January 3, 2005

Course Information

Modern Geometries, Math 356

Instructor: Martha Wallace 

Office: OMH 103 x3408 

Home: 507-334-3675 (Before 9:00 p.m.)

  Office Hours:  9:00-10:00 and after class until 3:00
Class Resources:

Class Structure

This class is designed to be a cooperative venture in learning mathematics. You will do most of your work in teams of three and will be responsible for promoting the learning of your teammates as well as the rest of your classmates. This class will meet every day from 10:45-12:00 and 1:00-2:30 or 3:00.  Most morning meetings will be instructor presentations on course material. Afternoons we will have labs, student presentations, movies, or problem sessions, or, about once a week, additional lectures.  Problem sessions are not times for the instructor to answer students' questions; rather they are times for students to present questions, insights, or problem solutions to other members of the class. The instructor will answer questions during office hours.

Student Responsibilities

Each student will be expected to be a fully contributing member of a three-person team. Team responsibilities include:
  1. Written problem solutions: Each team will submit jointly written word-processed and double spaced! solutions to one or more problems per day. Team members should take turns writing up the solutions and your paper should indicate who did the write-up. Ordinarily, solutions are due by 3:00 p.m. the day after they are assigned.
  2. Problem session participation: Each team will also be responsible for outlining solutions to most other problems in the text and will be asked to lead discussions on some of these problems during problem sessions.
  3. Computer and other labs: Teams will also submit joint write-ups of labs using Geometer's Sketchpad or Cabri software and hands-on materials. Computer labs must be submitted to the instructor electronically.
  4. Each group will prepare and give a 45 minute presentation on one of the topics described on the Student Presentations information sheet. Your group should sign up on the afternoon of January 4, indicating preferences for a presentation topic. Your group must meet with me on January 4 for a presentation conference and again two or three days prior to your presentation to review your plans.

Tests and Grading

There will be two take-home examinations on the mathematical content and a final short essay exam on student presentations and on general concepts. All tests must be done individually and will account for 60% of your grade (50% for the take-homes, 10% for the final exam). Each student group will be assigned a grade based on their presentation, problem session participation and written problem and lab solutions. This grade will comprise 40% of your individual grade (20% for the presentation, 20% for other group endeavors.)