Math 13 (44627) - Fall 2019
Introduction to Abstract Mathematics
Dr. Neil Donaldson
M+W 11--12 + 1--2
MWF 12pm SST 120
TuTh 10am SSTR 100
RH 250A/Tu 2--4 + Th 2--3
Logic, Proof, Divisibility, Sets, Induction, Relations, Cardinality of Infinite Sets
Math 13 - An Introduction to Abstract Mathematics
free(!) for download on the Homework/Notes Page. If you want a more
traditional textbook for extra reference/questions, several suggestions are listed on the first page of the notes.
For a more detailed syllabus including sections covered per day and assessments click
The final grade for the course will be computed as follows:
45% Final Exam, 25% Midterm, 15% Quizzes, 15% Homework
- Homework Questions
will be set most weeks and collected in discussion.
One homework will be dropped.
- Six quizzes will be given in discussion classes. They will generally assume knowledge of the homework submitted that week. One quiz will be dropped. Homeworks and quizzes will generally occur during the Thursday discussion (except in the week after Thanksgiving - see the syllabus).
- Midterm: during normal class time on Wednesday 30th October
- Final exam: is in the usual classroom Monday 9th December, 1:30--3:30pm.
The exam will be comprehensive.
Add/Drop & Enrollment Questions
In Mathematics classes, decisions pertaining to wait-lists, adds, drops, and pass/no-pass changes are
NOT made by Instructors. Refer
for information on how to navigate the system. Essentially you have til the end of week 2 to complete all adds, drops and grade changes, all of which is done online.
Class Policies + Grading
- The final exams will be available for you to consult, but not take away, in the Winter quarter.
- No calculators in the quizzes and exams.
- Make sure you have a legible ID card for the exams. If your UCI ID has a smudged picture, bring your driver's license.
Your exams will not be graded without proof of who you are.
- Late homework will not be accepted for credit although we will be happy to discuss its mathematical quality with you.
- The purpose of dropped quizzes and homework is to allow you a day off, for whatever reason, be it fun or serious.
In order to have a second quiz or homework dropped, you must provide documentation to the TA covering AT LEAST TWO assessments.
If you choose to sleep in and miss one assessment early in the term before getting sick later on, you will have wasted
- Any administrative questions regarding homework or quizzes should be directed to the TA. For exams, speak to the instructor.
- There will be no opportunity for extra credit. Generally speaking, any request to be treated differently to other
students will be granted only in the case of a documented emergency.
- No curving of scores will be done. As a guide to how you are doing, you will receive a letter-grade equivalent with
your midterm score. An overall letter-grade scale will be fitted to your calculated percentage at the end of term in line with the following metrics:
- A grade of C means you are should be able to cope with any class that has this one as a pre-requisite.
- An A grade means two things:
- You know the definitions and theorems well enough to be able to apply them in unfamiliar situations.
- You should be able to teach the core course material. This means being able to explain what the concepts mean, not simply being able to perform computations.
Both the Math department and UCI take a dim view of dishonest behavior with regards to assessments: submitting another's work as your own, copying during exams, bringing notes to exams, etc. Harsh penalties are in place for students who are caught; depending on the seriousness you may be given an F for the assessment, for the class as a whole, or even suspended from the University.
While office hours and discussion sessions will hopefully be enough to get you through the course, other resources are available. In particular,
- Disability Services Center (DSC) If you have any medical condition which might justify extra time or a quiet location for examinations, talk to the DSC as early as possible.
- UCI Counseling Center an excellent place to start if you're feeling stressed...
Math 13 can be a very challenging class. Upper-division and research-level mathematics is largely about
understanding and communicating why something is true rather than learning a list of techniques to solve particular types of problems. This emphasis is likely very unfamiliar and you may feel that what you are doing is not mathematics at all! The first step is one of acceptance! Here are a few tips to help you study and, hopefully, help you get you over the hump
so that you can find higher-level mathematics fun!
- The purpose of coming to lectures is to listen to what's being said and to engage your brain!
If you're simply copying what's on the board and not participating than you're wasting your time. Read the
notes and ask questions!
- After each lecture, while things are fresh in your mind, write your notes out carefully,
filling in any gaps and adding any (hopefully helpful) comments you heard in the lecture. Compare what
you've written with the provided notes. It is essential that you write your notes in your
own words or you won't gain familiarity with the concepts. If you don't understand what you're writing,
bring your questions to discussion/office hours.
- Math is about being logical and communicating your understanding. This means writing in sentences and
carefully including all relevant steps. Take your time and think about the presentation.
- All this work requires time: you should be spending more time studying outside of lectures/discussions
than you spend inside. You shouldn't expect a good grade just from turning up to class. Treat college like a full-time job.
- A self-test. When you've finished writing some notes, or a homework answer, ask
yourself two questions:
If you're confident that the answer to both these questions is yes, then you should be well on the way an A...
- Will I understand what I've written in a few weeks?
- Could someone else understand what I've written without my being there to help explain it?
- Finally, immerse yourself in something. In order to enjoy higher-level mathematics, you need to let yourself enjoy it.
This means playing with a topic, making conjectures and investigating on your own. If you have an idea, or want to know
what's next in a particular topic, ask questions! Students who do this get the best grades, are best suited to
graduate-school and, most importantly, enjoy math the most!