# MAT 240: Methods of Problem Solving Fall 2008 Syllabus

Professor: Robert Talbert, Ph.D. Ofﬁce hours: Old Main 128 MF 11:00-12:00, MTRF 1:30-2:30 and by open-door drop-in, appointment, or instant messenger. Voice: 317.738.8268 Email: rtalbert@franklincollege.edu AOL instant messenger: rtalbert235 Google Talk instant messenger: robert.talbert Course Materials • Textbook: T. Sundstrom, Mathematical Reasoning: Writing and Proof, 2nd ed., Prentice-Hall. • Course website: http://mat240.wikispaces.com (Note: This is different and separate from the course Angel site.) • Additionally, students should have 24/7 access to a computer for class work involving Maple, web access, and LaTeX typesetting. Catalog Course Description An overview of various methods of problem solving to discover patterns, construct and modify conjectures, and develop proofs of those conjectures in topics including number theory, algebra of complex numbers and set theory. Proof by induction will be discussed. Incorporates use of computer algebra systems. Prerequisite: MAT 142 (Calculus II). Informal Course Description and Course Goals Methods of Problem Solving is a course about how mathematics is discovered, developed, and communicated. It is intended to help students make the transition from calculus to higher-level mathematics courses centering on difﬁcult problems, often problems requiring proofs, as opposed to simple exercises as you saw in calculus. A particular emphasis is placed on constructing and writing proofs for mathematical conjectures. The successful student in MAT 240 will be able to do the following: • Employ structured problem-solving strategies to understand a problem; plan out a reasonable solution based on reconnaissance problems and experimentation; execute a solution plan with ﬂuency in the necessary tools; and examine a solution critically to weight its correctness and soundness. • Develop ﬂuency in the mathematical content treated in the course (from the areas of calculus, logic, set theory, number theory, and complex number arithmetic). • Construct examples, counterexamples, and reconnaissance solutions, employing appropriate technological tools when helpful. • Construct complete, clear, and correct solutions to problems, including both problems to ﬁnd and problems to prove. • Reﬁne oneʼs work based on feedback from the professor, from classmates, or from individual experimentation. • Create a professional document displaying solutions to problems using the LaTeX typesetting platform. • Perform all of the above tasks both as an individual and as a member of a working group. What to Expect You cannot learn problem solving except by doing problems. This class, accordingly, will be very active on a daily basis, and it will depend on each student to prepare and think well for each class and participate actively in each class in order to get the most out of the course. The professorʼs role in MAT 240 will not be that of a lecturer but rather a course manager (setting up assignments and grading work) and a discussion coordinator. The studentsʼ job is to give a diligent, good-faith effort to prepare well for each

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Your semester grade will be determined using the following table: Grade Percentage Range Grade Percentage Range A 93-100 C 73-76 AB+ B BC+ 90-92 87-89 83-86 80-82 77-79 CD+ D DF 70-72 67-69 63-66 60-62 0-59

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assessments in MAT 240 will be based on the quality of your writing, which in mathematics also includes the correct use of mathematical notation and terminology. Therefore it is implicit in every exercise or problem you work that you must give a complete, correct, and clear explanation of your answer and not just give the answer itself. (For many problems, the “answer” is itself the explanation.) Students are expected to use English correctly, including correct spelling and grammar, and to format their mathematics in a professional way. There are hints in the textbook for how to write mathematics, and you will be expected as part of your nightly reading to absorb and implement these hints.

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PS: In order to “walk the walk” here, I should mention that portions of this document were adapted from Ted Sundstromʼs syllabus for this course, which is available at his web site at Grand Valley State University.

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MAT 240 Course Calendar
M T 8/26/2008 Problems vs. exercises; four stages of problem solving. R 8/28/2008 Calculus review part 1: Problems to ﬁnd. Preview activities: Calculus exercises pt. 1. 9/4/2008 Conditional statements (1.1). Preview activities: 1.1 (pp. 1--3). 9/11/2008 Logically equivalent statements (2.2). Preview activities: 2.2 (pp. 37--39). 9/18/2008 Finish 2.4. Preview activities: None.

9/1/2008 Labor Day; no class.

9/2/2008 Calculus review part 2: Problems to prove. Preview activities: Calculus exercises pt 2. 9/9/2008 Statements and logical operators (2.1). Preview activities: 2.1 (pp. 29--30). 9/16/2008 Quantiﬁers and negations (2.4). Preview activities: 2.4 (pp. 58--60). 9/23/2008 Finish 3.1. Preview activities: None. 9/30/2008 Finish 3.3. Preview activities: None.

9/8/2008 Constructing direct proofs (1.2). Preview activities: 1.2 (pp. 13--15). 9/15/2008 Predicates, sets, and quantiﬁers (2.3). Preview activities: 2.3 (pp. 47--48) 9/22/2008 Direct proofs (3.1). Preview activities: 3.1 (pp. 76--78). 9/29/2008 Finish 3.2; Proof by contradiction (3.3). Preview activities: 3.3 (pp. 107--109). 10/6/2008 The Division Algorithm and congruence (3.5). Preview activities: 3.5 (pp. 128-129). 10/13/2008 Operations on sets (4.1). Preview activities: 4.1 (pp. 151--153).

9/25/2008 More methods of proof (3.2). Preview activities: 3.2 (pp. 93--95). 10/2/2008 Using cases in proofs (3.4). Preview activities: 3.4 (p. 120).

10/7/2008 Review for Midterm.

10/9/2008 Midterm Exam. (Problem solving; calculus; Sundstrom 1-3.) 10/16/2008 Fall Break; no class.

10/14/2008 Proving set relationships (4.2). Preview activities: 4.2 (pp. 168--169).

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M 10/20/2008 Finish 4.2. Preview activities: None.

T 10/21/2008 Properties of set operations (4.3). Preview activities: 4.3 (pp. 180--182). 10/28/2008 Finish 5.1. Preview activities: None.

R 10/23/2008 Cartesian products (4.4). Preview activities: 4.4 (pp. 190--191). 10/30/2008 Introduction to functions (6.1). Preview activities: 6.1 (pp. 264--266). 11/6/2008 Injections, surjections, and bijections (6.3). Preview activities: 6.3 (pp. 290--292). 11/13/2008 Inverse functions (6.5). Preview activities: 6.5 (317--319). 11/20/2008 Equivalence classes (7.3). Preview activities: 7.3 (pp. 372--373). 11/27/2008 Thanksgiving Break; no class.

10/27/2008 The Principle of Mathematical Induction (5.1). Preview activities: 5.1 (pp. 218--220). 11/3/2008 Finish 6.1; More about functions (6.2). Preview activities: 6.2 (pp. 278--280). 11/10/2008 Finish 6.3. Preview activities: None. 11/17/2008 Relations (7.1). Preview activities: 7.1 (pp. 349--351). 11/24/2008 Modular arithmetic (7.4). Preview activities: 7.4 (pp. 384--385). 12/1/2008 Arithmetic and representation of complex numbers (handout). Preview activities: Complex number arithmetic and plotting handout.

11/4/2008 Finish 6.2. Preview activities: None.

11/11/2008 Composition of functions (6.4). Preview activities: 6.4 (pp. 306--308). 11/18/2008 Equivalence relations (7.2) Preview activities: 7.2 (pp. 359-362). 11/25/2008 Finish 7.4. Preview activities: None. 12/2/2008 Polar form of complex numbers and exponentiation (handout). Preview activities: Polar coordinates and exponentiation handout.

12/4/2008 Review for ﬁnal exam.

Final Exam: Wednesday, December 10, 1:30--3:30 PM

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