Professor Francis Su
Section 1, Spring 2023
MW 1:15pm in Shan 2440
Course Webpage: https://math.hmc.edu/su/math55/
My Office: Shanahan 3416
My Email: (my last name) at math.hmc.edu
My Drop-In Hours:
Tuesdays 4-5:30pm (on Zoom, for password see course Sakai page)
Also available by appointment.
Peer Tutors and opportunities to work with others in Math 55:
Graders: Alina Lu, Kanalu Monaco, Ryan Ramos
This course is an introduction combinatorics, number theory, and graph theory with an emphasis on creative problem solving and learning to read and write rigorous proofs. My goal is to create an inclusive classroom climate where everyone feels responsible for the participation and the joy that others experience in learning.
There is no required textbook to buy.
We will use portions of Oscar Levin’s Discrete Mathematics: An Open Introduction (3rd edition), which is available both as a pdf and in an interactive online ebook.
Homeworks will be assigned and collected weekly, on Wednesdays at 9am. There will be one midterm (week of March 8) and one final exam. Each component (homework, midterm, final) is worth at least 30% of your final grade, with the “best” component worth 40%.
The learning you are doing in this class takes place in a larger framework of school and life. Even if I am excited about teaching and you are excited about learning, work is not the most important thing, and sometimes life can take precedence. I can be somewhat flexible in accommodating requests for homework extensions and absences for other important events. Please make these requests 24 hours in advance, if possible.
Similarly, ‘success’ by whatever measure is not the most important thing in this course either. Every assessment of your work in this class is a measure of progress, not a measure of promise. Joy, wonder, productive struggle, having your mind expanded—these are more important!
The HMC Honor Code applies in all matters of conduct concerning this course. Though cooperation on homework assignments is encouraged, you are expected to write up all your solutions individually to ensure your own understanding. Your solutions should acknowledge the assistance of other people or resources of any kind.
A note about online resources: these can sometimes be helpful for learning, but an over-reliance on them can be detrimental to your learning if the ideas do not “pass through your brain”.
Moreover you should not directly use online resources or other people to find solutions to assigned work in this class. Doing so will be regarded as a violation of the HMC honor code. In addition you will miss the joy of discovering a solution for yourself, which is one of the best feelings in the world.
Lecture Notes and Zoom
Lecture Notes will be posted here (link posted soon). If you cannot come to class, see the course Sakai page for Zoom link and recordings. Keep your camera off and you won’t appear on the Zoom recording. (Also, on Zoom, I will not be able to hear or see the chat.)
Due on Gradescope on Wednesdays at 9am.
Some of you may find LaTeX helpful in typesetting your homework. If so, there is a LaTeX class for homework here.