Math & Society

Instructor Name: 
Eva Thanheiser
Course Description: 

Do you want to have fun and satisfy the University Studies Capstone requirement?  If you have completed the 300-level math major/minor requirements, you have the background to appreciate how mathematics lives in the real world:  number theory and ATM's, groups used to solve differential equations, ring theory in geometry, algebra in physics-the possibilities are endless!!

Ironically, you live in a society where mathematics is at the foundation of many aspects of your lifestyle, but it is socially acceptable to avoid learning mathematics.  In "Mathematics and Society," you will examine the impact of math avoidance on marginalized populations.  Your contribution to counteracting this trend will be to share your mathematical enthusiasm with high school students through presentations at high schools or after-school programs.

Project Description: 

We'll start by looking at a variety of examples of applications of math to other math and in other disciplines.  Then you (individually or as part of a group-your choice!) choose your own topic to explore.  As you learn more about your topic through library and web resources as well as consulting with faculty, you will give short presentations in class.  By the end of the quarter, you will make a longer presentation to the class and write an in-depth paper on your topic.

We begin by reading and discussing literature which describes the impact of math avoidance on our society.  You will identify an interesting part of your math topic area suitable for presenting to high school students.  Based on this, you will prepare and deliver a math presentation to high school students.