January 3, 2002

Course Information

Principles of Mathematics, Math 210


SC188, M-F: 10:40-12:00, 1:00-3:00


Martha Wallace



OMH 103 x3408








Office Hours:

After class until 3:30, most days.



Class Structure

This class is designed to be a cooperative venture in doing and 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. Much of our class work will entail hands-on investigations in which you will work with your teammates to discover mathematical relationships. This is not a "professor lectures and students take notes class" -- rather it is a cooperative investigation into geometry and mathematical thinking. Attendance and full participation is required at each class session.

Student Responsibilities

Each student will be expected to work both individually and as a team member. Student responsibilities include:

  1. Create and compile careful lab notes and reflective journal entries. Each person will keep a lab journal to record the class investigations and results, and the student's reflections on the investigation. These lab journals will be collected and graded at least twice during the term.
  2. Write problem solutions: Each student will submit word-processed and double spaced solutions to one or more problems or questions per day. Ordinarily, solutions are due by 3:00 p.m. the day after they are assigned. :
  3. Submit team computer labs: Teams will submit joint write-ups of labs using Geometer's Sketchpad or Cabri. Computer labs must be submitted to the instructor electronically.
  4. Make a class presentation. Teams of students will prepare and give a 30-45 minute presentation on one of the topics described on the Student Presentations information sheet. You will indicate preferences for a topic (and possibly, teammates) on January 4.


Each person is responsible for working with one or two others to prepare and present a class presentation on some topic connected to symmetry, shape, and space and its relationships to other disciplines. Each presentation will be 30-45 minutes long. Presenters should make every attempt to present the topic in an instructive and professional manner using appropriate terminology and illustrations. Presentations will be graded on understanding and communication of content, depth of research, effectiveness of presentation, and evidence of active involvement by all members of the team. Presentations will include a class handout with a summary or outline and a bibliography as well as a more detailed outline for the instructor. Possible topics include:

1.Early History of Geometry

2.Human Interest Stories behind the Development of Non-Euclidean Geometry

3.The Life of M. C. Escher

4.Mathematics and Art

5.How Children Learn Geometry

6.Applications of Geometry in art, architecture, building pyramids,

7.Applications of Symmetry

8.??? (You propose)

Tests and Grading

There will be two examinations on the mathematical content and background information covered in the texts and in class, as well as information in the student presentations. Both tests will include both take-home and in-class components.


Midterm and Final



Lab journals and class participation



Written and electronic problem solutions