PSU 016 - 250: First Year Seminar in Mathematics

Penn State University Spring Semester 2000

Syllabus (Version 1.1)

The topics for each lecture are listed below, along with the [reading assignment] to be read for that day. Supplementary articles will be distributed a week or two before the class.

1) -Jan. 11- Introduction: surveys, puzzles, journals.

2) -Jan. 18- Careers in Mathematics: Prof. Carme Calderer (Mathematics, Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies) [Stewart Ch. 1]

3) -Jan. 25- Chemical Waves, Heart Disease, and Differential Equations: Prof. A. Belmonte (Math) [Stewart Ch. 14; notes on differential equations]

4) -Feb. 1- Mathematics in Water Waves: Prof. Diane Henderson (Math) [Stewart Ch. 15]

5) -Feb. 8- Semester checkup and discussion.

6) -Feb. 15- Meeting with Penn State Math Majors.

7) -Feb. 22- Mathematical Puzzles & Advanced Research: Prof. Dmitri Burago (Math) [articles].

8) -Feb. 29- Game Theory & Intelligent Adversaries: Dr. Richard Brooks (Applied Research Lab, Penn State) [Casti Ch. 1]

9) -Mar. 14- Ramanujan and Partitions: Prof. George Andrews (Math) [Berndt article]

10) -Mar. 21- Fermat's Last Theorem (NOVA presentation) [Stewart Ch. 3]

11) -Mar. 28- Internet Security and Prime Numbers: Dr. Kevin James (Math) [Stewart Ch. 2]

12) -Apr. 4- Semester checkup and discussion.

13) -Apr. 11- Logical Foundations of Mathematics: Prof. Stephen Simpson (Math) [Stewart Ch. 5; Simpson article]

14) -Apr. 18- Computation, Turing Machines, and the Undecidable [Stewart Ch. 18; Casti Ch. 4]

15) -Apr. 25- Discussion of Computation;   Fluid Dynamics of Real Life Motion *.

Note that due to the complexities of scheduling, there may be some changes* to the syllabus.

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