CRN 22772

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Syllabus for Math 4303

The greatest danger for most of us is not
that our aim is too high and we miss it,
but that it is too low and we reach it.
(Michelangelo Buonarroti)

  • Time and Place. TR 15:00-16:20, LART 211.
  • Instructor. Dr. Helmut Knaust, Bell Hall 219,, (915) 747-7002
  • Office Hours. TR 13:30-14:30, or by appointment.
  • MfHST.jpg
    Textbook. Zalman Usiskin, Anthony L. Peressini, Elena Marchisotto, and Dick Stanley. Mathematics for High School Teachers - An Advanced Perspective. Prentice Hall. ISBN-13 978-0130449412 (paperback). A PDF version of the textbook can be downloaded at The textbook is required at all class meetings, and the parts covered in class are intended to be read in full.
  • Course Requirements.
    • Quizzes, etc.(15%): I will give regular, but unannounced quizzes in class. Quiz problems will be identical to prior homework assignments. There will also be some other assignments (worksheets, writing assignments). Your worst two grades will be dropped.
    • Exams (25% total): You will have two in-class exams on the following days: Thursday, February 29 and Tuesday, April 30.
    • Class Presentations (25%): Small groups of students will each design and conduct all classroom activities for a class session and will be responsible for the content covered in that session. Each group will also create homework assignments.
      • The groups will meet with me two weeks before their presentation for a trial run so that I will know that you are prepared. This is not optional. If you do not meet with me, you will lose half of your possible points.
    • Final Project (20%): There are mathematics problems that require more attention than just one day. Some of these problems are, for example, found at the end of the chapters in the textbook. Student groups will complete such a problem and present the results in class and in a written report during the final period Thursday, May 9 at 16:00 – 18:45.
    • Class Participation (15%): This is a Mathematics class, and, as you know, Mathematics is not a spectator sport. During class I expect you to participate. This is an active class where students daily present solutions to their peers. The participation grade will be based both on the quality and frequency of your contributions.
  • Grades. Your grade will be based on the percentage of the total points that you earn during the semester. You need at least 90% of the points to earn an A, at least 80% for a B, at least 70% for a C, and at least 60 % for a D.
  • Make-up Exams. Make-up tests will only be given under extraordinary circumstances, and only if you notify the instructor prior to the exam date. There will be no make-up quizzes.
  • Time Requirement. I expect that you spend an absolute minimum of six hours a week outside of class on preparing your group activities, reading the textbook, preparing for the next class, reviewing your class notes, and completing homework assignments. Not surprisingly, it has been my experience that there is a strong correlation between class grade and study time.
  • Attendance. Due to the nature of the course you are strongly encouraged to attend class every day. I expect you to arrive for class on time and to remain seated until the class is dismissed. Students with six or more absences (excused or unexcused) will be dropped from the course with a grade of "F".
  • Drop Policy. The class schedule lists Thursday, March 28, as the last day to drop with an automatic "W". After the deadline, I can only drop you from the course with a grade of "F".
  • Academic Integrity. All students must abide by UTEP's academic integrity policies. For detailed information visit the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (OSCCR) website. Academic Integrity is a commitment to fundamental values. From these values flow principles of behavior that enable academic communities to translate ideals into action.” Specifically, these values are defined as follows:
    • Honesty: advances the quest for truth and knowledge by requiring intellectual and personal honesty in learning, teaching, research, and service.
    • Trust: fosters a climate of mutual trust, encourages the free exchange of ideas, and enables all to reach their highest potential.
    • Fairness: establishes clear standards, practices, and procedures and expects fairness in the interaction of students, faculty, and administrators.
    • Respect: recognizes the participatory nature of the learning process and honors and respects a wide range of opinions and ideas.
    • Responsibility: upholds personal responsibility and depends upon action in the face of wrongdoing.
  • Texas Senate Bill 17, the recent law that outlaws diversity, equity, and inclusion programs at public colleges and universities in Texas, does not in any way affect content, instruction or discussion in a course at public colleges and universities in Texas. Expectations and academic freedom for teaching and class discussion have not been altered post-SB 17, and students should not feel the need to censor their speech pertaining to topics including race and racism, structural inequality, LGBTQ+ issues, or diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Military Service. If you are a military student with the potential of being called to military service and/or training during the course of the semester, contact the instructor as soon as possible.
  • Counseling Center. You are encouraged to go to Counseling and Psychological Services (202 Union West) for personal assistance as you work through personal concerns. Confidential counseling services are offered in English or in Spanish.
  • Disabilities. If you have a disability and need special accommodation, please contact the Center for Accommodations and Support Services (CASS). The Center aspires to provide students accommodations and support services to help them pursue their academic, graduation, and career goals. Phone 747-5148. E-mail:


Open Problems

  • 3.1.1: 3bcd,6,8.
  • 2.2.2: 6,7,15
  • 2.2.1: 1ef,2b


  • 4/18: Read 4.3.3. Problems 4.3.3: 2ab,7,8,13abc
  • 4.16: Read 4.3.1-4.3.2. Problems 4.3.1: 2ab,3; 4.3.2: 1acde
  • 4/11: Read 4.2.3. Problems 4.2.3: 1abc,2,3ab,5,6a,7ab
  • 4/4: Read 4.2.2. Homework
  • 4/2: Read 4.2.1. Problems 4.2.1: 1ab,2,3abcd,4abcde
  • 3/28: Read 4.1.1-4.1.2. Problems: 4.1.1: 4abc; Problems 4.1.2: 1ab,3ab,7
  • 3/21: Read 3.1.1-3.1.2. Problems 3.1.1: 2abc,3bcd,6,8. Turn in Worksheet 4 #c-f on 3/26, one written solution per student group.
  • 3/7: Worksheet 3 #5-7. Due on 3/19, one written solution per student group.
  • 2/15: Read 2.2.1-2.2.2. Problems 2.2.1: 1bdef,2b,4; Problems 2.2.2: 4,6,7,12 (use \(a=1+i\sqrt{3}\) instead),13,15
  • 2/8: Read 2.2.1. Problems 2.1.4: 1ac,5cd,8b
  • 2/6: Worksheet 2. Due on 2/8, one written solution per student group.
  • 2/1: Problems 5-9 on Worksheet 1. Due on 2/6, one written solution per student group.
  • 1/30: Read 2.1.3-2.1.4. Problems 2.1.2 5a & 2.1.3: 4abcde,5,6,8
  • 1/25: Read 2.1.1.-2.1.2. Problems 2.1.1: 3ab,8,9a,12ab & 2.1.2: 1
  • 1/23: Watch the videos on BB's Discussion Board and make comments.

Lesson Presentations

Presentation Details and Assignments | Rubric for Presentations

Final Presentations

Final Projects | Advice on Giving a Good PowerPoint Presentation, by Joseph Gallian. | A sample "project".


Worksheet 5 | Master of Arts in Teaching Mathematics | Worksheet 4 (This is basically Problem 3.1.2 (6).)| Quaternions.nb | Riemann.nb | Questions for Algebra Teachers, by Ira J. Papick | Worksheet 3 | Isometries of the Complex Plane | DigitRepresentation.nb | Ivan Niven, A simple proof that π is irrational. Bull AMS 53 (1947), 509. | Worksheet 2 (base 9) | Worksheet 1 | Wu's Principles

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