Course Description: Mathematics is a broad and fascinating field that extends far beyond calculus and the high school curriculum. This course will introduce exciting mathematical topics to stretch your imagination and give you a feel for the great variety of problems that mathematicians study. Every Tuesday a different lecturer will present a new topic and give some fun problems for homework/discussions on Thursday. Math 1600 does not count towards any distribution requirements.
Prerequisite: one semester calculus (AP credit sufficient).
Grading: Math 1600 is S/U only. Your grade will be determined based on attendance, class participation and homework completion.
Homework: Assignments will be posted at the website when available and collected at the end of discussions on Thursdays. It is important to try to work out as many problems as you can before coming to discussions. You are encouraged to work with other students. Homework will not be graded for accuracy, just completion. The purpose of homework is to get you thinking about the lecture material outside the class and to reinforce your understandings of the materials.
|Jan. 29||On Shortest Paths & Optimal Choices||HW1.pdf|
|Feb. 5||Physical Laws and Applications||
|Feb. 12||Mathematical Models of Visual Perception||HW3.pdf; Further Readings 1, 2|
|Feb. 19||Big Numbers||HW4.pdf; Handout, Slides|
|Feb. 26||Ken Brown||Error-correcting codes||HW5.pdf|
|Mar. 5||Ling Long||Congruences and Applications||HW6.pdf|
|Mar. 12||Richard Rand||Solving a Mystery Concerning the Ancient Egyptian Value of PI||HW7.pdf|
|Mar. 19||Spring Break|
|Mar. 26||Lionel Levine||Primes in Pascal's Triangle||HW8.pdf|
|Apr. 2||Kaisa Taipale||Grassmannians||HW9.pdf|
|Apr. 9||Mike Stillman||RSA Encryption||HW10.pdf|
|Apr. 16||Ana Rita Pires||Paper folding geometry: how origami beat Euclid||HW11.pdf Unfoldable1.pdf Unfoldable2.pdf|
|Apr. 23||Steven Strogatz||A minimal model of a growing network||HW12.pdf Paper|
|Apr. 30||Bob Strichartz||Surfaces||HW13.pdf Surfaces (bring scissors & tapes)|