MATH 349
Operations of Order Fall 2023
Division III Writing Skills Quantitative/Formal Reasoning
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Class Details

One of the greatest challenges in mathematics is justifying interchanging orders of operations. Most of the time you cannot switch orders. Frequently this is obvious: the square root of a sum is typically not the sum of the square roots; however, there are many important situations where orders can be reversed. The purpose of this class is to highlight some of the difficulties and dangers in such attempts. This will be a writing intensive course, where we work on content for a book that collects counter-examples and theorems in one convenient place while also showcasing the utility of switching orders. We will discuss at great lengths how to do engaging, technical writing, keeping in mind the content and the audience. Students will receive feedback from the professor and probably other professional mathematicians and editors.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 19
Expected: 10
Class#: 1488
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Mix of homework, exams, and writing, including at least one chapter (consisting of theory, examples, images, homework problem creation and solutions).
Prerequisites: Math 250 or permission of the instructor.
Enrollment Preferences: If over-enrolled, students will be chosen uniformly at random.
Distributions: Division III Writing Skills Quantitative/Formal Reasoning
WS Notes: Students will be working closely with me and colleagues, receiving feedback on their writing from numerous sources (myself, editors, experts in the field), and their work will be part of the final, published manuscript. We will have numerous discussions about how to write, taking into account the audience and the content.
QFR Notes: This is a 300 level math course.

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