SYLLABUS
Math 417
History of Math
Spring 2018
Professor Shields
Office: 4 Greenway, Room 302
Office Hours: Tuesday 12, Thursday 12:301:30 or by appointment
Phone: 9535919
Email: shieldss@cofc.edu
Website: http://shieldss.people.cofc.edu/
Course Description
The primary focus of this course is to learn some portion of the
history of mathematics, paying particular attention to the
strands that let to developments that are important to today’s
mathematics. While
we will be learning the history of mathematics, our primary
focus will be on the mathematics itself.
Course
Student Learning Outcomes: 1. Demonstrate
knowledge of the historical development of number
systems, algebra, geometry, trigonometry,
statistics and probability, number theory, discrete math
and calculus. 2. Understand the
contributions of diverse cultures to these developments. 

Text: The History of Mathematics  An Introduction (sixth
edition),
David M. Burton, McGrawHill, New York 2007.
Grades will be determined on the following basis:
3 mini exams (average
counts as 70% of final grade)
Final presentation (counts as 20% of final grade)
Portfolio (counts as 10% of final grade)
90% guarantees A
80% guarantees B
70% guarantees C
60% guarantees D
Final
presentation: Your will be required to give a final presentation
in which
investigate the historical development of some topic in
contemporary
mathematics that was not covered in class.
The presentation should include interesting mathematics,
how these ideas
developed historically, including the contributions of
individuals and diverse
cultures.
Your
presentation should have a written component (handouts
consisting of notes to
accompany your talk are expected) as well as a verbal one. The
presentation
should be in Power Point and should take approximately 40
minutes. You
will receive a grade on a scale of 15 in each of the following
categories:
Preparation (were you wellprepared?), clarity to audience
(how well did
you explain the material?), knowledge (how well did you
understand your topic?)
and mathematical content (both breadth and depth will be
considered here).
So the total number of points possible will be 20.
Assigned
readings: You will
be given regular
reading assignments. You
are required to
take notes on these readings which demonstrate a thorough
understanding of the
historical development of certain mathematical domains. These notes should
include contributions of
significant figures and cultures.
The portfolio
will consist of your class notes and your notes on assigned
readings.
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 Absence Memo Office
at 67 George Street.
Students with disabilities: The
College will make reasonable accommodations for persons with
documented disabilities. Students should apply at the
Center for Disability Services/SNAP, located on the first floor
of the Lightsey Center, Suite 104. Students approved for
accommodations are responsible for notifying the instructor as
soon as possible and for contacting the instructor at least one
week before any 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.