Math 3510 - Junior Honors Seminar
Applications of Geometry
Dr. Sarah J. Greenwald
Where to Get Help
326 Walker Hall,
I am always happy to help you in office hours. An open door
means that I am on the floor somewhere, so come look for me.
Check this often.
Dr. Sarah's MAT 3510 WebCT
The Bulletin Board
is the easiest way to ask a math question outside of class and office hours.
You are responsible for reading all posts - you should check the bulletin
board about once a week.
I prefer that you use office hours since it is easier to discuss
material in person, but if you can not make them, then the newsgroup
is a great alternative.
I usually check the newsgroup numerous times every day including the
Geometry at Work by Cathy Gorini
handouts given out
loose-leaf notebook to organize handouts, notes and your work
printouts of your work -
for information about ASU charging for print services.
Course Syllabus and Goals
While geometry means measuring the earth, too often it is presented in an axiomatic way, divorced from reality and experiences. But in this course, we will use intuition from your experiences with hands on
models and data to understand real-world applications of geometry such as the geometry of the universe and applications of geometry to art, mapping the brain, robotics, graphics, space shuttle navigation and
We will begin by studying the geometry of the earth and
universe and a historical overview of geometry. The rest of the
topics will be chosen by student interest
(see http://www.cs.appstate.edu/~sjg/class/geo.html for
possible topics). In the process, we'll see the interplay between geometry and
numerous other subdisciplines such as (depending on the topics chosen
by the students)
linear algebra, modern algebra,
analysis, differential equations, probability and statistics.
In addition, we will see the connections between geometry and
fields such as
(depending on the topics chosen
by the students)
history, physics, astronomy, philosophy, art,
computer science, architechture, medicine, biology and chemistry.
Secondary goals of this class include
devloping the skills to read and write mathematics,
how to handle notation, how to use library resources effectively, and
how to present mathematical information in a
clear and concise way. Students will write about mathematics from both technical and expository viewpoints, and will research their chosen topics
using the resources in our library and those available over
In this manner,
we will work to improve research, writing and typesetting
has been designated as a
writing intensive, and
Plan to spend 4-6 hours
per week, out of class, on average, on this course.
Attendance and participation are expected and required.
Please try to be punctual in attending, as I try to start each class on time.
If you must be late to a class, or must leave early,
then do still attend, although
you can expect that the portion of the class that you miss will be deducted
from your attendance allowance.
You are responsible for all material covered and all announcements
and assignments made at each class, whether
you are present or not. You are also responsible for announcements
made on the web pages, so check them often.
revisions will be allowed in
response to comments I have made. Respond to the comments-use them as
invitations to clarify your
understanding of the problem or my understanding of your solution.
You cannot turn in revisions unless you have
turned in work when it was originally due and
you must resubmit the original along with the revision.
Typically, you will have one
week to revise your work.
When writing up work, be sure to give acknowledgment where it is due.
Submitting someone else's work as your own (PLAGIARISM) is a serious
violation of the University's Academic Integrity Code.
Asking questions, and explaining things to others, in or out of class,
is one of the best ways to improve your understanding of the material.
This course is to be an environment in which everyone
feels comfortable asking questions,
making mistakes, offering good guesses and ideas, and is respectful to
You should explore each problem
and write out your
thinking in a way that can be shared with others.
Focus on your own ideas.
Turn in projects or prepare to present problems
even if it they are not complete, even if only to say, "I do not
understand such and such" or "I am stuck here."
Be as specific as possible. Conjecture.
In this course, you will be challenged with problems that you have never
seen before. I do not expect you to be able to solve all the issues
immediately. Instead, I want to see what you can do on your own.
Out in the real world, this is important, since no matter what job
you have, you will be expected to seek out information and answers
to new topics you have not seen before.
This may feel uncomfortable and frustrating. I understand this
and want to help you through the process.
It helps to remember that
there are no mathematical dead-ends!
Each time we get stuck, it teaches us
something about the problem we are working on, and leads us to a
deeper understanding of the mathematics.
In the real world though, you are not expected to face your work alone.
You will be allowed to talk to other people
may even be expected to work with other people.
In this class, you are also not expected to face your work alone.
I encourage you to talk to me often in class, office hours,
and the bulletin board.
I am always happy to help you in class, during office hours (or by
appointment), or on the WebCT bulletin board, and will
try to give you hints and direction.
At times though, to encourage the exploration process,
I may direct you to rethink a problem
and to come back to discuss it with me again afterwards. This occurs
when I believe that the struggle to understand is imperative for your
deep understanding of the material.