Math 342
Introduction to Modern Geometry II
Fall 2011

Instructor: Dr. Nathaniel Miller
Office:  2210D
Office Phone: 351-2297
Course Meeting Times:  TR 11:00-12:15 in Ross 2270
Office Hours: T 9:15-11:00; R 2:30-3:30; and by appointment
Course Web Page:

TA: Lee Roberson
Office: Ross 2210E
Office Phone: 351-2254
Office Hours: TR 12:30-1:30, W 11-1

"The royal road to knowledge,
  it is easy to express:
  to err, and err, and err again,
  but less, and less, and less."

This is the second course in a two course sequence that focuses on geometry and learning to develop and express your own mathematical ideas.  Like the first course, it will emphasize ideas and imagination in addition to techniques and calculations.  We will be further investigating Euclidean and Spherical Geometry, as well as other geometries, such as Hyperbolic Geometry.  Like the first semester course, this course will focus on mathematical reasoning and communication skills in addition to mathematical facts.

Assignments:  There will be a variety of types of assignments in this course.  Most of the assignments will be writing assignments.  Some of these will be formal writing assignments, given letter grades, while others will be informal assignments.  The informal assignments will go through a revision process and will be graded according to their completeness.  Some of them will be group assignments, and some will be individual assignments.   There will also be a take-home midterm and a final project, which will be presented during our scheduled final exam time, Friday, December 9th at 10:45 a.m.

At the end of the semester, I will ask you to turn in your portfolio containing all the work that you have done for this class, including all drafts of all papers, so please save everything.  On average, you should expect to spend at least nine hours per week outside of class on this course.  If you are concerned about the time that you are spending on this class, come see me.

Due dates:  All assignments will have assigned initial due dates.  Informal assignments can be revised as many times as you like; however, they should be substantially done within sixteen days of the original due date.  Progress made after this date will count half as much as progress made before this date, unless the problem is at least 3/4 complete by then.

Text:  The text for this course is Experiencing Geometry: Euclidean and Non-Euclidean with History by David W. Henderson and Daina Taimina.  Some of this book may already look familiar, depending on what you did in Math 341.   In some sections of Math 341, we covered much of the material in chapters 1-4, 6, and 7.  In this class, we will be looking at significant parts of chapters 5, 8, 10 and 11, and other sections to be determined.

Course Materials:  You will need a folder or binder in which to keep your written work, and some kind of disk on which to keep your work done on the computers.  You will also want to have a sphere of some kind to look at when we study spherical geometry.  Tennis balls work well, as do the plastic spheres often available at craft shops.

Group Work:  We will often work in groups in this course.  Whenever a group hands in a written assignment, they are required to put on the paper the names of those who participated fully, and only those names.  Each person must sign the final copy.  Your signature certifies that you participated equally in the project.  It is dishonest to turn in work that is not solely and equitably the creation of the team members.  You are not required to include on the report the name of someone who started but did not finish, or who did not contribute their share.

Outside Sources:  A central aim of this course is to help you learn to develop your own ideas about mathematical questions.  You therefore should NEVER consult any reference materials outside of the course text and materials in answering questions for this course.  This includes materials found on the internet.  The ideas that you present should be your own.

Grades: Your final grade will be computed from your final formal and informal assignment averages. The informal assignment average will be weighted to be 60% of your final grade, and the formal average will be 40% of your final grade. Letter grades will be given following a traditional grade breakdown, including +/- grading.

Office Hours: My office hours will be held in 2210D Ross Hall.  Please come see me! The best way to make an appointment or to get in touch with me for any other reason is to send me email.

Attendance:  It is absolutely vital for an interactive class like this that you come to class and participate.   Your attendance will count as part of your class participation grade, and excessive late arrivals will count as an absence.

Students with Disabilities:  Any student requesting disability accommodation for this class must inform the instructor giving appropriate notice. Students are encouraged to contact Disability Support Services at (970) 351-2289 to certify documentation of disability and to ensure appropriate accommodations are implemented in a timely manner.

Licensure:  This course provides content necessary to enable secondary licensure standards to address the K-12 Colorado Model Content Standards in Mathematics.