MA450 Seminar in Mathematics

for FA 2008

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MA 450 Seminar in Mathematics


FA 2008 HO


Smith, Charlie L.


Associate Professor of Mathematics, and Department Chair of Mathematics


Ph.D. in Mathematics, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 2002
M.A. in Mathematics, University of Kansas, 1983
B.A. in Mathematics, William Jewell College, 1981

Office Location

SC 308

Office Hours

MWF 9:00-11:00 a.m. and TR 10:00-11:30 a.m.

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

August 18, 2008 - December 10, 2008

Class Days


Class Time

1:50 - 3:05 PM


MA 301 and permission of the instructor

Credit Hours



Additional Resources:


McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information

Course Description:
MA 450 Seminar in Mathematics: A capstone for the mathematics major. Topics may include selected readings and discussion of the history and philosophy of mathematics, the golden ages and crises in mathematics. Student presentations are required. One field trip required. 3:0:3 Prerequisite: MA301 and Permission of the instructor.

Educational Philosophy:

A famous old adage says that mathematics is not a spectator sport.  In order to learn mathematics, students must attempt a significant number of problems.  Drill and practice are essential in order to succeed.  In addition, the material should not be covered too quickly.  Student comprehension always takes priority in the educational process.

Class Assessment:

Homework assignments, Class presentations, and tests.
The final examination will take place on Wednesday, December 10, 2008 from 3:15 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.  The Final Examination is worth 25% of the total grade.  It will be closed reference, meaning that you are not allowed to use any books, notes, or handouts.  Calculators, however, are permitted.
85-100% = A
  70-84% = B
  60-69% = C
  50-59% = D


Final Examination 25%
Class Presentations 65%
Homework Assignments 10%

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Homework assignments MUST be turned in on the announced due date.  LATE PAPERS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.  You will either turn in an assignment on the date that it is due, or you will not turn it in at all.  An assignment MUST be received by class time on the announced due date.  If it is not received by this time, then a score of ZERO will be recorded for that assignment.  NO EXCEPTIONS.  NO EXCUSES.  Athletes who are traveling out of town with a Park University team must turn in the assignment before departure.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Expectations:  What are the things that the student needs to do in order to succeed in this course?
1.  Regular attendance is ESSENTIAL.
2.  PLEASE bring your textbook to every class session.
3.  Listen carefully and pay attention.
4.  Take thorough, accurate class notes.  For better retention, review your notes as soon as possible after each class
     session.  Review your notes regularly throughout the semester.
5.  VOCABULARY, TERMINOLOGY, and NOTATION are extremely important in learning mathematics.
6.  ASK QUESTIONS DURING CLASS whenever you need more explanation.
7.  Read your textbook over and over until you understand the material completely.
8.  Consult with the instructor if you are having ANY DIFFICULTY WHATSOEVER.  That's why they pay me the big
Reading Assignments: Read handouts as assigned.  You may have to read a handout several times until you understand the material completely.  Study these carefully and thoroughly, making sure that you follow and comprehend the reasoning behind each step of the procedure.
Behavior:  Show respect for the instructor.  Show respect for your classmates.  Disruptive behavior will not be tolerated.
Responsibility:  The student is entirely responsible for obtaining and learning any new material missed because of absence.  Get handouts and assignments from instructor.  Get class notes from another student in the class.
Calculator:  Each student will need a scientific (not statistical or business) calculator.  Graphing calculators are optional, but will not be needed.  Please make sure that the calculator has trigonometric, exponential, logarithmic, and inverse function capabilites.  Try not to spend more than $25 or so.  You can probably find one on sale somewhere.  Most students use Texas Instruments, Casio or a comparable brand name.
Miscellaneous:  What materials are you responsible for understanding?  EVERYTHING.  Of course, it would be impossible for you to reproduce everything or demonstrate total knowledge on homework and tests, but you are expected to strive for excellence in everything that we cover, so that you will be prepared for anything.  As mathematical and science majors

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week 1  Limits and Continuity
Week 2  Major Theorems from Calculus
Week 3  Applications of Calculus
Week 4  Applications of Calculus
Week 5  Linear Algebra
Week 6  Linear Algebra
Week 7  Set Theory and Probability
Week 8  Set Theory and Probability
Fall Break
Week 9  Technology:  Software Programs
Week 10 Techniques of Proof
Week 11 Techniques of Proof
Week 12 Abstract Structures
Week 13 Abstract Structures
Week 14 The Three Classic Construction Problems of Ancient Greece
Week 15 Review
Week 16 Final Exam

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


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Last Updated:8/18/2008 8:47:54 AM