|MCS-233 homepage||Reading and homework assignments
||Peer review guidelines|
|Prof. Barbara Kaiser|| Project
Course web site: The best source of information about this course is available at www.gac.edu/~kaiser/mcs233/. There you will find a complete syllabus, course description, current homework assignments, and so on.
Mathematics with Graph Theory, second
edition, by Goodaire and Parmenter.
Count Down: Six Kids Vie for Glory at the World's Toughest Math Competition, by Steve Olson
This book describes several
mathematically gifted high school students and discusses issues that
are relevant to the mathematical education of all students. It
will be much easier to read than the textbook, and will provide us with
some good questions about teaching and doing mathematics.
Classes: Classes will be used for lectures, problem solving, discussions, and other fun activities. You should prepare for classes by doing the reading beforehand (reading assignments are posted on the Web), thinking about the problems in the text, and formulating questions of your own. You should also participate as much as possible in class. Class meetings are not intended to be a complete encapsulation of the course material. You will be responsible for learning some of the material on your own.
Attendance, both physical and mental, is required.
To help me keep attendance and to check on your preparation, you
will be expected to hand in a 3x5 index card at the beginning of each
class period. On this card, you should summarize the most
important points in the reading. If you have questions on the
reading, you should think carefully about the best way to phrase these
questions and then write them on your card. You can get three
points per class - one for being there, one for your index card and one
for participating in class. If you are not in class, you will not
get any points (even if you have a friend hand in a card).
Should you need to miss a class for any reason, you are still
for the material covered in that class. This means that you will need
make sure that you understand the reading for that day, that you should
ask a friend for the notes from that day, and make sure that you
what was covered. If there is an assignment due that day, you should be
sure to have a friend hand it in or put it in my departmental mailbox
Olin 324). You do not need to tell me why you missed a class unless
is a compelling reason for me to know.
We will be doing a lot of hands on activities in class, so you will
need to bring scissors, colored pens or pencils, a hadfull of pennies
and nickels, a glue stick, and a ruler or straightedge. You will
also find it handy to have a small stapler, paper clips, a package of
3x5 index cards, a two-pocket folder, and an eraser.
Problem solving journals: You will be
expected to keep a journal that helps you reflect on problem solving
strategies and techniques, ways to improve your ability to solve
mathematical problems, and ways to help others improve. You will
also be asked to respond to the book Countdown.
Project: Working in teams of two or three,
you will design an activity that introduces students in grades K-8 to a
concept in discrete mathematics. You will write a description of
what to do, produce the necessary materials, and write two descriptions
of the mathematics behind the activity, one for fellow teachers and one
for parents. We will try out these activities in class; we may be
able to try them out in the St. Peter schools. All the activities
will be collected into a book (or web page or both) for you to use as a
Homework: I will assign homework at the beginning of each chapter by posting them on the web. The problems will be designated as ``practice problems'', ``homework problems'' or ``honor problems''.
Practice problems are meant to give you practice solving, writing and reading mathematics. For these problems, you will be assigned a partner. You may work on the problems with anyone you like except your partner. You should write up your solutions and give them to your partner for peer review. These problems will not be handed in; however, you will be graded on how many you do and on the quality of your review. Reading and evaluating others' work will greatly help your performance on the other homework and on the tests.
Homework problems are homework problems which you hand in to
me. They will be graded on a scale of 0 - 10 per problem, where a
10 means that you've done a good job of solving the problem and writing
the solution up clearly. You are encouraged to work on doing
these problems with one or two other students in the class; if you do
so, then you should hand in a single set of solutions and the points
will be given to all the students in the group.
Honor problems are problems that each of you must do individually. You can think of these as miniature take-home tests; you are on your honor not to cheat by consulting other people or books. You must write and sign the honor pledge on each of these assignments.
Academic Integrity You are expected to to adhere to
the highest standards of academic honesty, to uphold the Gustavus Honor Code and to abide by the Academic Honesty Policy.
Copies of the honor code and academic honesty policy can be found in
and in the Gustie
The first violation of the Honor Code will result in a score of 0 on the assignment in question and notification of the Dean of Faculty. Further violations will result in failing the course.
I may adjust your course grade based on the quantity and quality of your class participation.
Accessibility: Please contact me during the first week
of class if you have specific physical, psychiatric, or learning
and require accommodations. All discussions will remain
confidential. You can provide documentation of your disability to the
Advising Center (204 Johnson Student Union) or call Laurie Bickett