Math 475.01 Spring 10

Official Title. Math 475: Capstone Course for Secondary Teachers

Instructor. Eric Hsu, TH 932, erichsu@math.sfsu.edu


Class Meetings. TuTh 2:10-3:25 in Trailer R-4 (nicer than it sounds).

Office Hours. Tu 1:00-2:00 and by appointment.

Web Page. Link at http://math.sfsu.edu/hsu


Prerequisites. Officially: Math 335 and concurrent enrollment in Math 370, or consent of instructor.  Unofficially: Be on track to complete a Math BA by Fall 2010, which means 335 (or concurrent enrollment in 335) with intent to take 370 in Fall 2010.


Bulletin Description. This course builds on students’ work in upper division mathematics to deepen their understanding of the mathematics taught in secondary school. Students will actively explore topics in algebra, analysis, geometry and statistics.


Informal Description. Much research shows that amount of coursework in mathematics does not correlate to teaching effectiveness. One issue is that the undergraduate curriculum usually is not explicitly linked to high school mathematics. This course is a chance for us to return to high school mathematics with advanced mathematical tools and maturity. We will look at key questions that come up in high school classrooms, and consider rigorous answers as well as explanations accessible to students.


Learning Objectives. Students will be able to (1) analyze and prioritize key big ideas from the high school curriculum, (2) analyze high school mathematics content both with rigor and in a way accessible to students and (3) see the use of mathematical reasoning in the work of teaching (for instance, in understanding student thinking, connecting student creativity to class content, making connections across the curriculum, finding extensions to the standard content).


Evaluation of Students. Assignments will be weighted: Homework (50%), Big Problems (25%), Final Projects (15%), Class Contributions (10%).


Homework. Small assignments will be given each class and are to be submitted once a week on the following Wednesday by 11:59pm over e-mail.


Big Problems. There will be at least twelve Big Problems assignments along the way. To pass the course, you will need to do try at least six Big Problems. Don’t worry, they aren’t that Big.


Midterms and Finals. There are no timed tests in this course. Instead, at the midpoint of the semester, you will need to have 3 of your Big Problems submitted. By the end of the official final exam time (Tuesday May 18, 4:00), you will need to have 6 of your Big Problems submitted. 


Submitting Work. Except in rare cases, all assignments should be typeset by computer and submitted over e-mail as an attachment. 


Final Project. This will be some kind of math presentation due by the end of the official final exam time. Details to come.


Textbooks and Software. None required, except that you need to typeset your mathematics and output to a single PDF or Word DOC (not DOCX please).  LaTeX is best, but you may find Equation Editor easier.