Math 203 Freshman Seminar "Proving Things: Algebra"
Semester: Spring 2006
Lecture 
Prof:  
Ted Chinburg
ted AT math.upenn.edu 
Time:   Mon Wed Fri 121 pm 
Loct:   DRL 4C2 

Office:   DRL 4E4 
Phone:   (215) 8988340 
Office hours:   Mon Fri 1:001:30 pm Wed
11 am12 pm or by appointment


Ted
Chinburg's Math 203 Course Website 
Recitation/lab 
T.A.:  
Asher Auel
auela AT math.upenn.edu 
Time:   Lab 101 Tue 6:308:30 pm
Lab 102 Thu 6:308:30 pm 
Loct:   DRL 4C2 

Office:   DRL 3E2 
Phone:   (215) 8988175 
Office hours:   Tue Thu 12:301:30
pm or by appointment


Policies
(or otherwise the small print)
Homework: I will be grading your homework for this course. For
general policies regarding homework, tests, grade breakdown,
etc. please see Prof. Chinburg's course
webpage and watch for announcements
regarding late homework, etc. policy updates. If anything is unclear
please either email me or Prof. Chinburg.
A word about homework: In this course we'll touch on a
wonderful assortment of mathematical topics, ranging from the very
foundational (logic, set theory, and the natural numbers) to the very
interesting phenomena displayed by our seemingly innocuous integers
(what we call number theory) to how all of this can be exploited for
for things like cryptography and quantum computing. Above all, we'll
learn how to think and write about these topics in a
mathematical way. One of our principal objectives in this
direction is to learn how to write mathematics, and that means,
how to write proofs.
Generally, a homework problem in this course (and in general any
mathematical problem) will consist of two parts: the creative
part and the writeup.
 The creative part: This is when you "solve" the problem.
You stare at it, poke at it, and work on it until you understand
what's being asked, and then try different ideas until you find
something that works. This part is fun to do with your friends, and
during this part, if you're having trouble, you should come ask
Prof. Chinburg or myself for hints. This part should all be done on
"scratch paper."
 The writeup: Now that everything about the problem is
clear in your mind, you go off by yourself and write up a coherent,
succinct, wellwritten, and grammatically correct mathematical proof.
This part you should definitely NOT do with your friends. This course
is about proofwriting, so use this opportunity to practice your newly
learned skills of using correct mathematical and logical notation,
using correct logical arguments, and creating an aesthetically
pleasing solution to the problem (you'll get the hang of this.) I
hope that you'll discover the pleasure of getting something down on
paper "just right." This part should be done on clean sheets of
paper, and should be considered a final copy, just as in any other
course.
Please note that a fully correct solution requires both parts: both
having "figured out" the problem, but not having written it up (or
having written up something incoherent that does not express what you
know) or conversely, having written up a technically perfect proof for
something wrong, don't count for very much. You will be graded
accordingly. Equal weight will be given for a solution that is "good"
as for a solution that is "well written."
Links:   
Mathematics Department and Calculus links
Math Help Resources

