- Week 2: Euclid’s proposition
- Here is an example of a good essay for this prompt by a former student
- Here is my essay response to the prompt

- Week 3: Induction and Tiling
- Here is my essay response to the prompt

- Week 4: Primality testing
- Week 5: Discovering new operations (due October 18th)
- Here is my essay response to the prompt

- Week 4: Primality testing
- Week 6: Boolean satisfiability (due October 25th)
- Week 7: Mine sweeper (due November 1st)
- Week 8: Choose your own (due November 29th)

Each week, 10 randomly selected students will be assigned an essay on a mathematical prompt. The essays are not to exceed 3 pages of text. These essays will be assigned by email on Wednesday, and will be due in class one week from the day assigned. Essays must be typed and handed in in both physical and electronic forms. The electronic version must be converted to PDF document format and emailed to your instructor. Topics will change from week to week as the course progresses.

Before you start writing your first essay, you may want to read a little of A guide to writing mathematics by K. Lee. Keep it as a handy reference.

Always include your name, the course section, and the date

Are the grammar and spelling correct?

Have you used mathematics vocabulary correctly? Symbols, also. Choose symbols that are short and easy to remember. When writing math, ’*’ is the symbol for the calculus convolution operation, while × or ⋅ or no symbol at all are used for multiplication. Numbering your equations will make them easier to reference in your essay when you need to. For example, “Notice that the integral in Equation 3 is not calculable in close form.”

Have you defined any new terminology that would be unfamiliar at this point to your classmate?

Have you wasted space repeating or redefining ideas that we already know about?

Have you cited sources appropriately in the body of your essay as needed? (Whenever you reference a piece of specialized knowledge in your essay, you should include a citation referencing the appropriate bibliographic entry.) Use author-year style citations and bibliographic entries as described in the Chicago Manual of Style.

Have you included a bibliography referencing any sources you have used in your essay? See the Chicago Manual of Style for specifics.

Have you plagiarized? Don’t. Say everything in your own words, or make sure the text is clearly marked as a quote with a source included. It is amazingly easy these days to check. Even sentences as short and inocuous as “Of course they could go back and live on their own land” are enough to uniquely identify Octavia Butler’s excellent science fiction novel

*The parable of the talents*.Has your writing clearly demonstrated your own understanding of the mathematics under study?

Have you double-checked any calculations to make sure you haven’t made any mistakes?

Do not add any extra lines, borders or “fancy” decoration to the paper. It will distract from the contant, which is what I (we) are interested in.

Don’t use ridiculously large margins, fonts, or line spacings. Fonts should be 9-12 pt, margins should be between 1 and 2 inches on 8.5 x 11 paper.

Have you indented equations that appear on a line by themselves?

Have labelled any figures clearly and clearly referenced those labels where needed in your text?

Have you emailed a PDF of your paper to your instructor? WARNING: Any version emailed in other than PDF form will be ignored.

**Is the bibliography counted in the page limit?***No.***What are the best software tools for writing mathematics papers?***The standard way to write papers containing mathematics is to use a markup language called LaTex, along with a compiler program called pdflatex that turns the markup into a pretty document. There are many introductory guides on-line, including this one. LaTex is FREE, opensource, and now can be used online without any installation needed on your computers. Another optional way to use latex is lyx, a gui editor. Once you understand LaTex, you can also edit mathematics in wikipedia and on html web pages (thanks to MathJax ).*