Mathematical Models in the Social Sciences
| M W F || 10:00 - 11:05 |
| Th || 12:00 - 12:50 (x-period) |
Daily attendence is essential to success in this course,
in particular due to the pace and variety of topics covered.
However, if you must miss a class due to illness or for other reasons,
it would be appreciated if you contact the
instructor (a short note via Blitzmail is sufficient) at least one hour
prior to the class start time.
|Instructor: || Lee Stemkoski
|Office Hours: ||M W F 2-3
and by appointment
Due to the variety of topics covered in a course of this nature, no single
textbook would be sufficient. Hence taking good notes will be especially important!
Useful materials will be placed on reserve throughout the term,
additional resouces will be recommended,
and course notes will occasionally be provided.
The philosophy of this course is simple:
You learn math by doing math.
Mathematics is not a spectator sport! Football players don't train for the season by
watching instant replays on TV -- nothing can take the place of exercise and practice.
Similarly, you cannot learn mathematics by only listening to the lecture.
In this course, "doing math" will involve frequent discussion and interpretation
in addition to developing and practicing techniques to mathematically analyze
a given model.
Accordingly, homework will not consist of large numbers of drill-style exercises. Instead,
a few problems will be handed out at the end of each class that test basic
comprehension and build on ideas discussed in class.
Each student will be responsible for choosing a modeling project topic during the course.
Suggestions will be made throughout the term, often significant extensions of material
covered in class; other topics may be acceptable with permission of instructor.
In particular, projects must involve mathematical techniques or analysis beyond
that discussed in class. Projects will consist of a class presentation
(20-30 minutes) at the end of term, and a detailed written report containing
a discussion of the model, relevant assumptions, mathematical analysis, and interpretation
of results. All students should meet with the instructor individually
at least once during the term to discuss their chosen topic and project content.
There will be two in-class exams and a final exam in this course:
Monday, 31 January 2005
Friday, 25 February 2005
The grades in this course will be calculated as follows:
| || number || points each || total points || Homework: || 21 || 10 || 210
|| Midterms: || 2 || 50 || 100
|| Project: || 1 || 100 || 100
|| Final Exam: || 1 || 100 || 100
|| Total Course Points: || || || 510
Collaboration on homework is permitted and encouraged; that is, it's a great idea
to talk about the problems with each other and try to solve them together.
However, you must write up homework solutions independently and in your own words.
If you consult any person or source other than the material on reserve, your class notes, and
the instructor, you must acknowledge the source in your homework write-up. You will
not be penalized for consulting other sources. Consulting the departmental writing editor on
course projects is also permitted and encouraged.
Students with disabilities who will be taking this course and may need
special accommodations are encouraged to make an
appointment to see the instructor as soon as possible. Also, they
should stop by the
Academic Skills Center
in Collis Center to register for support services.