Spring 2018

Contemporary Mathematics (Math 103)
Professor Shields
Office:  4 Greenway Room 302
Office Hours: Tuesday 1-2, Thursday 12:30-1:30 or by appointment

Office Phone:  953-5919

Textbook  Excursions in Modern Mathematics, 8th edition,  Peter Tannenbaum, Pearson Prentice Hall

Course Description

This course is designed to introduce students to a variety of mathematical topics and applications.  Topics covered will include set theory and logic (course supplement),  voting systems (chapter 1), counting (chapter 16), the mathematics of networks (chapter 7), growth (chapter 9) and financial math (chapter 10 and class notes).  The course emphasis is on critical thinking, reading and writing in mathematics.

 Course objectives

The course is designed for students who are not planning to take more advanced mathematics courses and are interested in
learning about the central role of Mathematics in the modern world. The course will help students develop analytical skills and the ability to read and write expositions of mathematical ideas suitable for a well-educated non-expert reader. A wide range of topics will be discussed, including logic, voting theory and fair division, graphs and networks, and symmetry in art and nature.

General Education Student Learning Outcomes
Students are expected to display a thorough understanding of the topics covered. In particular, upon completion of the course, students will be
able to:
(1) Model phenomena in mathematical terms.
(2) Solve problems using these models.
(3) Demonstrate an understanding of the supporting theory behind the models apart from any
particular application. These outcomes will be assessed on the final exam.

Course Specific Student Learning Outcomes
Students who complete this course will be able to:
(1) Translate English expressions into expressions of Propositional Logic to determine the relation between a complex sentence and its parts in a systematic and unambiguous way.
(2) Employ methods of Propositional Logic, including truth tables, to determine under what conditions statements are true or false, and when logical arguments are valid or invalid.
(3) Use basic logic, algebra, counting techniques, and combinatorics to solve problems arising in a variety of contemporary application areas, that may include social sciences, management science, finance, and art.




Grades will be determined on the following basis:

             3 tests 
             5 quizzes (quiz average weighed as one test) 
             final exam (weighed as one test grade)             

             92% guarantees A 
             82% guarantees B 
             72% guarantees C 
             62% guarantees D



Quiz dates:   
           Thursday January 18
           Tuesday January 30
           Tuesday February 20
           Tuesday March 6
           Thursday March 29

Exam dates:       
Thursday February 8
           Thursday March 15
Thursday April 12


The last day to withdraw from the course with a W is March 13.

Tuesday May 1 from 8-11.
There will be no exemptions from the final exam.  It will be comprehensive and must be taken for a pass in the course. 
Warning: All of the test dates are subject to change; if you miss class, it's your responsibility to find out if any of these tests have been rescheduled for another day. 
Make up tests: All students are expected to be present at the time of tests and quizzes.   No missed quiz or exam can be made up (even if it is missed for a legitimate excuse); it will be replaced by your grade on the final exam.  A documented excuse for your absence from the Absence Memo Office at 67 George Street will be required.  Special permission must be obtained from the Office of Student Affairs to substitute the final for  more than one missed quiz or exam. 
Homework:  Exercises will be assigned after each section.  The problems will not be collected but it is clearly to your advantage to complete them as soon as possible after the  appropriate sections are covered in class. 
Attendance: Students are responsible for all material presented in class, so it is in your best interest to attend.  Help during office hours is available only to those who either attended the class in which the material was presented or whose absence is excused by  the Associate Dean of Students Office at 67 George Street. 

Students with disabilities: The College will make reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities.  Students should apply for services at the Center for Disability Services/SNAP located on the first floor of the Lightsey Center, Suite 104.  Students approved for accommodations are responsible fro notifying me one week before accommodation is needed.

Academic Integrity Statement: The Honor Code at the College of Charleston specifically forbids cheating, attempted cheating, and plagiarism.  Cases of suspected academic dishonesty will be reported directly to the Dean of Students.  A student found responsible for academic dishonesty will receive a XF in the course, indicating failure of the course due to academic dishonesty.  This grade will appear on the student’s transcript for two years after which the student may petition for the X to be expunged.  The student may also be placed on disciplinary probation, suspended (temporary removal) or expelled (permanent removal) from the College by the Honor Board.


It is important for students to remember that unauthorized collaborations—working together without permission—is a form of cheating.  Unless a professor specifies that students can work together on an assignment and/or test, no collaboration is permitted.  Other forms of cheating include possessing or using an unauthorized study aid (such as a PDA), copying from another’s exam, fabricating data, and giving unauthorized assistance.