2013-14 Catalog

Decorative graphic

Offering Description

Mathematical Systems

REVISED

Fall 2013, Winter 2014 and Spring 2014 quarters

Faculty
Brian Walter mathematics, computer science, improvisational theater
Fields of Study
literature, mathematics, philosophy and philosophy of science
Preparatory for studies or careers in
mathematics, physics, mathematics education, philosophy of mathematics, and history of science.
Prerequisites
One year of calculus. In some cases, two quarters of calculus may be sufficient; students with only two quarters of calculus experience should contact the faculty at bwalter@evergreen.edu to discuss their level of readiness for this program.
Description

This program is built around intensive study of several fundamental areas of pure mathematics. Covered topics are likely to include abstract algebra, real analysis, set theory, combinatorics and probability.

The work in this advanced-level mathematics program is quite likely to differ from students' previous work in mathematics, including calculus, in a number of ways. We will emphasize the careful understanding of the definitions of mathematical terms and the statements and proofs of the theorems that capture the main conceptual landmarks in the areas we study. Hence, the largest portion of our work will involve the reading and writing of rigorous proofs in axiomatic systems. These skills are valuable not only for continued study of mathematics but also in many areas of thought in which arguments are set forth according to strict criteria for logical deduction. Students will gain experience in articulating their evidence for claims and in expressing their ideas with precise and transparent reasoning.

In addition to work in core areas of advanced mathematics, we will devote seminar time to looking at our studies in a broader historical, philosophical, and cultural context, working toward answers to critical questions such as: Are mathematical systems discovered or created? Do mathematical objects actually exist? How did the current mode of mathematical thinking come to be developed? What is current mathematical practice? What are the connections between mathematics and culture? What are the connections between mathematics and art? What are the connections between mathematics and literature?

This program is designed for students who intend to pursue graduate studies or teach in mathematics and the sciences, as well as for those who want to know more about mathematical thinking.

Schedule and Location
Spring
Location
Olympia
Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Books
Greener Store
Required Fees
$75 in spring for an overnight field trip.
Research Possibilities
Research opportunities may be available in the Spring quarter, depending on student interest.
Upper Division Science Credit
Most of the work in this program is designed to be upper division math. Students who successfully complete the program requirements will earn upper division science credit in Real Analysis, Abstract Algebra, Set Theory, Combinatorics, Probability, History of Math, and other covered subjects (TBD).
May be offered again in
2015-16
Offered During
Day

Program Revisions

Date Revision
April 22nd, 2013 Fall fee has been removed.