Course Outline - McMaster University

Mathematics 3G3 (Winter 2011) Course Outline (3 pages), page 1
Problem Solving
Winter 2011
Zdislav V. Kovarik
Ext. 23408
[email protected]
Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays 2:30 – 3:20pm
Lecture Room: JHE/A113
Office Hours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays 11:00 – 11:50
or by appointment (e-mail preferred)
Prerequisites: Math 2A03 or Math 2X03; and Math 2R03
There is no official textbook.
Some Reference Literature:
"How To Solve It" by George Pólya, Princeton University Press. 2004
ISBN-10: 069111966X, ISBN-13: 978-0691119663
"Problem-Solving through Problems" by Loren C. Larson,
Springer Verlag 1983 ISBN 0387961712
"Calculus: Early Transcendentals" by James Stewart, Brooks/Cole.
(Any available edition)
Plus: plenty of source material supplied by the instructor. Also, suggestions from
the students will be considered.
Library Resources: found under QA63, QA43.
Course Objective:
This is a course where students will be challenged to solve
mathematical problems.. As is customary in Mathematics, proving a result is
considered a good problem. The problems will be mainly mathematical but there
will also be a few logical puzzles. Very little new mathematical content will be
taught in this course, but students are expected to use their previous mathematical
knowledge in a creative fashion.
Hopefully less than half of the course will consist of lectures given by the
instructor introducing various methods and strategies illustrating the way
mathematical problems can be approached.. The rest of the course consists of
quizzes and problems that you will be asked to solve in class, sometimes working
in a group and other times individually (for quizzes). Students are expected to
participate actively in class activities. They are also invited to suggest good
problems to the instructor. The best way to learn how to solve problems is to
solve them (as many as you can!)
Course Website:
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Mathematics 3G3 (Winter 2011) Course Outline (3 pages), page 2
Grade Weighting:
Better of the two weightings as indicated in columns:
Presence and participation 10%
10 quizzes, total
5 home assignments, total
The numbers of quizzes and assignments are tentative,
Missed Assignment or Test (Quiz):
For absences from classes lasting up to 5 days:
Using the McMaster student absence form (MSAF) on-line, self-reporting tool,
undergraduate students may report absences lasting up to 5 days and may also request
relief for missed academic work. The submission of medical or other types of supporting
documentation is normally not required. Students may use this tool to submit a maximum
of two requests for relief of missed academic work per term. Students must immediately
follow up with their course instructors regarding the nature of the relief. Failure to do so
may negate the opportunity for relief. It is the prerogative of the instructor of the course
to determine the appropriate relief for missed term work in his/her course.
For absences from classes lasting more than five days:
Students who are absent more than five days cannot use the on-line, self-reporting tool to
request relief. They MUST report to their Faculty Office to discuss their situation and
may be required to provide appropriate supporting documentation. If warranted, students
will be approved to use a discretionary version of the MSAF on-line, self-reporting tool.
Unexcused absence from an assignment or test will result in a mark of zero.
More information can be found on
Calculators and other materials: Only the officially approved calculator Casio fx991 is
allowed during quizzes. Notes, books and other outside sources of information, including
cell phones, are to be stored in the luggage which is left at the front of the examination
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Mathematics 3G3 (Winter 2011) Course Outline (3 pages), page 3
Academic Dishonesty Academic dishonesty consists of misrepresentation by deception or
by other fraudulent means and can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero
on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade
of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the
university. It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty.
For information on the various kinds of academic dishonesty please refer to the
Academic Integrity Policy, specifically Appendix 3, located at
The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:
Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one's own or for which other
credit has been obtained.
Improper collaboration in group work.
Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
Important information:
“The instructor and university reserve the right to modify elements of the course during
the term. The university may change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in
extreme circumstances. If either type of modification becomes necessary, reasonable
notice and communication with the students will be given with explanation and the
opportunity to comment on changes. It is the responsibility of the student to check their
McMaster email and course websites weekly during the term and to note any changes.”