Math 1200 C (2016 - 17) Course Information


  • (Mar 25) The FINAL EXAM for this course is on Monday, April 17, at 9:00 a.m. in ACW 206.

    The exam has nine questions, with seven worth 10 points each and two worth 15 points each. Five will be taken from these REVIEW QUESTIONS. The additional questions will include proving if and only if statements, applying Bezout's Theorem, using the method of the proof of Euclid's Lemma, stating and using the Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic and a geometry problem, part of which includes coordinates.

  • (Mar 23) The tutorials on Mar 24 and Mar 31 are CANCELLED.
  • (Jan 23) The drop date for the course is February 10. The date on the course outline was wrong and has been corrected below.
  • (Dec 5) The grade for Test 2 is the score on the cover of the test paper times 1.25.

    Instructor: Eli Brettler
    Office: South 508 Ross
    Telephone: 736-2100 Extension 66321

    Normal Office hours: By appointment. I am usually available Monday afternoon (2:00 - 4:00) and Thursday, early afternoon (1:00 - 3:00). To make an appointment, please send me an email.

    Classes: Thursdays, 10:00 - 11:30, VH 3006.

    The first Fall class is on Thursday, Sep 8 and the last Fall class is on Thursday, Dec 1. The first Winter class is on Thursday, Jan 5 and the last Winter class is on Thursday, Mar 30. There is no class on Thursday, Oct 27 (Reading Days) and on Thursday, Feb 23 (Reading Week).

    Tutorials: Fridays, 10:30 - 11:30, alternate weeks. Tutorial attendance and participation is an integral part of the course. New problems and exercises are considered in tutorial.

  • TUTORIAL 1 will meet Sep 23, Oct 7, Nov 4, Nov 18, Jan 20, Feb 10, Mar 3 and Mar 24 in VH 2000.
  • TUTORIAL 2 will meet Sep 30, Oct 21, Nov 11, Dec 2, Jan 27, Feb 17, Mar 10 and Mar 31 in VH 1016.

    Tutor: TBA

    Recommended Text:

  • Martin Liebeck, A Concise Introduction to Pure Mathematics, Third Edition.

    Additional Resources:

  • John Mason, Leone Burton, Kaye Stacey, Thinking Mathematically, Second Edition. This book gives an approach to problem solving and the problem solving experience. It is also a source for rich and varied problems.
  • G. Polya, How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method.

    Online Resource: Steven Strogatz on the Elements of Math (New York Times, Opinionator Blog). For access to his posts click here. You can hear Strogatz on NPR (National Public Radio) by clicking here.

    And just for fun: Tom Lehrer singing, That's Mathematics.

    Statement of Purpose: Most of the problems you solved in high school were done mechanically or by mimicking solutions to similar problems in the textbook. What means are available and how do you develop the skills necessary to deal with problems which are genuinely novel? This course is intended to address this concern.

    You will learn to take risks as you engage with learning new mathematics and doing mathematical problem solving.
    You will learn to express mathematical ideas with precision and clarity.
    You will learn to ask questions whose consideration can lead to deeper understanding.
    You will discover for yourself that mathematics is as much about thinking as about doing. A polemic by Paul Lockhart on the current state of mathematics in schools is available here.

    Be brave. You will venture to places which are new.


    You are expected to attend the classes and tutorials and to participate actively. Participation is how you show your commitment to the course and to the other students taking the course with you. You are expected to share both of your mathematical knowledge and the feelings you have as you engage in doing mathematics.


    Homework and In Class Problem Activities Normally, one every two weeks25%
    Class Tests Oct 13, Nov 24, Feb 2, Mar 1630%
    Final ExaminationExamination period (Apr 7 - 24)45%

  • Homework: Homework consists of one or more questions related to the material considered in class or in the tutorials. You may discuss the problems with other students and with the tutors but must write up solutions completely on your own. Do your own work. Presenting someone else's work as if it is your own (i.e., without proper citation) is academic dishonesty. You must cite any outside sources which you have used.

    You will be asked to complete the York University Academic Integrity Tutorial prior to handing in any homework. Work that shows evidence of having been copied will receive a grade of 0.

    Tentative homework due dates are Sep 15, Sep 29, Oct 20, Nov 10, Dec 1, Jan 19, Feb 9, Mar 2, Mar 23.

  • In Class Problem Activities: Your understanding of the homework and course material may also be tested through in class problem activities. More detail on these activities will be available later.

  • Class Tests: These are conventional timed, closed book tests. Each will be 75 minutes in length.

  • Final Examination: This will be a conventional timed, closed book, 180 minute exam, scheduled during the University Winter Examination Period. Do not make travel plans prior to the publication of the examination date.

    Handouts and other resources:

  • Homework 1 due Sep 15
  • Tutorial 1, Sep 23 and Sep 30
  • Homework 2 due Sep 29
  • Problems for Class Discussion Sep 15
  • Tutorial 2, Oct 7 and Oct 21
  • Homework 3 due Oct 20
  • Test 1 Coverage and Review
  • Homework 4 due Nov 10
  • Problems for Class Discussion Oct 20
  • Tutorial 3, Nov 4 and Nov 11
  • Problems for Class Discussion Nov 10
  • Tutorial 4, Nov 18 and Dec 2
  • Homework 5 due Dec 1
  • Problems for Class Discussion Nov 17
  • Test 2 Coverage and Review
  • Homework 6 due Jan 19
  • Tutorial 5, Jan 20 and Jan 27
  • Class Discussion Problems, Jan 2017
  • Homework 7 due Feb 9
  • Divisibility Problems, Jan 2017
  • Test 3 Coverage and Review
  • Tutorial 6, Feb 10 and Feb 17
  • Homework 8 due Mar 2
  • Tutorial 7, Mar 3 and Mar 10
  • Homework 9 due Mar 23
  • Class Discussion Problems, Method of Euclid's Lemma
  • Test 4 Coverage and Review
  • Class Discussion, Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic
  • Review Questions for Final

    To read files in pdf format you can use the the free Acrobat reader.

    Note: The last date to drop this course and not receive a grade is Feb 10. If you drop the course by this date it will not appear on your transcript. If you drop this course between Feb 11 and Apr 5 it will appear on your transcript with a grade of "W". Withdrawal does not affect your GPA or count towards the credits required for your degree.

    It is extremely important that you realistically assess your course performance prior to these dates.

    Eli Brettler