Examines mathematical theories and concepts within their historical and cultural contexts. Topics vary with instructor and may include mathematical symmetries, the organization and modeling of space, cryptology, mathematical models of social decision making, and/or theories of change and strategy.
SPRING 2007: The topic this quarter will be symmetry. We will look at the mathematical modeling of symmetry and how it reflects what is happening in nature. We will compare these mathemtical models to the models of symmetry generated by artists from across many cultures.
Student learning goals
- Understand the basic tools of mathematical modeling of symmetry.
- Learn the vocabulary of mathematical symmetry.
- Learn and appreciate commonalities and differnces in how various cultures use symmetry.
- Generate symmetrical patterns using both traditional compass and ruler methods as well as computer software.
General method of instruction
This class will be a combination of lecture, small group work, and computer simulation.
Openess to problem solving and seeing mathematics in new ways.
Class assignments and grading
Assignments will reinforce the mathematical and cultural theories of symmetry developed throughout the quarter. It will include math problems, computer simulations, cultural investigations, and paying attention to the role of symmetry in your own life.
Grades will be based on homework problems, computer labs, quizes, and final presentation.