# Math 304

## Permutation Puzzles: A Mathematical Perspective

## Welcome

This is the course webpage for Math304, Department of Mathematics, Simon Fraser University. Spring 2021.

Lectures: | ||
---|---|---|

MWF | 10:30-11:20am | Online |

Tutorials: | ||

Tuesday | 12:30-1:20pm | Online |

Tuesday | 1:30-2:20pm | Online |

## Instructors

Dr. Jamie Mulholland | |
---|---|

email: | j_mulholland@sfu.ca |

office: | SC K10541 |

office hrs: |
MWF 11:30-12:30 or by appointment |

Teaching Assistant - Sam Simon | |
---|---|

office hrs: |
TBA |

## 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:

### Prerequisites:

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.

### Grading Scheme:

Assignments | 30% |

Midterm 1 | 25% |

Midterm 2 | 25% |

Final/Poster | 20% |

### Important Dates:

Midterm 1 | Friday February 26, 2021 |

Midterm 2 | Friday March 26, 2021 |

Final Project (info) | TBA |