Fall 2018 - MATH 480W D100

The Art and Craft of Problem Solving (3)

Class Number: 4445

Delivery Method: In Person

Overview

  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    AQ 5005, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Jonathan Jedwab
    jed@sfu.ca
    1 778 782-3337
  • Prerequisites:

    MACM 201 with a grade of at least B. At least one of MACM 201, MATH 240, MATH 242, MATH 251, MATH 252 with a grade of at least A, or both of MACM 203, MACM 204 with a grade of at least A. Or permission of the instructor.

Description

CALENDAR DESCRIPTION:

Designed for students with a strong interest in problem solving and the determination to persevere in seeking solutions to highly challenging mathematical problems. Intended as a preparation for the Putnam Competition, the most challenging and prestigious undergraduate mathematics competition in North America, in which effective presentation of solutions is as important as skill in problem solving. Reviews strategic principles, tactical approaches, and specific technical tools for problem solving, and mathematical problem solving folklore. Emphasis is placed on clarity of exposition and persuasiveness of written argument, and on development of communication skills. Students interested in MATH 480W are encouraged to take the course as soon as they meet the prerequisites, since performance in the Putnam Competition often improves with second and subsequent attempts. Students with credit for MATH 370W may not take MATH 480W for credit. Writing/Quantitative.

COURSE DETAILS:

1. Strategies for investigating problems.
2. Fundamental tactics for solving problems.
3. Crossover tactics (graph theory, complex numbers, generating functions).
4. Applications of general strategies and tactics to problems from algebra, combinatorics, number theory, and calculus.
 
Throughout this course, we will be exploring different models of mathematical writing, and learning how to present proofs and solutions to problems in a clear and mathematically correct way.

Grading

  • Assignments 65%
  • Timed Putnam practice test 15%
  • Class participation 20%

NOTES:

THE INSTRUCTOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO CHANGE ANY OF THE ABOVE INFORMATION. 
Students should be aware that they have certain rights to confidentiality concerning the return of course papers and the posting of marks. 
Please pay careful attention to the options discussed in class at the beginning of the semester

Materials

REQUIRED READING:

The Art and Craft of Problem Solving
Paul Zeitz
Wiley & Sons
3rd Edition; 2017
ISBN: 9781119239901

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: YOUR WORK, YOUR SUCCESS