2011-12 Catalog

Decorative graphic

Offering Description

Mathematical Systems

Fall 2011, Winter 2012 and Spring 2012 quarters

Brian Walter (F,S) mathematics, computer science, improvisational theater , Rachel Hastings (F,W) linguistics, mathematics
Fields of Study
mathematics and philosophy of science
Preparatory for studies or careers in
mathematics, physics, mathematics education, philosophy of mathematics, and history of science.
One year of calculus. In some cases, two quarters of calculus may be sufficient; students with only two quarters of calculus experience should contact the faculty at bwalter@evergreen.edu to discuss their level of readiness for this program.

This program is built around intensive study of several fundamental areas of pure mathematics. Covered topics are likely to include Abstract Algebra, Real Analysis, Set Theory, and Combinatorics.

The work in this advanced-level mathematics program is likely to differ from students' previous work in mathematics, including calculus, in a number of ways. We will emphasize the careful understanding of the definitions of mathematical terms and the statements and proofs of the theorems that capture the main conceptual landmarks in the areas we study. Hence the largest portion of our work will involve the reading and writing of rigorous proofs in axiomatic systems. These skills are valuable not only for continued study of mathematics but also in many areas of thought in which arguments are set forth according to strict criteria of logical deduction. Students will gain experience in articulating their evidence for claims and in expressing their ideas with precise and transparent reasoning.

In addition to work in core areas of advanced mathematics, we will devote seminar time to looking at our studies in a broader historical and philosophical context, working toward answers to critical questions such as: Are mathematical systems discovered or created? Do mathematical objects actually exist? How did the current mode of mathematical thinking come to be developed? What is current mathematical practice? What are the connections between mathematics and culture?

This program is designed for students who intend to pursue graduate studies or teach in mathematics and the sciences, as well as for those who want to know more about mathematical thinking.

Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Required Fees
$75 for program retreat in spring.
Upper Division Science Credit
Upper division science credit in mathematics will be awarded for work in most of the subjects covered in this program.
Offered During