Math 615, Elementary Number Theory SEC#:21772
|Course:||Math 615, Elementary Number Theory SEC#:21772|
|Class Time:||4:00-5:15 MW, January 19 - May 9|
|Text:||Elementary Number Theory, 7th edition, David M. Burton, McGraw Hill|
|Instructor:||Prof. William H. Richardson|
|Office:||Room 322 JB|
|Home Page:||http://www.math.wichita.edu/~ richardson|
|Office Hours:||11:00-11:45 TR, 2:00 - 3:00 MW and by Appointment|
First we should understand what is meant by "elementary number
theory." Number theory is divided into four branches: elementary (or
classical) number theory; algebraic number theory; analytic number
theory; and computational number theory. "Elementary" number theory
means that the mathematical tools needed are elementary (non-calculus
based). The major attraction of elementary number theory that has made
it so popular among non-professional mathematicians is that the
problems can be stated so that anyone can understand them. That does
not mean that everyone can solve the problems. The most famous example
is that of "Fermat's Last Theorem" which states that there are
non-trivial solutions to the equation
Through the centuries number theory has been, by far, the favorite area of study for non-professional mathematicians. But even the greatest of the professional mathematicians have had a love and appreciation of this field. One of the greatrest mathematician of all time, Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777 - 1855) proclaimed: "Mathematics is the queen of the sciences and number theory is the queen of mathematics."
Many people, and I am among them, find number theory quite fascinating. At times, from my desire to share with you as much information as I can about this material, I may talk too fast and write too fast. If I go into this mode please request that I slow down. I am well aware of this problem and would appreciate your help in overcoming it. If, during a lecture, you have trouble understanding a concept, don't hesitate to ask a question at that time. You may forget it if you wait. I do not mind being interrupted to answer questions. This is how learning takes place.
This section of Math 615 will try to cover Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11 and 14 of the assigned text, with some additions and omissions. Math 615 may be quite a bit different from any other mathematics course you have taken. The major goal of the course is to have some fun and learn some interesting properties of the integers. Some very interesting and seemingly complex problems can be solved using very basic mathematics and strong logic. On the other hand, some very simple looking problems may require a considerable amount of thought.
A tentative daily schedule is not provided. Since no course depends on this course as a prerequisite, we may, on occasion, go off on tangents to examine topics of interest to the class. We will probably have three exams during the semester plus the final exam. A tentative examination schedule is as follows: Exam 1 will be given after we finish the material through Chapter 3, Exam 2 will be given after we finish the material through Chapter 7, and Exam 3 will be given over the remainder of the material covered.
There will be no individual make up exams given. Exams will be either in-class exams or take-home exams. The Final Exam, which will be a comprehensive examination, will serve as a make up for any and all missed exams.
Wednesday, May 11, from 3:00 to 4:50 PM.
If you are planning to leave Wichita at the end of the Spring Semester, make your travel plans early. "I have plane reservations." is not an acceptable reasonfor missing the final examination.
To be successful in a mathematics course one must work problems and attend class. We consider mathematics to be a participation course, not a spectator course. You cannot learn by just watching someone else do mathematics. You should do all problems assigned whether they carry point value or not. If you have difficulties with any concept or problem ask questions in class or come to my office for help. Don't be bashful!
Not all assigned problems will be graded. The reward for doing homework will be higher quiz and test scores. This is a fact!
Attendance is not graded; however, students who attend their mathematics classes do better than those who don't!
Don't hesitate to ask questions in class. This is part of the learning process.
Cell phones and pagers must be turned off during class. If
there is an emergency situation that requires you be reachable, let me
know and be sure that your phone, or pager, is immediately available so
that its ringing will not disturb the class. Also sit in the back of the class so that you may leave with minimum disturbance to the class.
All work assigned to you for grading will be given a point value. Your grade will be determined by the percentage of the possible points you received.
The following scale gives an idea of the worst grade you would receive.
100 - 94 A
College of Education students in teacher preparation programs should go to the web site below for additional needed information: