Math 17
An Introduction to Mathematics Beyond Calculus: Hilbert's Tenth Problem
Last updated January 05, 2015 10:44:42 EST

General Information Documents

General Information

The Textbook Scheduled Lectures Instructors
Papers Homework Policy Grades
Honor Principle Special Considerations Office Hours Policy


Hilbert's Tenth Problem by Yuri Matijasevich.

We will use the first five chapters, which will be available as a course reader from Wheelock Books.

Scheduled Lectures

MWF 11:15 - 12;20
(x-hour) Tue 12:00 - 12:50
Room 004 Kemeny

We will use the x-hour on January 13 (because that Friday's class will be an introduction to LaTeX), January 20 (because class does not meet on Martin Luther King Day), and February 3 (because class does not meet on Winter Carnival Friday). If we need to use the x-hour at any other time, an announcement will be made.


Professor Marcia Groszek
Office: 330 Kemeny Hall
Office Hours: Tu/Th 10:30-11:45, Th 2:30-3:30, and by appointment.
Contact via email.


In addition to weekly homework, there will be two major projects in this course. The midterm project will be a short mathematical paper, in which you will prove a theorem related to Hilbert's Tenth Problem. The final project will be on a topic of your choice, related to Hilbert's Tenth Problem, which could be primarily mathematical, historical, or philosophical. For the final project, you will both write a paper and give a short presentation.

Each project will have a number of preliminary assignments, including submission of a first draft. Preliminary assignments will generally be due at the beginning of class on Mondays. The grade for the project will reflect whether the preliminary assignments are completed on time and acknowledge sources appropriately, but otherwise, preliminary assignments will not be graded.

More information on projects will be available later.

Homework Policy

Written homework exercises will be assigned daily. They are due at the beginning of class on the Friday after they are assigned.

Late homework will be accepted for partial credit only, except in case of serious, unpredictable events such as documented illness or family emergency. Unexcused late and missing papers count zero.


The course grade will be based upon your written homework, midterm project, final project, and class participation, as follows:

Homework 25 percent
Midterm project 25 percent
Final project 35 percent
Class participation 15 percent
Total 100 percent

Each day you will earn a classroom participation grade of either credit or no credit. It is easy to get full credit: be in class; attempt to answer questions when asked; work together with other students when asked. You will not be graded on whether you answer questions correctly, on how often you volunteer questions and answers, or on how much progress you and the students you are working with make. These grades will make up the bulk of your classroom participation grade.

Up to 20 percent of your classroom participation grade (3 percent of your final grade) may be based on brief in-class quizzes.

If you miss a class, it is not possible to make up your participation grade for that day. However, you will be allowed three absences without penalty.

The Honor Principle

Academic integrity is at the core of our mission as mathematicians and educators, and we take it very seriously. We also believe in working and learning together. Please consult the professor if you ever have any question about what is expected in this course.

On written homework, you are encouraged to work together, and you may get help from others, but you must write up the answers yourself. If you are part of a group of students that produces an answer to a problem, you cannot then copy that group answer. You must write up the answer individually, in your own words. You must also acknowledge any help you receive, and anyone you work with; an informal note at the beginning of the assignment is sufficient.

On the midterm and final project, you may get help from others, look things up, and discuss your project with anyone you like. However, it is critical that you acknowledge and correctly cite any help or information you receive from any person or other source. The detailed project assignments will discuss this further.

On quizzes, you may not give or receive help from anyone.

Special Considerations

Students with disabilities who will be taking this course and may need disability-related classroom accommodations are encouraged to make an appointment to see their instructor as soon as possible. Also, they should stop by the Student Accessibility Services office in Collis Center to register for support services.

Students with any other special concerns about their participation in the course are encouraged to make an appointment to see the instructor as soon as possible.

Office Hours Policy

The professor is always available during scheduled office hours (except for announced schedule changes). You never need to make an appointment. If you cannot make regularly scheduled office hours, you may make an appointment for another time.

If you have any concerns or questions about the course, you are encouraged to come to office hours. If you have any questions or difficulties with the mathematics, the homework, or the projects, you are encouraged to come to office hours. If you have no concerns, questions, or difficulties, but would like to talk about something (or just introduce yourself), you are encouraged to come to office hours.

Marcia Groszek
Last updated January 05, 2015 10:44:42 EST