MA 3053 - Syllabus


MA 3053, August 16, 2016

Meeting times and location:   TTh 9:30am - 10:45am,      Allen 24

Web page:

MA 3053 is covers the meta-subject of how to carry out mathematics. At the end of the semester, you should be able to read and parse an unfamiliar definition, and to put together a rigorous mathematical argument (that is, a proof). You should also have somewhat increased your tolerance for abstraction. We will apply these main ideas to problems from algebra and calculus.

The prerequisite is MA 1723 (Calculus II); or equivalent mathematical maturity and experience. It would be highly reasonable for a strong student to take Foundations simultaneously with Calc II.

My contact info:
     Dr. Russ Woodroofe
     Allen 418
     Office hours: TBA
                     + by appt
     rwoodroofe at math,msstate,edu           

Bob Dumas and John McCarthy, Transition to Higher Mathematics: Structure and Proof (2nd edition).
Please note that the 2nd edition is a free download in pdf format, available from McCarthy's webpage at . (The first edition is still for sale on Amazon, and you don't need to buy it.)
We will cover a selected topics from Chapters 1 - 6, and additional topics as time allows. I will update the schedule periodically with a record of the topics covered.

There will be a homework assignment due almost every Thursday. On most Thursdays, I will select a problem from the homework for a (closed note) homework quiz. I will collect your homework with the homework quiz. The greater part of your homework grade will be determined by the homework quiz.

I expect much of your learning to take place in working out the homework problems. While you may collaborate with other students on the homework, you should generally have thought hard about the problems on your own first. If you do collaborate substantially, then you should so indicate on your homework paper.
To facilitate study groups, etc, we will set up an MA 3053 channel on GroupMe or Slack or similar (TBA).
Your write-up should in any case represent your own solutions, written in your own words. Copying the solutions from another student or from an internet source is a violation of the Mississippi State Honor Code, and will be treated as such.

Your grade will be based on 2 in-class midterm exams and one final exam, together with weekly homeworks/quizzes, in the proportions
Midterm exams                     20% each
Final exam30%
Homework and quizzes30%

I have scheduled the in-class midterm examinations for September 22nd and November 3rd.
The final is scheduled by the University for December 9th, 8:00am — 11:00am.

If you are taking the course Pass/Fail, you need to do the equivalent of C work to pass.

Honor Code
Mississippi State University has an honor code, which applies to all students and all classes (including this one). See .

Title IX
MSU is committed to complying with Title IX, a federal law that prohibits discrimination, including violence and harassment, based on sex. This means that MSU’s educational programs and activities must be free from sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and other forms of sexual misconduct. See .