Permutation Puzzles: A Mathematical Perspective
This is the course webpage for Math304, Department of Mathematics, Simon Fraser University. Spring 2021.
|Dr. Jamie Mulholland|
or by appointment
|Teaching Assistant - Sam Simon|
About This Course
In this course we will investigate Rubik's cube, the 15-puzzle, TopSpin, and other permutation puzzles. Our goal is to understand theses from a mathematical viewpoint; we will come up with solvability criteria (i.e. the ability to look at a mixed up puzzle and know if it is solvable or if someone is playing a trick on you and reassembled the puzzle in such a way that it cannot be solved), and we will investigate solution strategies.
This course is particularly suited for students doing a minor's degree in Mathematics.
Math majors are encouraged to take Math341: Algebra III Group Theory instead of Math301.
What Will You Learn In This Course?
A list of course level learning outcomes is available in the course outline.
Course Content - The Big Picture:
Integral Calculus (Math 152 or 155 or 158) and Linear Algebra (Math 232 or 240). Previous computing experience is not required, but can be helpful if you have it.
|Midterm 1||Friday February 26, 2021
|Midterm 2||Friday March 26, 2021
|Final Project (info)||TBA|