Home | People | Curriculum
| Projects | Resources
| Media |

Prerequisites: Permision of instructor

Description:

• A successful understanding of many scientific subjects requires the
ability to reason about mathematical objects. This is a course which develops
rigorous thinking skills: the ability to formally reason about abstract objects.The
traditional way of achieving this goal is to teach the fundamental foundations
of mathematics: logic and sets.

• A familiar example from high school is Euclidean geometry, in which
the properties of planar figures (formed by straightedge and compass) are deduced
by formal proofs.The objects encountered (such as triangles and circles), are
types of set abstractions that are built upon the more fundamental objects of
point and line.The line-by-line proofs used to reason in this system are built
upon the axioms of geometry and logical rules of deduction.

• This course could serve students in many ways.In addition to providing
non-science students with the tools to take regular computer science courses,
it could also serve as a "transition" between calculus and higher
mathematics for a potential mathematics student, or might be useful for the
increasing number of students interested in cognitive science, neuro-science,
psychology, and the philosophy of mind. With enough student interest, it could
lead into a more advanced course in mathematical logic or set theory.

• One of the unique features of the course will be the use of the cooperative
learning paradigm, where students are split into groups of 3 to 4 to solve problems
in a supervised fashion during class (typically the last third of an extended
period) and present their results. Because of this discussion-oriented approach,
the course will have the flavor of a 'Q' seminar. A combined laboratory component
is also a possibility.

For more details, see the
course syllabus

Page maintained by John Dougherty,
David Wonnacott, and Rachel
Heaton. |