Math 301 Fundamentals of Mathematics Fall 2018: Proof Portfolio

Over the course of the semester you will create a portfolio of mathematical writing. The portfolio will consist of 9 entries: 6 formal mathematical proofs and 3 other less-formal entries. Proofs will come from a list of portfolio problems (posted below). One of the other entries will be based on reading some historical mathematics. Another entry will be based on reading a modern math publication. The other informal entry will be about current research: you may either attend a math talk or interview a math professor about his/her research.

Proofs for the portfolio must be written using LaTeX. This is free, open source software, so you can download it onto your personal computers (which I recommend and which I can help you with). You can also make use of the computers in certain labs. Examples, links to software sources, and templates are posted below.

The class after a portfolio proof is due will be a peer-review day. You will read portfolio proofs and make suggestions for how they could be improved. This may mean correcting math or grammar errors, but it might also entail suggestions about mathematical style. Comments and suggestions will be returned to the authors, who will then be able to revise their proofs before turning in a final draft for grading. The final draft is due by 10:00 AM on the following day.

I will be evaluating the final proofs using the detailed rubric. At the end of the semester you will compile the portfolio entries into one document (again using LaTeX). This gives you one last chance to revise your proofs and other portfolio entries before they get a final grade.

LaTeX resources:

First LaTeX assignment:

Submit a pdf (by email) of your name, the date, and the LaTeX logo. Due 9/7.

Expository entry 1:

Read and respond to historical mathematics. Choose one of the following readings. Due 9/14.


Write (using LaTeX) a paragraph or two (about a half page total) in response to the reading. Questions to answer in your response:

Expository entry 2:

Read and respond to contemporary mathematics. Due 9/24. Find an appealing article in The American Mathematical Monthy (2014 and earlier are available through the library, detailed instructions follow). Compare and contrast with the historical math you read for portfolio entry 1.

Detailed instructions (that work from campus computers):

I didn't ever have to login using this method, but I suspect if you're off campus you will have to (at some point). When in doubt, go to the library and get a librarian to help.

Expository entry 3:

Go to a math talk or talk to a math professor about his/her research. Due 12/7. Write a paragraph or two summarizing the talk/discussion and how it connects to math you know or to other fields. Dates and topics for the Spokane Regional Colloquium are posted here. Professors interested in talking to you are: Rick Cangelosi, Bonni Dichone, Tomas Guardia, Eric Hogle, Jason Lutz, Justin Marks, Rob Ray, Kat Shultis (who prefers November), and Joe Stover. Email them to set something up, or try their office hours. Link to contact info.

Portfolio proofs:

Prove one statement from each section in this collection of problems (.tex, updated 10/12). This will give you 6 in total. Deadlines:

Final portfolio:

Revise your 9 portfolio entries and assemble them into one cohesive document. Use the template (tex) and (pdf) as a guide. Due by 4:00 PM on Thursday, December 13 (by email).

Links and class resources

Office hours

Last updated 12/1/2018