Syllabus for MATH 480 Section 1

Senior Seminar

Spring Semester 2007, CRN: 82747

Textbook: No Text Book
Meetings: F, 11:30AM to 12:20PM in Keller 401
Instructor: Dr. George R. Wilkens
Office: Keller 308
Phone: (808) 956-4677
Hours: TR, 1:30PM to 2:30PM, and by appointment.
E-mail: grw at
Home Page:


We will review and synthesize the mathematics you have learned during the course of your studies. For the first half of the semester we will discuss calculus, linear algebra and differential equations. The second half of the semester will be taken up with your presentations. A presentation has two parts: first, you present a mathematical topic of your choosing to the class; second you distribute a writeup of your presentation to the other class members. Presentations are described in more detail below.

TeX, Lectures and Projects

TeX: There are many varieties of TeX. The preferred one for mathematics seems to be LaTeX, together with the AMS extensions -- AMS LaTeX. You will probably want to load a version of TeX onto your personal computer:
  • TeX for the Macintosh
    • Everything you need is contained in the MacTeX Distribution -- start here
  • TeX for Windows
    • Everything you need is contained in the proTeXt - MiKTeX Distribution -- after you click here, click on the "download the self-extracting image" link.
  • TeX for Unix/Linux
    • If you use a Unix/Linux system, it is very likely that TeX is already installed. Try executing `which tex' or 'which latex' at the command line to check.
    • If you setup your own Linux system, you probably know all about TeX already.
All the resources listed above are free. But, you will have to read the instructions on the various web pages to get a smoothly functioning installation on your home computer. If you do not have a computer of your own or do not have internet access, MikTeX and WinShell are installed on the computers in the undergraduate lounge, to which you all have access.

Lectures: I plan to write up the lectures in LaTeX and make the source available on this web site. You will need to TeX the files in order to get a readable version of the notes. My hope is that this will provide enough incentive for you to become familiar with TeX before you write up your presentation. You can also use the files as a starting point for your write up.

Download TeX file of the class notes.

Projects: A requirement of the course is that you submit a 3-5 page writeup of your presentation in the mathematical typesetting language TeX. Below is a link to a short template which you can use to get started. (Please don't try to do anything funny like changing to a larger font, or widening the margins, ... to make your writeup look longer than it is.) Your presentation writeup is due one week after your in class presentation.

Download TeX template for your presentation writeup.

Here are some sample projects for your examination.

Presentation Schedule
Date 11:30 to 11:43 11:45 to 11:58 12:00 to 12:13
 02 - Mar  Natividad, Joanne P.  Muller, Taoata  Lyster, Bethani D.
 09 - Mar  Nelson, Lucinda A.  Ganoot, Michael G.  DeVor, Jerry M.
 16 - Mar  Matsui, Alena T.  Nguyen, Vu N.  Ng, Marsha S.
 23 - Mar  Bennett, Vann M.  Craven, Kevin P.  Ubando, Shanae A.
 13 - Apr  Turituri, Kaylla P.  Billon, Evanita Marie D.  Cunningham, Krystina K.
 20 - Apr  Yamauchi, Bryce K.  Bastarache, Michael P.  McGrain, Janette K.
 27 - Apr  Cheng, Billy H.    

Grading Policy

Math 480 is graded on a pass/fail basis. Your grade will be determined by my professional assessment of your performance in the course, based on attendance, a presentation and your taking the Mathematics Department Assessment Exam at the end of the semester.

Attendance: Attendance in Math 480 is mandatory. The rules governing attendance are as follows:

  • Excused absences
    • An excused absence is when you miss a class period and provide me with a valid excuse.
    • I alone determine validity of an excuse.
    • You are allowed one excused absence
    • Subsequent excused absences must be made up in a manner to be determined by me.
  • Unexcused absences
    • An unexcused absence is when you miss a class period and do not provide me with a valid excuse.
    • Again, validity of an excuse is determined by me alone.
    • If you have a single unexcused absence you will receive the grade NC (failing).

Presentation: You will complete one in class presentation (about 13 minutes) together with writeup. The topic of the presentation should be from a 400 level course you have taken. The level of the presentation should be so that others in the class can understand it. The presentation should be written up in TeX (about 3-5 pages in length).

Assessment Exam: The Mathematics Department administers an assessment exam to all graduating seniors. The exam consists of several problems from each course offered by the department. You are to complete:

  • problems from the calculus sequence (Math 241 - 244, Math 251 - 253)
  • problems on elementary logic and reasoning (Math 321)
  • problems from the advanced courses you have taken
In order to pass Math 480 you you must take the assessment exam. If you do not take the assessment exam you will receive the grade NC (failing). You must take the exam even if you are not a graduating senior. That said, your grade in Math 480 is not predicated on your performance on the exam, just that you take it.

The assessment exam is administered during the final exam period. You must pick up a copy of the exam in the Associate Chair's office, Keller 419, sometime during the final exam period. After completing the exam you return it to the Associate Chair's office; you must return the exam before the end of the final exam period, and within two days of when you picked it up.

Summary: You can fail Math 480 in one of the following ways:

  • Having one unexcused absence
  • Failing to make up an excused absence as required
  • Not doing a presentation, or doing a poor presentation
  • Not taking the assessment exam at the end of the semester

Academic Expectations

It goes without saying that all academic work should be done with the high levels of honesty, integrity and excellence that this University demands. Cheating will not be tolerated. It is your responsibility to ensure that you do not copy from another student, or let another student copy from you.

Please read the Math department's web page on academic expectations for more information.

  Last modified: Thu May 10 12:44:40 HST 2007

Valid HTML 4.01!

Made With A Mac