Math 214: Foundations of Mathematics (Spring 2017)

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Instructor: Gexin Yu, Jones 127, phone: 221-2040,

Meeting time and location: TR: 11-12:20pm, Jones Hall 306

Web pages:

Office Hours: TR 10-11am or by appointment. Homework help session every Wednesday 1-2pm at Jones 131.

Text: Mathematical Proofs--A Transitioon to Advanced Mathematics by Gary Chartrand, Albert D. Polilmeni, and Ping Zhang. ISBN-13: 978-0-321-39053-0. This one on

Course goal: The primary goal is to learn how to read and write rigourous and sophisticated mathematical statements and proofs. An integral part of this goal is mastering mathematical fundamentals such as logic, sets, functions, relations and numbers. Examples and problems are drawn in such a way to survey some different branches of "higher" mathematics.

Advice to students: Excellent advice on how to be successful in the course can be found in this document by Professor Doug West, a mathematics professor at the University of Illinois.

Tests: There will be two mid-semester tests: the tentative dates are Feb 21 (Tuesday) and April 11 (Tuesday). Make-up tests are only given in extreme circumstances such as documented serious illness or personal circumstance. I must review such cases prior to the start of the test.

Final Exam: final exam will be offered on 2-5pm May 3 (Wednesday). Location TBD (usually in the lecture room).

Homework: There will be weekly homework assignments. We cannot emphasize the importance of homework enough. Although understanding material while you read the text or listen to lecture is certainly important, your most important studying will be in completing the homework assignments.

Perhaps the most fundamental part of this course is learning how to write and read precise mathematical ideas. Part of writing precise mathematical ideas is writing complete sentences with correct grammer. Homework written incoherently will not be judged complete! Incoherently includes, but is not limited to, using incomplete sentences, using incorrect grammer and overusing unneccessary mathematical notation. You are STRONGLY encouraged to discuss your homework with us prior to handing in homework. Start homework early and work steadily! Homework is usually due (firm) at Friday noon.

Help Session: A weekly homework help session will be offer every Wednesday at Jones Hall 131. Time: 1-2pm

Attendance: Regular attendance is critical for your success in this course. I expect your presence at every lecture.

Grading: Your final grade is calculated as follows:

Honor Code: Students will uphold William and Mary's stated honor code as it is written, any infractions will be referred to the Honor Council.

ADA accommodation: William & Mary accommodates students with disabilities in accordance with federal laws and university policy. Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a learning, psychiatric, physical, or chronic health diagnosis should contact Student Accessibility Services staff at 757-221-2509 or at to determine if accommodations are warranted and to obtain an official letter of accommodation. For more information, please see