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MA 301 Mathematical Thought
McCandless, Peter


Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.

Course

MA 301 Mathematical Thought

Semester

SP 2006 HO

Faculty

McCandless, Peter

Title

Associate Professor of Mathematics

Degrees/Certificates

Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction; emphasis in math education
MA. in Mathematics
MA in Educational Research and Psychology

Office Location

Natural Sciences Building 002

Office Hours

Monday, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.; Wednesday, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m., 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.; Thursday, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Daytime Phone

(816) 584-6831

E-Mail

Pmccandless@mail.park.edu

Class Days

-M---F-

Class Time

11:00 - 12:15 PM

Prerequisites

permission of the instructor

Credit Hours

3


Textbook:
Foundations of Higher Mathematics, Third Edition
Fletcher, Peter & Patty, C. Wayne
Brooks/Cole Publishing Company 1996
Pacific Grove, CA 93950
ISBN: 0-534-95166-X

Textbooks can be purchased though the MBS bookstore


Course Description:
A transition course for the mathematics major, this offering provides an overview of the subject as a study of systems.  Topics include:  informal and formal logic, theory of sets, formal development of the number system of mathematics.  Pre-requisite:  permission of the instructor.  3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
My goal in teaching mathematics is three-fold:  to make clear mathematical concepts, to help students acquire mathematical skills, and to encourage and inspire them to continue their study of mathematics in a way that supports their goals in life.

As the teacher of a course, it is my responsibility to set and maintain the standards of the course – what is to be taught and how students' performance is to be assessed. The goals of the course are specified in a manner that affords me the flexibility to adapt to students' needs: a careful balance must be achieved between the topics to be covered in the course of a semester and the ability of students to learn those topics.  The pursuit of this balance is dynamic. I am never totally comfortable with my performance as I continually try to find a better way to achieve the same goals.

The learning of mathematics is and has been a humbling experience for me.  I have never pushed my mind as hard as in the pursuit of learning this wonderfully challenging subject.  It is difficult in words to describe the joy of finally grasping some concept that has long eluded me, or completing a difficult proof.  The frustration associated with studying mathematics can be equally severe.  As a teacher of mathematics, I rely heavily on this experience.  It allows me to empathize with the struggling student, yet to encourage him or her, demanding performance just a little beyond what is often comfortable.  It convinces me that many, many students never achieve their potential.  For me, teaching this subject embodies four roles that I thoroughly enjoy integrating: coach (the encourager); parent (the demander); friend (the sustainer); and instructor (the clarifier).

As a teacher of mathematics, I am challenged to provide the highest quality instruction I can for students from all backgrounds.  My ultimate goal for each student is to find the experience of taking a course from me to be enriching in one way or another, regardless of their final grade.  

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Utililize and analyze logical operations with appropriate notation.
  2. Identify and use rules of inference correctly.
  3. Identify valid and invalid arguments.
  4. Identify various methods of mathematical proof: direct, contradiction, contrapositive, induction, and cases.
  5. Write a correct mathematical proof.
  6. Apply fundamental concepts of set theory.
  7. Apply fundamental concepts of relations and functions.


Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:
Homework assignments, tests, and the final exam will be the basis for determining the student's final grade.

Grading:
Homework Assignments collectively constitute 25% of the grade. Test 1 and Test 2 each constitute 25% of the grade, and the final exam constitutes the remaining 25% of the grade. All homework assignments are weighted equally. The lowest homework assignment score will be deleted from the homework average. The final exam score will replace the lower of  Test 1 or Test 2, provided that it is higher than at least one of them. Each homework assignment will be given a score of 4, 3, 2, 1, or 0.

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Each homework assignment must be turned in on the due date announced. Late homework will not be accepted, except under an extreme situation. Similarly, tests must be taken on the date they are given in class. If the instructor determines that an extreme situation prevented the student from turning in a homework assignment on time or from taking a test, the student may be given additional time; it is not automatic, however. In all such cases, the instructor's decision on whatever allowance, if any, is to be given, is final.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Cellular phones, beepers, and other communication devices are not to be used in class.  Disruptive behavior (as deemed by the instructor) such as loud talking, snoring, sleeping, coming to class late, leaving class early (except in emergencies) will not be tolerated.  Multiple disruptions over the semester will lead to withdrawal of the student from the class by the instructor.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
Chapters 1 through 6, and possibly chapter 7.

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 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-87

Plagiarism:
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 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-87

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 "WH".
  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 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89

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. Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all learners that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to learners 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 American with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding learners with disabilities and, to the extent 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: http://www.park.edu/disability .

Additional Information:

Copyright:

This material is copyright and can not be reused without author permission.