Math 54 (Topology) - Winter 2001

Course meeting times: MWF 11:15-12:20 and x-hour Tu 12:00-12:50

Warning : The x-hours will be used and in fact be the most important part of the class (see below) so make sure the time is good for you!

Text: Basic Topology, by M. A. Armstrong

Grade: Your grade will be determined as follows: homework and presentations will be 50% of your grade, and two exams will constitute 25% each.

Homework: Homework will be posted on the "x-session day" and due by the following "x-session day". The assignments can be found in the Homework Log. You will be given a relatively small homework load (about 4 problems per lecture) which you will be expected to do completely. One of the goals of this class is to learn to articulate and write up your solutions carefully. Each week at x-session you (or a group of you) will be given 10 minutes to write a randomly selected solution on a transparency, and then given the opportunity to present the solution to the class (Technicalities: (a) the problems will be from the previous week's assignments so you will have plenty of time to receive help (b) not being able to demonstrate a well thought out attempt at a problem you are asked to present is the worst thing that can happen to you grade-wise in this course.) At this point we will discuss the result together and by the next day you will be expected to turn in an accurate version of the solution which will be posted on the web site. You will be allowed to form homework groups of size 1, 2, or 3. It is each group member's responsibility to think about and eventually understand a solution to all the assigned homework problems. (To reward students who take this seriously: keep a version each problem written up by yourself , and at the end of the quarter I will collect all your problems (in a single folder organized by week) and use the quality of the solutions present in your folder to help asses borderline performances.)

Exams: Both the exams will be take home. The exams will be about the length of a homework assignment and you will be expected to attempt the entire exam using only your text, your class notes, and your instructor for help. You will receive the first exam on Wednesday February 14 and it will be due at class time on Monday February 19. After the exam is turned in, you will be assigned one problem from it to write up an accurate solution to which will be posted on the web site, and then you will present this problem during the "x-session period". The second exam will be your final exam.

Honor policy: Collaboration is encouraged during the process of thinking about and writing up homework problems. No collaboration of any form is acceptable during exams, and (expect when explicitly stated on the exam) the use of any references other than your class notes and our book is not acceptable.

Prerequisites: You should be comfortable with understanding and producing mathematical proofs.

Students with disabilities: I encourage students with disabilities, including "invisible" disabilities like chronic diseases and learning disabilities, to discuss with me any appropriate accommodations that might be helpful.