MT A181-01 Informal Geometry


This section of the course (Spring 2002) meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:00-12:15 in Ritter Hall 316.

General Description

We will be exploring basic notions of Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries. The name of the course is a bit midleading; geometry as we study it in mathematics is manifestly a formal subject -- the whole idea is to "formalize" intuitive notions of "straightness", "angle", "area", etc. The "informal" in the course title refers to our pedagogical approach which emphasizes experimentation, conjecture, and discussion vs. formal proofs. The goal of the course is to convey some of the beauty of geometry as well as an appreciation of the central role geometry has played in the intellectual history of humankind.

Here is the course schedule which gives the specific topics to be covered and corresponding section numbers in the book.

There is also a very terse course description contained in the SLU Undergraduate Catalog (PDF format). The course prerequisite is MT A120 College Algebra.

Textbook Information

The required text for the course is Experiencing Geometry: In Euclidean, Spherical, and Hyperbolic Spaces, 2nd ed. by David W. Henderson of Cornell University. Students can get the text from the SLU Bookstore. The author maintains a nice website with some errata, supplements, and links to other geometry-oriented web pages.

Homework and Exams

There will be some homework problems every week, unless otherwise indicated. Here is the latest homework assignment. You are encouraged to discuss homework problems with your classmates, but each student should prepare his or her own set of solutions.

There will be a midterm exam Thursday, March 7th worth 20% of your final grade. The final exam is scheduled for Thursday, May 9th from 12:00-1:50PM; it is comprehensive and is worth 30% of your final grade. All students will do a semester project also worth 30%; details will be provided as the semester progresses. Class participation (group work) accounts for the remaining 20%. Make-up exams will not be given. The College of Arts & Sciences has a policy concerning academic honesty with which you should be familiar.

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