Famous Problems in Mathematics
The course will attempt to foster an appreciation of the history, the
personalities and the content of different areas of mathematics by
means of a study of some specific problems which have exercised the minds
of mathematicians over the centuries. The problems will range from ancient
to recent times and will be selected from the fields of algebra, analysis,
geometry, number theory, set theory, and foundations of mathematics.
The course will deal wih mathematical ideas but in the context
of mathematical techniques. Philosophical issues in the develoment
of mathematics will also be discussed.
The final grade will be based on term work (assignments, class test(s),
and possibly presentations) worth 70%, and a final examination worth 30%.
There will be no text for the course but many references will be provided.
Students may get a flavor for the course by consulting the following books:
P. Davis & R. Hersh, The Mathematical Experience.
W. Dunham, Journey Through Genius: The Great Theorems of Mathematics.
H. Eves, Great Moments in Mathematics.
Prerequisites: At least two full 2000-level MATH courses (without
second digit 5) or permission of the Course Coordinator.
Coordinator: I. Kleiner