MATH 160

Introductory Seminar in Mathematics

Catalog Entry

MATH 160

Introductory Seminar in Mathematics

One Hour Seminar

Prerequisite: Mathematics Major

Designed for students new to the mathematics major, this is a seminar course that will discuss various professional skills needed to succeed in the major and in a mathematical career. Topics may include: introduction to mathematics literature, discussions of career options, introduction to mathematics technology, and introductions to different topics in mathematics.

Detailed Description of Content of Course

Course topics may include the following:

1. Working with Mathematics Literature

• Overview of Library Skills

• Identifying Primary versus Secondary Literature

• Identifying Literature in Databases

• Finding Full Text Articles Online

• Writing and Reading in Mathematics Format

• Proper Citation of References

2. Exploring Career Possibilities

• Concentrations within the Mathematics Major

3. What do to with a Mathematics Degree

• Undergraduate Research Opportunities

• Graduate School Opportunities

4. Introductions to Mathematics Technology

• Maple

• Mathematica

• MATLAB

• Latex

• Geometer’s Sketchpad

• Graphing Calculators

5. Introductions to Different Topics in Mathematics

• Cryptography (e.g. the Hill Cipher)

• Elementary Graph Theory (e.g. Konigsberg Bridge Problem)

• Basic Probability Topics (e.g. “Let’s Make a Deal”)

• 4-Color Map Problem

• Geometry (e.g. Fractals)

• Mathematics Debates (e.g. is ?)

Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course will be taught in classroom sessions. The sessions will generally include a combination of discussions and/or debates, presentations and group work as determined by the instructor, and guest speakers.

Goals and Objectives of the Course

Students successfully completing the course will be able to:

• Distinguish between primary and secondary literature

• Use the library and internet to find mathematics literature

• Read mathematics literature

• Write in mathematics format

• Use computer software to solve math problems

• Identify potential careers

• Know how to approach faculty members about undergraduate research possibilities

• See different topics of mathematics which may or may not be seen in other courses

Assessment Measures

Assessment may include presentations, projects, and mathematics literature reflections. Other assessment may be based on the instructor’s observation of student participation in discussions and group work.

Assessment of whether the course is achieving its goals in the curriculum will be based on observations by instructors in upper level mathematics courses.

Other Course Information

None

Review and Approval

Revised 08/17/05

03/2011