Saint Joseph's University
Math 1011, Sections 102 & 103, Fall 2002

Instructor:  Dr. Rachel Hall
Office: 229 Barbelin
Office Hours:  M 10-11, T 1-2, Th 2:30-3:30, and by appointment
Telephone: (610) 660-3096 (Office)

Course Goals.  To strengthen and expand our understanding of fundamental mathematics, including arithmetic, algebra, and geometry, through comparative study of the mathematics of world cultures.  To appreciate the contributions of all cultures to the development of mathematics.  To explore the connections between mathematics, art, and music.  The course will be particularly appropriate for majors in elementary education and fine arts and any student who is interested in world cultures.

Text and Supplies.  There is no textbook for this class.  Course materials include class notes, handouts, and postings on the class web page.  You will be required to purchase some supplies, such as scissors and a ruler.

Projects.  There will be two major projects, to be done in groups.  An essential part of the project will be explaining your work to your classmates in a brief presentation.  Part of your project grade will be based on peer evaluation.

In-class work.  This includes worksheets and group work.  If you are absent on the day in-class work is assigned, you will receive a zero for that assignment.

Homework.   Homework assignments will be posted at   You should start working on the homework problems for a section as soon as that section is covered in class.   I will not collect the homework,  but I strongly urge you to do it, as your quiz and test problems will be based on homework problems.  I will also post solutions to homework problems on the web.

Quizzes.  We will have a quiz at the beginning of almost every class.  At least one-third of your quiz grades will be dropped.  No makeup quizzes will be given.

Tests.  There will be three midterms, scheduled for Thursday, September 26th,  Thursday, October 31st, and Thursday, December 5th, and a final examination, given during the week of December 10th-16th.  Makeup tests will only be given to students who contact me within 48 hours of missing a test.  Students with a valid, verifiable reason for missing a test may take a makeup without penalty;  those who have missed a test without a valid, verifiable reason may take a makeup with a 30% penalty.

Grades.  Grades will be weighted as follows:
40%  highest two midterm exam grades
30%  final exam
15%  quizzes  (highest 2/3 of quiz grades)
10%  projects
5%    class participation and in-class work

The grading scale is 94-100% A, 90-93% A-, 87-89% B+, 84-86% B, 80-83% B-, 77-79% C+, 74-76% C, 70-73% C-, 67-69% D+, 60-66% D, and below 60% F. Grades may be curved at the end of the semester.

The C- Guarantee.  I don't want anyone to fail this class.  In fact, I'm willing to make you a promise:  If you attend EVERY class, participate in in-class work, make an honest attempt on every quiz and exam, complete the projects, and hand them in ON TIME, then the lowest grade you will receive is a C-.  GUARANTEED.

Academic Honesty.  Dishonesty includes cheating on a test, falsifying data, misrepresenting the work of others as your own (plagiarism), and helping another student cheat or plagiarize. Academic dishonesty will result in a grade of zero on that particular assignment; serious or repeated infractions of the Academic Honesty policy will result in failure of the course. For complete information about the University's policy on Academic Honesty, consult the Student Handbook 2002-2003.

Attendance.  Class attendance is mandatory.  Although I do not have a rigid cut policy, anyone who has missed lots of classes and is doing poorly in the course should not expect much sympathy from me.  If you do miss a class, it is your responsibility to make up the material.


Number systems.  Finger counting.  Number words.  A comparative study of the earliest written number systems from around the world.  Discussion of base and place value.  History of the decimal system.
Arithmetic.  Algorithms for addition, subtraction, and multiplication of integers and why they work. 
September 26th  First Midterm 
Fractions, Ratios, and Proportion.  Egyptian fractional notation.  Similarity of scale.  Proportions in art.  Understanding pi as a ratio.
Areas and the Pythagorean Theorem.  Geometric construction of area formulas.  Geometric proof of the Pythagorean Theorem.  The Plimpton Tablet and Pythagorean Triples.  Fermat's Last Theorem.
October 31st Second Midterm
The mathematics of sona drawings and celtic knots.  Sona drawings and Eulerian paths.  Symmetry and the mathematics of patterns.
The mathematics of drumming.  Rhythm notation.  Polyrhythms and the LCM.  Fibonacci numbers and poetry.
December 5th Third Midterm
December 10th-16th Final Examination

This schedule is subject to change.

August 24th, 2002