Syllabus for Math 380 - Problems in Mathematics
Professor: Mark McClure
- To have fun: Theory is fun and all but it seems like problem solving is where much of the action is. In this class we'll focus on problems in a wide variety of contexts.
- To prepare for the MFT: You might notice that Course Requirement III on page 7 the math major handbook, states that you must earn "A passing score on a comprehensive mathematics exam". Specifically, you must earn 40\% on the ETS Major Field Test or MFT. We'll do some preparation for that test in this class. In fact, the final exam for this class is the MFT! You can read more about the MFT on the ETS website.
- First half:
Until Fall break, each will be broken into two parts:
- During the first part, I'll lecture over some technique that is often useful on the MFT. I'll then pass out a HW involving that technique and related material.
- During the second part, some of you will present a solution to the previous weeks HW.
- The next 4-6 weeks: The next few weeks, we'll work we'll work on Project Euler problems. These are fun problems that are designed to be solved on a computer. Some computational facility will be required, but I'll help you with that.
- Remainder: The remainder of the class will probably focus the MFT again, likely with a sit-down exam. If so, it will certainly be much more low-key than the MFT itself.
- Text: There is no text for this class.
You will need computer access for two things.
- WebWork: For the first half of the course, at least, we'll do online homework that you can access here. This should be valuable practice as some of you may take the MFT online.
- A computational tool or programming environment: Many of you will probably want to use Mathematica, which is fine by me, but I am open to other ideas.
Your grades will based on
- The WebWork,
- Participation in the in class presentations,
- Completion of a few Project Euler questions, and
- Performance on the in class exam near the end of the semester.