Home Courses Research Papers/Talks Vitae Links

Math 170 Ideas in Mathematics: Metamathematics

Summer 2006 Session I (May 16 - June 23)

Course Details
Instructor: Asher Auel
auela AT math.upenn.edu
Time: MTWR 4:20-6:30 pm
Location: DRL 4C4
Office: DRL 3E2
Phone:(215) 898-8175
Text: Douglas R. Hofstadter,
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid.

Lecture and reading schedule

Homework and solutions page


(or otherwise the small print)
  • Work:
    Homework: Bi-weekly homework assignments will be due at the beginning of class each Tuesday and Thursday starting May 18th, and will be posted on my website 4-6 days before they are due. If you cannot get the homework to me by the beginning of class on the due date, please contact me ahead of time to make other arrangements (for example, like emailing it to me if you're trapped on a desert island with internet access.)

    Homework must be stapled and with your name clearly written on the top. Consider the pieces of paper you turn in as a final copy: written neatly and straight across the page, on clean paper, with nice margins, lots of space, and well organized. If I can't read it, I won't grade it. I highly recommend that you get into the habit of playing around with the problem for a while then working out all your solutions on scratch paper, and then writing up your final copy. This way you can avoid erasing whole pages. If your handwriting is naturally illegible, then type up your papers, as you would for your English class. Where appropriate, write in paragraphs, complete sentences, and English words, complete with punctuation and transitional words and phrases to clearly delineate your thoughts and flow of idea.

    Final Paper: Near the end of the course, I'll announce the possible topics for a final paper.

    Late Homework: I do not accept late homework, where late is defined as after I have finished grading it. Please don't abuse this system. Religious obligations, severe illness, and family emergencies are valid excuses, to the extent that your length of absence will not disqualify you from receiving a passing grade in the course.
  • Grade breakdown
    homework 50%
    class particip. 30%
    final paper 20%
    extra credit  +
    This course is not graded on a curve! Class participation includes attending class and, more importantly, contributing to in-class discussion. Keeping on track with the readings will help with this. Extra credit problems will appear throughout the course and may be handed in at any time, some will be fun and others may be quite subtle and/or challenging.
  • Group work, honestly
    Working with other people on mathematics is not only allowable, but is highly encouraged and fun. You may work with anyone (absolutely anyone) on your homework problems. If done right, you'll learn the material better and more efficiently working in groups. The golden rule is:
    you may work with anyone on solving your homework problems,
    but you must write up your final draft by yourself.
    Writing up the final draft is as important a process as figuring out the problems on scratch paper with your friends. Mathematical writing is very idiosyncratic - I will be able to tell if papers have been copied - just don't do it! You will not learn by copying solutions from others! Also, if you work with people on a particular assignment, please list your collaborators somewhere on the top of the paper. Make the process fun, transparent, and honest.

Links:   Kurt Gödel links M.C. Escher links J.S. Bach links Douglas R. Hofstadter/GEB links Mathematics Department links Math Help Resources

Home Courses Research Papers/Talks Vitae Links