MA 350 History of Mathematics
SP 2010 HO
Smith, Charlie L.
Associate Professor of Mathematics
Ph.D., University of Missouri-Kansas City, 2002M.A., University of Kansas, 1983B.A., William Jewel College, 1981
Science Hall, Room 308
Monday & Wednesday 3:00-4:00 pm; Tuesday & Thursday 9:00 am to 12:00 p.m. or By Special Appointment
January 11, 2010 - May 7, 2010
1:30 - 2:45 PM
Textbook: There is no required textbook. I may order an optional textbook for those who want full detail.
Additional Resources: Linda Hall Library
Kansas City, MO
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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.
Learning Outcomes: Core Learning Outcomes
1. Class Participation (10%)
(2) Response to questions in class
(3) Participation in class discussions
(4) Attending mandatory field trip
2. Problem Assignments (30%)
You will be solving mathematical problems which have been selected from actual historical sources. They are representative of the various branches of mathematics, cultures, and time periods that we will study. You are encouraged to work together in groups on these problems if you wish.
These problems will require usage of the mathematical skills which are taught in MA 131 College Algebra. If you are not familiar with the necessary mathematics, then you will have to learn it as part of the course.
You may also be asked to write reaction papers and reports relating to films, videos, speaker presentations, and field trips.
Other types of assignments may be given also.
3. Major Term Paper (40%)
You will write a major term paper on a topic chosen from one of the 4 following options.
(1) The life and works of a famous mathematician, chosen from the List of Famous Mathematicians on page 8.
(2) An investigation of a significant mathematical concept from a historical perspective, chosen from the List of Topics on page(s) 8-9 of the syllabus.
(3) An investigation of a topic of current relevance in mathematics, possibly related to underrepresented groups in the discipline. The topic MUST be approved by the instructor. Modifications of the scope and extent of the topics may need to be negotiated with the instructor.
(4) Be original and creative. Design your own topic. The topic MUST be approved by the instructor. Modifications of the scope and extent of the topics may need to be negotiated with the instructor.
The major term paper MUST be at least 10 pages in length, typed and double-spaced. If a student's paper is LESS THAN 10 pages long, then the score for that paper will be reduced by 1 letter grade. You MUST use a minimum of 8 sources. At most 40% of your sources may be taken from the Internet. NO WIKI!! ALL Internet sources MUST be approved by the instructor.
DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Any final version of the major term paper containing plagiarized material will automatically receive a score of ZERO, and furthermore, the Chairman of the Mathematics Department and the Dean will be notified for further disciplinary actions. You MUST use some type of referencing system. Use whatever system you are familiar with, be consistent with this system throughout the paper. Include a title page and a bibliography page. (These do not count toward the total number of pages). Pictures and diagrams, while strongly encouraged, do not count toward the total number of pages.
Two students may not write on the same topic. Only the first student to declare a choice for a topic can write a paper on that topic.
You MUST have your topic selected and approved by the instructor no later than Wednesday, January 20, 2010.
The paper must be submitted to me no later than Monday, March 15, 2010.
LATE TERM PAPERS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
Then each student will meet individually with the instructor, who will make corrections and recommendations for improvement. The student will be given an opportunity to rewrite the paper in an attempt to earn a higher score. The timeline for the second chance will be individually negotiated with each student. Important Rule: The second chance rewrite can raise your score by a maximum of 1 letter grade.
Competition for the J. Malcolm Good Award
Presented for the best research paper in mathematics. Includes a generous cash prize. Winner announced at the Honor's Convocation in Spring Semester 2010.
Summary Report on the Major Term Paper
Near the end of the semester, those students submitting the best 6 papers will present a report to the class. In this report they will summarize the important themes and main ideas of their papers; they will tell the class what aspects of their research discoveries they found to be most significant, fascinating, surprising, and inspiring. Then they will respond to questions from their classmates, as well as from their instructor.
Summary Report: 15 minutes
Question and Answer Period: 10 minutes
Guidelines for Writing the Major Term Paper
If you choose the biographical option (1), then attempt as best you can to address the following concerns when writing your paper. If you choose option (2), (3), or (4), and you need some direction in the writing of the paper, please consult with the instructor. These items are intended to be general guidelines and suggestions, not a mandatory checklist to be followed rigorously.
1. Basic biographical data.
2. What educational institutions was he/she associated with? (In what capacity? Student, professor, researcher...?)
3. What were his/her major achievements, discoveries, theorems, contributions in the field of mathematics?
4. What were his/her most significant works and publications? (Books, journal articles, treatises, dissertations...?)
5. Was he/she the founder of any new branches of mathematics?
Was he/she the founder of a new school of thought or movement?
Did he/she belong to any school or thought or movement?
6. Did he/she contribute significantly to any other disciplines besides mathematics? How?
7. Where does he/she rank on the all-time list of great mathematicians? To what extent are modern mathematicians indebted to him/her?
8. Mathematics and natural science majors must include a significant amount of actual mathematical detail: formulas, theorems, examples, proofs, and so on. Others are encouraged to include specific mathematical content.
Of course, you are not bound exclusively to this list. Allow your research to lead you naturally in directions that interest you, wherever that may be.
4. Final Examination (40%)
Date: Wednesday, May 5, 2010 from 1:00-3:00 p.m.
The final exam will contain the following type of problems: True or False, Multiple Choice, Matching, Short Answer, Fill in the Blank, Mathematical Calculations, Mathematical Problem solving, Definitions, and State the Theorem. (NO Proofs!!)
The final exam will cover both historical and mathematical material, and will be comprehensive in nature. The final exam will be a CLOSED REFERENCE test, meaning that you are NOT allowed to use any books, notes, or handouts. You will of course be required to bring a calculator. You will need to study very hard in order to be adequately prepared for the Final. You will be given a Study Guide-Practice Test to work in order to prepare for the Final Examination. This will be reviewed in class on the last day of regular classes, Friday, April 30, 2010.
5. Possible Special Activities
1. Films and Videos: Donald Duck in Mathemagic Land; The Theorem of Pythagoras; The Story of Pi; N is a Number: The Story of Paul Erd
2. Possible reading and discussion of classic writings, including "The Nature of Mathematics" by A.N. Whitehead, "A Mathematician's Apology" by G.H. Hardy.
3. Possible optional visits to UMKC Undergraduate Lecture Series. (Extra Credit for attending designated lectures).
80-89% B Problem Assignments 30%
70-79% C Major Term Paper 40%
60-69% D Final Examination 20%
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 bucks.
9. Tutoring assistance is available through the Academic Support Center, Mabee Underground Room 406, phone 6330.
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 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 will not be needed. Try not to spend more that $15 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 Park University students, any effort on your part less than this cannot be considered satisfactory.
Computers make writing and revising much easier and more productive. Students must recognize though that technology can also cause problems. Printers run out of ink and hard drives crash. Students must be responsible for planning ahead and meeting deadlines in spite of technology. Be sure to save copies of your work to a disk, hard drive, and print out copies for backup purposes.
Week 1: Syllabus, Pythagoras
Week 2: Pythagoras
Week 3: Classic Constructions of Ancient Greece
Week 4: Euclid
Week 5: Euclid
Week 6: Archimedes
Week 7: Archimedes
Week 8: Diophantus
Week 9: Spring Break
Week 10: Fermat's Last Theorem
Week 11: The Commentators
Week 12: Medieval Europe
Week 13: The Cubic Controversy
Week 14: Renaissance Mathematics
Week 15: Student Presentations
Week 16: Review for Final Exam
Week 17: 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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92
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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92
Attendance Policy:Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.
Park University 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95
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: http://www.park.edu/disability .
List of Famous
The Bernoulli Family
Hippocrates of Chios
History of Euclid’s Elements
History of Pascal’s Triangle
History of Imaginary and Complex Numbers
History of the Number Pi
History of the Number e
History of Fibonacci Numbers
History of the Golden Ratio
History of Fermat’s Theorem
History of the Four Color Theorem
10. The History
of the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra
and Computer Science
and Elementary Education
and Middle School Education
and High School Education
and College Level Education
and YOUR MAJOR
26. The Seven
Sages of Ancient Greece
27. Alexandria: The
University and the Library
in the Dark Ages
36. Women in
37. The Search
for Prime Numbers
Last Updated:1/8/2010 3:59:37 PM