Mathematics 165, Concepts of the Number System
Fall 2006 Syllabus

(Dec 21 06) Final grades posted! Check my numbers before Christmas. I'm submitting final grades soon after Xmas. Thanks for a fun semester!
(Dec 12 06) Grades updated
(Nov 30 06) Final Project Day moved to December 12
(Nov 11 06) Grades updated.
(Nov 4 06) Revised HW assignment schedule.
(Oct 24 06) Added grades through HW 7.
(Oct 9 06) Added grades through HW 4.
(Oct 2 06) Added a link to a PDF describing the midterm project.

Time. Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:00 - 12:15.
Place. 425 Thornton Hall

Instructor. Eric Hsu (, 932 Thornton Hall, 415-338-1104. Sporadically on AOL IM at the name EricHsuSFSU.

Office Hours. Tuesday 12:20-1:20, Thursday 1:00-2:00 and by appointment.

Class Home Page. Linked at <> Announcements, homework assignments, test schedules, grades and this syllabus are all posted here.

Course Objectives.

  • Help you learn and explore the number strand for the elementary curriculum.
  • Help you communicate with others about mathematics.
  • Help you see math as interesting and relevant.
  • Help you see yourself as capable of learning mathematics and solving mathematical problems on your own.
  • Introduce you to materials to teach content in the number strand to elementary school students.
  • Convince you that math is not a bunch of formulas to be memorized but problems to solve and patterns to find.

Textbook. None. There will be handouts in class.

Teaching Style and Attendance. About two-thirds of the time will be spent on activities in small groups. The other third will be lecture and discussion. Because of the emphasis on in-class activity, attendance is mandatory. Missing class without prior notice will cause damage to your academic experience, your grade, and may cause you to be dropped from the class roster.

Earning Points and Grades. There are a number of ways to earn points in the course:

  • Midterm (15%)
  • Final Exam (20%)
  • Homework (50%)
  • Projects (15%)
There is no curve, so the grades of your fellow students cannot affect your grade. You'll all be better off helping each other. Your grades will be posted to the class home page on a monthly basis.

Homework. Assignments will be given out on Thursdays and are due the next Thursday at the start of class. No late homework will accepted in any case, but I will let you drop at least one low homework grade.

You are allowed and encouraged to work on the homework in groups, but you must write up the solutions in your own words or it will be considered cheating.

Always include all your scratch paper; I like to give partial credit, but I need to point to some evidence of your work and thinking.

Tests. There will be one midterm and a comprehensive final exam. No makeups will be given without prior permission.

Projects.Your projects will be an investigation of some topic in mathematics. Here is a handout with more details. I'll give you more details about the final project later.

Bureaucratic Deadlines.

  • Oct 23: Fall '06 Last Day to Request CR/NC Grading Late withdrawals are generally not accepted by the College of Science.
  • Nov 17: Fall '06 Course Withdrawal Deadline. Last day of withdrawal from course or courses-written approval of instructor and college dean required. Not permitted except for serious and compelling reasons. Withdrawal period is September 26 - November 17, 2006.

Disabilities Resource Center. Students with disabilities needing reasonable accommodations are encouraged to contact me. The Disability Programs and Resource Center (Student Services Building, Room 110, (415) 338-1041, is available to facilitate the reasonable accommodations process.

Religious Holidays. I will make reasonable accommodations for you to observe religious holidays when such observances require you to be absent from class activities. It is your responsibility to inform me during the first two weeks of the class each semester, in writing, about such holidays.