MATH 400   SYLLABUS,  SPRING  2015  Professor Sachs

        COURSE OVERVIEW:  This course is a first course in the history of mathematics.  We will focus
        on the birth of modern mathematics beginning in the Renaissance and continuing to the early 1900's.
        Topical strands will be pursued in historical fashion and the mathematical developments are tied to
        social and political contexts where appropriate.  Evolving ideas about mathematics, proof, and the
        major controversies among mathematicians, both personal and mathematical, are part of the cultural
        history of mathematics.  As a synthesis course, students will reason analytically about the material,   
        write short essays and a major term paper, and present a brief overview of their term paper orally.
        Each student will be responsible for leading one part of class discussion as part of a group during the term.
        Some student works, with names removed, will be copied and provided to the assessment office
        for use after the course is completed.
        TEXT:   A History of Mathematics: An Introduction (Third Edition)   by Katz (Addison-Wesley).
        MEETING: Tuesday and Thursday 1:30pm-2:45pm, Enterprise Hall, room 173
        OFFICE HOURS:  201D Science and Tech I T, R 3:00-4:15pm or by appointment.
        CONTACTS: email:, phone: 993-1464
Grading will be fair and impartial.  It is based on a mixture of graded homework,
        which includes short essays, two exams, the term project with oral presentation, and a final exam.
        Points used as the basis of the grade will be:
        Homework (200); Two exams (200); Class Participation (50); Term Paper (150); Final (200).

        POLICIESThe GMU Honor code is in effect at all times and students are expected to be
        fully aware of its requirements. 
Group work may be part of the course and group members
        will truthfully report on non-contributing members.  Absence from exams must be for a valid
        reason and requires prior notification except in extreme circumstances.  

       GIFTS: None will be given as grades. If you need a particular grade, you are responsible
       for earning it. I will work with you to achieve your goal.

       IMPORTANT DATES:       Last day to drop with no tuition liability: Jan. 27
                                                  Last day to add classes: Jan. 27
                                                  Last day to drop with no academic liability: Feb. 20
                                                  Spring break: March 9- 15
                                                  Selective Withdrawal: Feb. 23 - Mar. 27        

        For more information, see

        EXAM DATES
        Exam 1 – Tentative – Thursday, Feb. 19
        Exam 2 – Tentative – Thursday, March 26
        Final Exam – Tuesday, May 12   1:30pm-4:15pm


        We will cover selected sections of most of chapters 12 through 25 in the text.  Schedule is tentative!