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Course Information

Instructor Info:Geremias Polanco Encarnacion
Term: 2014S
Meeting Info: Tuesday Thursday
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Cole Science Center 3-OPEN
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Cole Science Center 3-OPEN
Description:

Many factors determine whether or not you get a job, succeed or fail in a project, and loose or make money on an investment. Your problem solving ability is one of them, but understanding the principles behind the situation you face (in practice or in theory) is one of the most fundamental. To survive in the world, people need to apply countless mathematical principles, consciously or unconsciously. In this course you will understand some of the mathematical principles that you already use, and will learn some other new ones. Topics will include minimizing time required to complete certain tasks; scheduling and critical path analysis; fair division; voting theory; coding theory; mathematics of investment and credit; art, beauty and math; and other topics at our discretion.

Course Objectives:

The general objective of this course are the following:

  • To develop a conceptual understanding of the mathematical ideas underlying the life situations selected.
  • To become proficient at the mechanics of mathematics in idealized system.
  • To be able to connect and apply topics in mathematics to life situations.
  • To be able to communicate concepts in using proper mathematical language .
  • To become proficient at using computational tools.
Evaluation Criteria:

The focus of the evaluation will be the student proficiency and improvement on the course objective. The ideal goal is proficiency. You are expected to strive to accomplish it. You may be seeing the topics studied for the first time, or you may be familiar with some of them. But in any case, you are expected to show substantial improvement on your current conceptual understanding and applications of the subject. The course objectives will be evaluated through the following:

  • To develop a conceptual understanding of the mathematical ideas underlying the life situations selected.
    • In class problem set
    • Homework problems
  • To become proficient at the mechanics of mathematics in idealized systems.
    • In class skill sets
    • Homework problems
    • In class problem sets
  • To be able to connect and apply topics in mathematics to life situations.
    • In class problem sets
    • Homework problems.
  • To be able to communicate concepts in using proper mathematical language .
    • In class discussion
    • class presentation
    • project presentation
    • Hw problems
  • To be proficient at using computational tools .
    • Hw problems
    • Project

 Students who complete the following are guaranteed an evaluation in the course.

  1. All Homework problem sets on time; HW not completed on time can be turned in with the portfolio but will not be accepted late. The HW must meet the minimum criteria given in the additional information section.
  2. Skills exercises (in class on scheduled day).  
  3. On time completion of  any project materials
  4. A project presentation if required
  5. A completed course portfolio handed in on April 29 in class. 
  6. No missing more than 3 classes in the semester (see underlined note below).
Additional Info:

Homework 

The purpose of the homework is for you and I to check whether or not you understand the material in the course at the most basic level. You may work with other students but you are expected to submit your homework individually.

It is expected that your submitted homework meets the following minimum criteria:

  • completeness. A serious effort was made at providing solutions to the assigned problems.

  • neatness. Solutions are clearly and neatly written, and stapled (not folded nor wrinkled in a corner) when submitting multiple pages.

  • Solution addresses the problem. All that was asked for in the problem statement is provided in the solution. For problems that call for a specific computation or example (as opposed to an explanation) the answers are clearly written and easy to locate.

  • Level of rigor. Problems that require an explanation or justification are answered with a clear and logical argument written in proper sentences. Additionally, mathematical terminology is used correctly. 

If you miss a class, it is your duty to contact one of your classmates to be up to date with any material covered in class. This includes being ready with the hw assignment for the following class. You should also send your hw with a friend in case you are missing class on the day the hw is due. Keep in mind that, in order to receive an evaluation, you can not miss more than three classes in the whole semester. In case you run into a MAJOR EMERGENCY, you should contact your instructor, and, after studying your case, an exception could be considered.

Reading Assignments. You are required to do the assigned reading before coming to class. In order to profit from the material when reading mathematics, you need to do your reading in a mathematical sense. This often requires that you use pen and paper, or computer, to confirm the meaning and/or validity of expressions and statements. It also includes pausing and reflecting on the reading as well as extracting the mathematical principles that are conveyed in the material. 

 

Portfolio

A course portfolio will be handed in on April 29 in class.  It should contain all of the problem sets, skills exercises, and project materials, as well as any other material indicated

 

Non-classroom work-load Expectation: You are expected to work 5 to 7 hours per week outside class. Organizing your time wisely and staying on top of assignments will allow you to really learn the material.  Working with other students is encouraged - remember, teaching someone else is the best way to test your understanding.  Improvement is the most important thing.  

Textbook:  I have designed this class so that it is a time lasting investment, and a money rewarding investment for those who follow the principles we will learn in it. However, in order to accomplish that we will need to use two textbooks. Almost half of the course will focus on personal finance. The based textbook for that will be :

  • Personal Finance by kapoor, dlabay and hughes (from McGraw Hill)

 For the rest of the material will be mostly based on the textbook

  • Fintine Mathematics and  Its applicationsby Goldstein, Schneider and Siegel. (from Pearson)

I strongly encourage people to search for international versions, used editions, etc,... to save some money.