Instructor Information

Course Syllabus

MATH 335 is intended for students who would like an introduction to mathematical thinking. It is suitable for students who would like to get an idea of what mathematics is and how mathematicians look at the world. It is also suitable for students who would like to become elementary school teachers, but is not a course in mathematics pedagogy nor is it a simple review of elementary school mathematics.

Students often come to this course with past "traumas" in their mathematics education. This couse is an opportunity to face your fears about mathematics in a safe environment. While it can be difficult to face mathematics anxieties, particularly ones rooted in childhood, it can also be a liberating experience. Most students discover that they have an innate ability to do mathematics.

There are three basic goals for this course.

  1. To attain a better understanding of some rich mathematical ideas.
  2. To build sharper skills for analyzing life issues that transcend mathematics.
  3. To develop a new perspective and outlook at the way you view the world.


The required textbook for this course is The Heart of MATHEMATICS - An Invitation to Effective Thinking by Burger - Starbird. The ISBN is 9781118235706. This is the student companion site.

Please note the e-text is substantially cheaper than the hard copy. I will also put a copy of the textbook on 2H-reserve in the library so that you don't have to haul the binder around campus with you.

Students may use an older edition of the book, but note that there may be differences in page number references and problem numbering between different editions. It is up to you to deal with any such potential inconsistencies if you use a different edition of the text.

Grading Scheme

Note that a student must score at least 40% on the final exam to pass the course, regardless of the grade computed by the normal calculation. Your grade will be broken down as follows:

Component Weight Date Notes
Assignments 10% Weekly written and online
Term Project 10% Mar 14 See the Term Project section
Workshops 10% Weekly Please register in one.
Midterm 1 15% Feb 12
in class
Material from Weeks 1 - 5
Midterm 2 15% Mar 23
in class
Material from Weeks 6 - 10
Final Exam 40% Apr 21
This is cumulative exam.

Course Policies

  1. The final examination generally will not be weighted higher for students who perform better on the final examination than they did during the term, although some allowance may be made for students who perform much better on the final examination than they did during the term. (In practice, this rarely happens and the criterion will be set by the Instructor-in-charge.)

  2. No unauthorized electronic devices will be allowed at any assessment, including quizzes, midterms, and the final examination. This includes cell phones, smart phones, music players, and all other such devices. Formula sheets and other memory aids will not be allowed.

  3. No calculators will be allowed on the quizzes, midterms, or the final examination.

  4. Missing a term assessment: If a student misses a workshop, quiz, or test that student shall provide a valid documented excuse otherwise a mark of zero will be entered for that session.

    Some examples of valid excuses are an illness which has been documented by a physician, or an absence to play a varsity sport (your coach will provide you with a letter).

    A physician's note must specifically state that the student was medically unfit to write the missed assessment on the date of the assessment. Absence of this exact information will result in a mark of 0. Your instructor should be notified within 48 hours of such an absence and appropriate documentation should be produced within 7 days. Failure to comply with these time limits will result in a mark of zero.

    Please note that a student may NOT have 100% of their assessment based on the final examination. A student who has not completed a substantial portion of the term work normally shall not be admitted to the final examination.

  5. Missing the Final Exam: You will need to present your situation to the Dean's Office of your Faculty to be considered for a deferred exam. See the Calendar for detailed regulations. Your performance in a course up to the exam is taken into consideration in granting a deferred exam status (e.g. failing badly generally means you won't be granted a deferred exam). In Mathematics, students sit the next available exam for the course they are taking, which could be in December 2016.

Academic Misconduct

  • UBC takes cheating incidents very seriously. After due investigation, students found guilty of cheating on tests and examinations are usually given a final grade of 0 in the course and suspended from UBC for one year. More information.

  • While students are encouraged to study together, they should be aware that blatant copying of another student's work is a serious breach of academic integrity. All submitted work must be your own. Cases of suspected cheating will be investigated thoroughly.

  • Note that academic misconduct includes misrepresenting a medical excuse or other personal situation for the purposes of postponing an examination or quiz or otherwise obtaining an academic concession.