Martin Flashman's Courses- Math 103 Summer, 2002
08-JUL-02 to 09-AUG-02

Under Construction. Last revised 7-12-02
The Project Option

If you have a question, you can ask me by e-mail:

Math 103                                                                 COURSE INFORMATION                                                       M.Flashman
Contemporary Mathematics (Visual)                                                                                  Summer, 2002
MTWTh  1230 - 1425             ROOM CHANGE: Forestry 105 (Sometimes MWR Forestry 204A)

OFFICE: Library 48  E-MAIL:    PHONE:826-4950
Hours (Tent.)- Flashman: M-Th 14:30 to 15:20 AND BY APPOINTMENT or chance!
PREREQUISITE: Math Code   40 

TEXTS: REQ'D.: Symmetry,Shape,and Space: An Introduction to Mathematics through Geometry by L. Christine Kinsey and Teresa E. Moore. Key College Press, 2001.
Flatland: A Romance of  Many Dimensions by E. Abbott.
Experiments in Topology by S. Barr.
Configuration Theorems by B. Argunov & L. Skornyakov. 

Catalog description:
MATH 103. Contemporary Mathematics (3) Nonmathematicians see some of the character of mathematics. Topics vary.
Prerequisites: MATH 42 or 44 or 45 or math code 40.

SCOPE: This course will explore topics in geometry and topology that have arisen from attempts to define and explain the visual aspects of experience, such as symmetry, space dimension, surface, and curvature. Limitations, unexpected consequences and applications resulting from the development of these concepts illustrate the power of mathematics to translate, to transform, and to classify. Lectures will discuss topics not covered in the texts as well as those treated in the texts.
Supplementary readings and materials will be supplied as appropriate.

ASSIGNMENTS: There will be regular graded assignments consisting of 5 to 10 problems or activities. Other problems, assigned in class, will be a source for class discussions and activities and will be used to indicate satisfactory class participation. Course materials, including this description, and returned assignments should be kept in a binder, forming the basis for a final review of your work at the end of the course.

The Portfolio: Each student will organize a portfolio which should contain entries related to the content of this course but not discussed extensively in the lectures. No particular format or topics for entries are required, but each entry must have some substantial (as opposed to purely subjective) content. A minimum of four entries are required to achieve a grade of C. Sample portfolios may be viewed at Library 48 during office hours.  The portfolio (quality and quantity) will be used for determining letter grades above the C level. Two portfolio entries will be collected for preview feedback and advice on Thursday, July 18th.

NEW: A portfolio entry can report on the content of  reading, illustrate it by examples, and/or follow up on it with an individual response and creativity.

The content of the portfolio entry should relate specifically and directly to some visual mathematics. Personal observations , philosophical musings, and aesthetical judgments are not adequate connections to something visual by themselves to qualify as mathematical content.
Suggested resources for the entries may be found on the Assignment and Reading List.

The Project Option.(New 7-12-02) A student, alone or with a partner, may decide to assemble a project related to visual mathematics as an alternative to making 3 portfolio entries. Such a project will be designed with my assistance. The quality of the project will be used for determining letter grades above the C level only. Ideas for projects will be discussed during the second week. Any student interested in doing a project should consult me by July 21st for approval.

Portfolios will be due for grading on Tuesday, August 6th before 5 P.M.


Technology: The computer offers a very useful tool to enhance visual and computational understanding as well as a powerful device for discoverying and presenting resources on the world wide web. In this course we will spend two hours per week in the computer lab, Forestry 205A. This time will be devoted to a number of different projects as well as working with mathematical software tools, such as Wingeom, Winplot, Windisc. (The software we use is all  freeware  available from the www site of Rick Parris or from me.) A short list of world wide web sites for further reading will be organized on a weekly basis with materials specifically related to the course topics.

GRADES: Three or more absences without extenuating circumstances will be justification for a grade of F.

Otherwise final grades will be determined by taking into consideration the quality of work done in the course as evidenced primarily by assignments and portfolios.

**Only the letter grades of A, B, C, D, and F will be given.  (No + or -'s)

** For the grade of C or CR a student must at least
     (1) have satisfactory attendance and participation,
     (2) have a satisfactory record on the daily assignments (about 80%  +'s),
and  (3) have submitted a portfolio with at least 4 entries.

** For the grade of B (or A) a student must at least
     (1) be qualified for a grade of C,
and  (2) submit a portfolio with at least 3 (or 6) entries beyond the work submitted for grade of C.
The portfolio's quality will be used to determine the final grade also.

      Students wishing to be graded with either CR or NC should make this request using the on-line registration web site.

Tool Kit: You should have assembled for possible use at each class the following items:
a computer disc to keep course computer software [Wingeometry] and files.
a deck of playing cards
colored pencils or pens (6+)
fastener of some kind (stapler, tape, or glue stick)
rubber bands (at least 2)
string (at least a meter)
one dozen staws
one dozen pipe cleaners.

Back to Martin Flashman's Home Page :)

Back to HSU Math. Department :}

Last updated: 7/3/02