MATH 240 Introduction to Mathematical Thought
TR 9:30 -10:50 A.M.   ROOM: FOR 107

Back to Martin Flashman's Home Page :)
Last updated: 8/20/2012

OFFICE: BSS 356                                                                                         PHONE:826-4950
Office Hours (Tent.): :  MF 12:15- 13:30 (BSS 356) AND BY APPOINTMENT or chance!
                                    M 16:00-17:20 (BSS 313) T 16:00-17:20 (BSS 308)
E-MAIL:                       WWW:
PREREQUISITE: (will be Math110?) MATH 105 or 106 or 109 or math code 65. (or PERMISSION BASED ON OTHER COURSE WORK). 
Catalog Description
: Mathematical reasoning, writing, and proofs; sets, functions, topics in discrete mathematics, problem formulation, problem solving.
TEXTS: [SOL] The Keys to Advanced Mathematics : Recurrent Themes in Abstract Reasoning by Daniel Solow ( Paperback, BOOKMASTERS,1995 )ISBN:9780964451902
Keys to Advanced Mathemaics

[FET] Proof in Geometry by  A. I. Fetisov (Dover).ISBN:9780486453545
[HOU] How to Think Like a Mathematician by Kevin Houston (Cambridge University Press, 2009) ISBN:9780521719780
[SOS] Set Theory & Related Topics by Seymour Lipschutz  (McGraw-Hill,1998) ISBN:9780070381599

SCOPE: This course will provide a foundation for further work in mathematics.This will be accomplished primarily by informal but careful and rigorous exploration of key topics related to mathematical reading, writing , and reasoning. The work will include a discussion of many of the essential tools for any mathematical discourse and problem solving: sets, functions, and relations; problems and conjectures; evidence, proofs and refutations; and direct and indirect arguments.
Several topics from discrete mathematics will provide additional opportunities for using these tools.

Lectures will organize the topics to present materials not covered in the texts as well as those treated in the texts. We will cover material from Solow contained in chapters 1 to 3, 5.1, and 6.2.4; selections from Fetisov, Houston- all chapters; and Lipschutz chapters 1-6.  Supplementary readings and materials will be supplied as appropriate.
Summaries of lectures and presentations may be available occasionally through the course webpage and Moodle.

Relevant Student learning outcomes for the BA Programs in Mathematics
Outcome 1: (Competence in Mathematical Techniques) Students demonstrate competence in the field of Mathematics, including the following skills:
1.3 The ability to read, evaluate, and create mathematical proof.
1.5 The ability to analyze the validity and efficacy of mathematical work.
Outcome 2: (Fundamental Understanding) Students demonstrate a fundamental understanding of the discipline of mathematics, including:
2.2 The ability to apply knowledge from one branch of mathematics to another and from mathematics to other disciplines.
2.3 The role and responsibilities of mathematicians and mathematical work in science, engineering, education, and broader society.
Outcome 3: (Communication) Students demonstrate fluency in mathematical language through communication of their mathematical work, including demonstrated competence in
3.1 Written presentations of pure and applied mathematical work that follows normal conventions for logic and syntax.
3.3 Individual and collaborative project work in which a project question is described, methodology is discussed and implemented, results are analyzed, and justifiable conclusions are drawn.

TECHNOLOGY: We may use the computer at various stages of this course to illustrate and investigate some of the topics. No particular software will be required..

We will use the HSU Moodle
for access to information about the course- announcements - materials, assignments, and some quizzes.

Proof Without Words: An explanation of an alternate weekly proof without words will be assigned to be done cooperatively by partnerships and due on alternate Wednesdays [beginning August 29th. (Accepted one day tardy at most!)
At most 3 persons per partnership.

Proof Analysis: Every other week students will be expected to read at least one proof presented for analysis.These will not be lengthy. A brief analysis responding to a list of questions is to be submitted on Wednesdays [beginning Sept. 5th].
The proof analysis will cover briefly the techniques of argument (direct, indirect, induction, etc.) and exposition (forward-backward organization, reference to prior work, definitions, etc.) used  in presenting the result.

The proof analyses and proofs without  words will be graded Honors(4)/Good(3)/Credit(2)/Not Acceptable(1). (Accepted one day tardy at most!)

Regular Homework: Shorter problem assignments (about 5-10 problems) will be made on a regular basis for each class.
Homework assignments will not be accepted after 5 p.m. of the due date and will be graded 
Well-done (4), Good (3),  Acceptable (2), Unacceptable(1) No Credit(0)

Reality Check Quizzes: During the term I will give several reality check quizzes. These will usually be available and submitted on  Moodle, covering work from the previous recent assignments and class discussions. 

Midterm Examinations: There will be two self-scheduled mid-term examinations.These will be announced a week in advance and will be worth 100 points each. There will also be a mid term cooperative assignment worth 50 points.

FINAL ASSESSMENT: The final assessment will be in two parts. Part I will be a partnership take home examination that will be due on the last day of the final examination period.
Part I will be distributed on the Friday before the last week of classes.
Part II will be an individual self-scheduled 120 minute examination given during the final examination period.
    Any student may take Part II of the Final during the scheduled time: TUES Dec. 11 10:20-12:10 (Forestry Bldg 107)
Part II of the FINAL EXAMINATION WILL SELF- SCHEDULED.  Also possible are-MON Dec. 10 10:20-12:10 (Forestry Bldg 107) and MON Dec. 10 12:40-14:30 (Harry Griffith Hall 226) .

Part I will be worth 100 points. Part II will be worth 150 points or 300 points according to the following rule:
The final grade will use the score for Part II of the final that maximizes the average for the term based on all possible points.

GRADES: Final grades will be based on the accumulation of points in the various categories of assignments as indicated in the following chart:

Proof Analyses  25
Proof  w/o Words  25
Homework  100
Reality Check Quizzes 50
Midterm Examinations 250
Final Assessment Part I 100
Final Assessment Part II 150 or 300
Total Points........... 700 or 850
** Active class participation during class work and activities will be considered in deciding individual grades after a general grade range has been assigned.
The total points available for the semester is 700 or 850.Notice that only 500 or 650 of these points are from examinations, so regular participation with more regular assignments  and quizzes is essential to forming a good foundation for your grades as well as your learning. Though final grades for the course are subject to my discretion, I will use the following overall percentages based on the total number of points for your work to determine the broader range of grades for the course.     A  85-100% ;   70- 84% ;  C  60- 69% ;  D  50- 59%  ;  F   0- 49% 

University Policies

Students with Disabilities:Persons who wish to request disability-related accommodations should contact the Student Disability Resource Center in House 71, 826-4678 (voice) or 826-5392 (TDD). Some accommodations may take up to several weeks to arrange. Student Disability Resource Center Website

(If you are a student with a disability, please consider discussing your needs and possible accommodations with me as soon as possible.)

Add/Drop policy: See the University rules and dates related to the following:

Students are responsible for knowing the University policy, procedures, and schedule for dropping or adding classes. Add/Drop Policy

Emergency evacuation:Please review the evacuation plan for the classroom (posted on the orange signs), and review Emergency Operations Website for information on campus Emergency Procedures. During an emergency, information can be found campus conditions at: 826-INFO  or at the Humboldt State Emergency Website.

Academic integrity: Students are responsible for knowing the policy regarding academic honesty. Academic Honesty Policy. or

Attendance and disruptive behavior:Students are responsible for knowing policy regarding attendance and disruptive behavior.Attendance and Disruptive Behavior Policy.

Back to Martin Flashman's Home Page :)