Spring 2002




Instructor:       Dr. Cordero


Office:           425 Pickard Hall

Telephone:        817-272-5062

Office hours:     M/W 2:00-3:45 or by appointment.



Textbook:      The Heart of Mathematics-An invitation to effective thinking

                         By Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird (Key College Publishing)


About the course:  In this course we will consider some of the greatest ideas of humankind-ideas comparable to the works of Shakespeare, Plato, and Michelangelo. The great ideas we will explore here are within the realm of mathematics. In this course we will experience what mathematics is all about by delving into some beautiful and intriguing issues. Some of the topics we will investigate are:

·        The pigeonhole principle

·        Fibonacci numbers

·        Prime numbers, irrational numbers, the real number line

·        The meaning of “infinity”

·        Pythagora’s Theorem

·        The golden rectangle

·        The fourth dimension

·        The Mobius band and Klein bottle

·        Knot theory

·        Chaos and fractals

·        Probability





·        Test # 1


·        Test # 2


·        Test # 3


·        Research project


·        Homework/Quizzes




The exams will be on the following dates (subject to change):



Test #1

Thursday February 14

Test #2

Thursday March 14

Test #3

Tuesday April 23

Research project due

Tuesday April 30





Research project:  Students will select a mathematical topic outside of those covered in our class, read and teach themselves any necessary background to understand it and then investigate the topic. Students will work in groups of two or three on this project.

(The format of the groups will be determined at a later date.)  Each group will write a final paper on their findings and present a poster display during the class poster session the last week of classes. Also, each student will write short individual statements regarding the experience. Various interim reports will be collected throughout the term.  Students are invited and encouraged to discuss all phases of the project with the instructor.


Tentative timetable for project:

2/12-2/14            Assign groups and select topic

3/5                        First progress report (include literature and resources )                                      

3/28                      Second progress report

4/16                      Third progress report

4/30-5/2               Project due and poster session