment and some of the routine exercises. You will not need to hand in anything; instead, two to four students will be volunteered to present the solutions at the board, while the rest of the class will be expected to discuss the reading assignment with me.

If your presentations and participation in discussions are consistently good (feel free to ask me for feedback if you are not sure), I will add a third of a letter grade to your final grade. At worst (if you are not ready or miss the class half the time), I will subtract one full letter grade from your final grade.

COURSE POLICIES Class attendance is expected. If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to get the material and the homework assignment from your fellow students.

Participation in homework teams is an essential part of the course. If you miss a team meeting, it is your responsibility to work out what form should your contribution to the team effort be. Putting your name on a team homework if you have not participated in meetings is a violation of University's academic integrity policy.

You are welcome and encouraged to ask me for help with course material during the office hours or by making an appointment. The rule for team assignments is that as least two of the team's members must be present.

You should expect to spend a considerable amount of time working on this course outside of class. At the same time, try to be efficient. If you are spending a lot of time on homework without making much progress, talk to me.

Tests and quizzes are to be written strictly individually, everyone caught cheating on any test will have his course grade decreased by one letter grade.

Normally, no make-up tests will be given; if for some reason you are not able to take a test, please, let me know as soon as possible.

If you have questions or concerns about the course, be sure to discuss them with me during my office hours or by appointment.

OTHER IMPORTANT DATES Drop without W deadline: Monday, August 30
Drop deadline: Monday, November 8
Thanksgiving break: November 24-28
Last day of classes: Wednesday, December 8