Math 230 - 101, Term 1 2011

Introduction to Finite Mathematics


Announcements will be posted from time to time. Please check regularly.

  1. Don't forget there is no class on Sept 6th due to UBC Imagine Day.
  2. A link to the Khan Academy for extra practice computations and videos. Here are some useful links for topics to try.
  3. Homework hand-in: Please leave them in a pile on the front desk before class starts on Thusday for me to collect. Thank you.
  4. The will be no office hours October 6th, November 3rd due to the midterm.
  5. Midterm details now up.
  6. UBC is closed Monday 10th October. Happy Thanksgiving!
  7. Well done on the great Midterm 1 average of 85% - Keep up the great work!
  8. More midterm details up.
  9. Project stuff:
  10. Congratulations on the excellent Midterm 2 average of 87% - Keep up the great work to the final!

Course details

Lecture details

Lecturer: S. van Willigenburg, office: Math 208, tel: 822-2630, email: steph at math splotch ubc splotch ca
Location: TuTh 14.00-15.30 IBLC 261
Web page:
Office hours: Mon 10-11am, Thur 4-5pm, 15 mins just after class, and by appointment (not Wednesday). You can also email me anytime.

Course description

This is for students who would like an introduction to mathematical thinking, and are interested in exploring mathematics constructively. It is suitable for students not in the Faculty of Science who would like to further develop their critical thinking skills or who would like to become elementary school teachers. Topics will include number theory, geometry and contortions of space.

In particular, this is not a remedial course in mathematics, nor a course in mathematical pedagogy.


The Heart of Mathematics: An invitation to effective thinking 3rd Ed, Burger and Starbird, Wiley. ISBN-13 978-0470424766.

This text is useful for another perspective on the material. A rigorous treatment of the material will be covered in class, so taking good notes is important.

Homework and Project

There will be weekly homework assignments due on Thursdays. The homework is the most important part of the course. Most of your learning will take place while doing it. We will not accept late homework except in very unusual circumstances. We will, however, drop the lowest homework grade.

There will also be a term project where you will present a topic in academic poster form.


Midterm 1, Thursday October 6th.
Midterm 2, Thursday November 3rd.
Final exam, Saturday December 10th.

Calculators, books, notes etc are not permitted in any exam. Please bring your student ID to all exams.

Please note that there are no make-up or alternate exams, so make sure you do not make travel plans, work plans etc that will conflict.
Valid documentation must be provided if any consideration is to be taken for a missed midterm.


Your grade will be based on

Note: Students must pass the final exam to pass this course. If a student does not attend the final, the deferred final will be worth 50%, and the remaining components rescaled appropriately.

Working together and academic integrity

Homework: We have no objection to collaboration on the homework, provided that it is done in a way that maximizes the benefit of the homework to all people involved. It is our experience that you get Regardless of whether you arrive at solutions in collaboration with others or alone, the paper that you turn in with your name on it should represent your own solutions, written in your own words.

In particular, you may not simply copy someone else's homework and turn it in as your own. Similarly, copying solutions that you might find on the web or from some other source is illegal.

These will all be treated as a violation of UBC's Academic Integrity Code. We take academic integrity very seriously and will follow university procedures in all cases of suspected cheating - disciplinary measures can result in expulsion.

Exams: There is anecdotal evidence that quite a bit of cheating occurs on campus. In an effort to prevent one common form of cheating, we will xerox a random sample of exam books before returning them.

Class etiquette

Use of cell phones (in any manner), laptops, pagers, Blackberries and other electronic devices during class is highly inappropriate and disrespectful to fellow students and the instructor. Chatting with neighbours, even when whispered, is equally unacceptable. If you have a question then please ask the instructor. Arriving late and leaving early is also discouraged. If it happens then please enter/leave the room silently and do not disrupt the other students or instructor. Thank you.

Online resources


Assignment 0, due never.
Assignment 1, due Thursday September 15th.
Assignment 2, due Thursday September 22nd.
Assignment 3, due Thursday September 29th.
No homework due October 6th, due to midterm exam.
Assignment 4, due Thursday October 13th.
Assignment 5, due Thursday October 20th.
Assignment 6, due Thursday October 27th.
No homework due November 3rd, due to midterm exam.
Assignment 7, due Thursday November 10th.
Assignment 8, due Thursday November 17th.


In mathematics it can take a long time to understand each sentence. Don't be alarmed if reading these solutions takes longer than usual, this is perfectly normal.

Assignment 0
Assignment 1
Assignment 2
Assignment 3
Assignment 4
Assignment 5
Assignment 6
Assignment 7
Assignment 8

Term project

Information sheet


Midterm 1, Thursday October 6th.
Midterm 2, Thursday November 3rd.
Final exam, Saturday December 10th.

Other handouts

Here are some more study materials I found to help, or might be interesting.

Other useful links