Information about MATH351

This course presents Euclidean geometry from a transformational point of view. For those who have not seen this approach the axioms and theorems may be quite strange; to the extent that we can we will relate them to the axioms and theorems of more traditional approaches. Traditionally one explores the axiomatic method in an introductory study of Euclidean geometry; we will also do that but we will look at a number of axiomatic systems besides that of Euclidean geometry. These systems have the advantage of being simpler than the one for Euclidean geometry.

The notes I will pass out will cover substantially all the material you will be responsible for. But during class I may introduce a few additional concepts; you will be responsible for those ideas as well. The notes contain a large number of Exercises. You will be expected to have attempted to answer and be ready to present ideas about these Exercises before you come to class. You should stay two pages ahead of the what is done in class at all times. So if I get half of the way down page 23 at the conclusion of one class you should have covered at least the material half of the way down page 25 before the next class. At times I may suggest you prepare less or more.

Specific Exercises will be assigned as Problems to be turned in by you or by a group of 3 or 4 students working together. The vast majority of such problems will be assigned to be worked out individually. To get credit for a Problem it must be done essentially perfectly and you will be given three chances to do that. The whole process of doing and if necessary redoing a Problem must be done in a timely fashion. Expect that I will assign about 15 Problems. You must attempt at least 2/3 and correctly do at least 1/3 of these Problems otherwise you will receive the grade of F.

It is up to you to make yourself understood. Thus it is very important that your written work be done using sentences exclusively combined into paragraphs as appropriate. They should be carefully written so that they are grammatically and logically correct. I do not stand by ready to fill in missing explanations or incomplete arguments or to forgive improper use of terminology or symbolism. I have the same expectations for oral work.

Because this is a writing intensive course and I place such importance on reading mathematics, critical thinking and giving clear written and verbal explanations, I recommend that you work collaboratively as much as possible. We will work collaboratively in class from time to time.

There will be four exams during the semester, two will be take-home and two will be given in class. They will occur around the 3rd, 6th, 9th and 12th week. The first and third will be the take-home exams. Each exam will be worth 10% of your grade. The final is worth 20%. The remainder, 40%, will represent how well you did on the Problems.

Back to J. Weiner's 300-level writing-intensive Math class.

[Information from Fall 1996]