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.
- Getting started with LaTeX. One place to start.
- LaTeX Base. Another place to start (all you need if you can find a way to export pdfs).
- ShareLaTeX. An online compiler free for personal use.
- TeXworks.A free (simple) LaTeX editor.
- Short Math Guide with all the symbols you'll need.
- template.tex and template.pdf
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.
- Euclid's elements (English edition for schools, 1903): Pp. 1-9 (through proposition I).
- A Treatise of Fluxions (a translation of l'Hospital's work, 1730): Pp. 1-4 (through proposition 1).
- An Essay on Probabilities (by DeMorgan, 1838?): either the beginning of chapter 1 (pp. 1-9) or the beginning of chapter 2 (pp. 30-37).
- Principia Mathematica (by Russell and Whitehead, 1927): Ch. 2, sections I and II (pp. 37-41).
Write (using LaTeX) a paragraph or two (about a half page total) in response to the reading. Questions to answer in your response:
- What was the reading about?
- What in the reading was similar to what you've done in this class or other classes (especially math classes)?
- What was different?
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):
- Browse article titles using the link (remember only 2014 or earlier will be available).
- Copy the article title, then click "Login to My Account" a the upper right.
- Click "Find My Institution" and search for Gonzaga.
- Click "Login" to the right of Gonzaga, which takes you to a Foley databases site.
- Search for jstor and then click on the link.
- Search for your article in Jstor.
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.
- Section A due 10/8.
- Section B due 10/19.
- Section C due 10/29.
- Section D due 11/5.
- Section E due 11/16.
- Section F due 11/30.
Links and class resources
- Portfolio problems
- The syllabus (pdf)
- The Book of Proof (our textbook)
- Math 301 Fall 2018
- Math 301 Spring 2015
- Math 301 Fall 2014
- Final Exam Schedule
- Logan Axon's home page
- Monday 1:30-2:30
- Tuesday 9:30-10:30
- Wednesday 1:30-2:30
- Thursday 2-3
- Friday 1-2 in the Math Lab (Herak 224)
- or by appointment
Last updated 12/1/2018