Tom Zaslavsky
Official web page, personal web page.
Office: WH-216
Office Hours: M W F 3:00 - 5:00,
or make an appointment.
E-mail: zaslav@math.binghamton.edu. E-mail is good; use it often.
M W F 2:50 - 4:10 in WH-100B.
You are expected to attend all class meetings. The maximum number of absences permitted in this course is 5 (five). Excessive tardiness will count as absence. If you are compelled to be absent, such as by illness, I will expect you to promptly inform me so I will know what's going on.
[University Bulletin]
I will not expel you from the class for absences beyond five, but your grade will be lowered.
Calculus II (C- or better in Math 227 or Math 230). If you do not satisfy this prerequisite, you may be dropped from the class.
Careful discussion of the integers, the rational numbers and the real numbers, including a thorough study of induction and recursion. Countable and uncountable sets. The methodology of mathematics: basic logic, the use of quantifiers, equivalence relations, sets and functions. Methods of proof in mathematics. Training in how to discover and write proofs.
Click on the link for a more detailed syllabus. The syllabus is not all there yet; it will be developed as we go through the course.
The Art of Proof: Basic Training for Deeper Mathematics, by Matthias Beck and Ross Geoghegan, Springer, New York, 2010.
The book is essential; get it. Advice and corrections to the textbook (this is important) are on the advice page.
I will usually mention them in class and by e-mail, but the Web site is the main place to look. Stay up to date.
The subject matter and especially the methods, including how to read, understand, and write proofs.
You accomplish this by attempting all the assignments and not falling behind. (Falling behind in this class is worse than usual. Everything depends on what came before. Believe it.)
This is a writing emphasis course, and therefore there will be a lot of writing. I will be grading your work on (W) the quality of the writing (clarity and grammar) as well as on (M) the content (the logic and math). You need all that for writing proofs; if your writing is not clear, your proof cannot be correct.
60% | Homework (the main part of the course), and some announced and unannounced quizzes. | |
15% | Midterm Exam, to be scheduled in March, in class, before the course withdrawal deadline of March 25. | |
25% | Final Exam, scheduled for Wed. May 08, 2024, 3:15-05:15 p.m. in CW 106. |
When calculating your course grade there is one more rule: if your homework score is an F then your course grade is an F, regardless of other scores.
SUNY Central requires me to announce the grade percentage breakpoints in advance; therefore, here is my compliance with SUNY regulations:
A xx.x-100.0, A- yy.y-(xx.x-.1), etc.
SUNY does not want to admit that some courses can't have numbers fixed in advance. What I can tell you is that you do not need to get an A on every problem or solve every problem at all (no one ever does) to get an A in the course. You need to do well overall. Good luck!
Of course, you are expected to obey the Student Academic Honesty Code. This means no copying and no plagiarism. Plagiarism means using any source other than your own work and our textbook without stating your source and what you got from it.
See the schedule page for the assignments. Assignments will be announced as the term progresses.
See the advice page for advice on writing mathematics, especially proofs.
Written work must be handed in on paper. I do not accept electronic submissions. Remove all stubs! Don't hand in messy papers; they must be neatly written or printed. I will encourage people to learn how to type mathematics using LaTeX, a mathematical document system that is in wide use in math and science. A good guide to LaTex is the online wikibook LaTeX.
Most of your written work will be proofs. Proofs are expected to be complete and correct--but not necessarily the first time! I allow a total of 4 (four) submissions of each proof. That gives you three rewrites; you have 3 weeks (from the due date) to complete them. I will return your work to you with the first major error indicated. You will have to figure out what's wrong and fix it. It's smart to come to talk with me if you get stuck.
I also expect the proofs to be well written. Writing matters: not only because this is a (W)riting course, but because math must be written clearly and precisely to be seen to be correct.