Department of Mathematical Sciences
Binghamton University

Math 330: Number Systems

(a.k.a. Introduction to Higher Math, or simply Proofs)

Section 1, Fall 2009

Main class page | Schedule and homework | Additional homework and projects | Announcements | Term Project | Syllabus

Special End-of-Term Grades Announcement

January 17: Grades are completed. At last! Due to the submission procedure, they probably will not appear on BUBrain until Wednesday or Thursday.
I regret that grades will not be available until approximately Dec. 23 after Jan. 11. There has been just too much grading to do. (As of Jan. 10, final exam grades are now available. The guidelines are posted.)


Tom Zaslavsky
    Office: LN-2231
    Office Hours: MWF 2:30–4:00 or by appointment.

Class Schedule

    MWF 10:50–11:50 in LN-G335.
    Tu 10:05–11:20 in SW-321.

The Tuesday meeting is a regular class meeting.

You are expected to attend all class meetings. The maximum number of absences permitted to receive credit for this course is 5 (five). Excessive tardiness may count as absence. [University Bulletin]


Math 222: Calculus II with a grade of C or better. If you do not satisfy this prerequisite, you may be dropped from the class. [University Bulletin]


“Careful discussion of the real numbers, the rational numbers and the integers, 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.” [University Bulletin]

Click on the link for a more detailed syllabus.


The Art of Proof: A Concrete Gateway to Mathematics, by Matthias Beck and Ross Geoghegan, preliminary edition 2009.
This textbook is published by Binghamton University and is only available from local bookstores. You may download here

Additions and corrections to the textbook are on the announcements page.

All official announcements and assignments are given on the Web site.

I will often mention them in class and by e-mail, but the Web site is the main place to look. Stay up to date.

What You Should Learn From This Course

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 the quality of the writing (clarity and grammar) as well as on the content (logic and math). You need all that for writing proofs; if your writing is not clear, your proof cannot be correct.

Grades & Examinations

50% Homework (the main part of the course), and possibly some unannounced quizzes.
15% Midterm Exam, scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 27, in class (before the course withdrawal deadline, Friday, Oct. 30).
15% Term Project Assignment, due on Friday, December 11.
20% Final Exam, scheduled for Monday, December 14, 11:00–1:00 in S2-145.

When calculating your course grade there is one more rule: if your homework score is an F then your course grade is an F; in this case I will ignore your midterm, project, and final exam scores.

Of course, you are expected to obey the Student Academic Honesty Code.

Homework Assignments

See the schedule page for the assignments. Assignments will be announced as the term progresses.

Written work must be handed in on paper. I do not accept electronic submissions at this time.

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. 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. Come to talk with me if you get stuck; I encourage that.

I also expect the proofs to be well written. Writing matters: not only because this is a Writing course, but because correct math must be written clearly and precisely.

See the announcements page for more on how to prepare your homework papers and on how I grad.

Main class page | Schedule and homework | Additional homework and projects | Announcements | Term Project | Syllabus