MS 151 - Finite Math

Professor: Erich Friedman

About the course:

We will meet Monday mornings at 10:00 (for 50 minutes) and Tuesdays and Thurdays at 2:30 in the afternoon (for 75 minutes) in Elizabeth 209. This course will cover chapters 1, 2, 7, and 8 of the text, Mathematics: A Human Endeavor by Harold Jacobs, as well as some other material. The topics we will cover are inductive and deductive reasoning, number sequences, mathematical algorithms, combinatorics, and probability. This course is an introduction to mathematical thinking and discovery. We will not be memorizing useless information, but rather learning how to solve mathematical problems that you may not have seen before. In addition to lectures, we will be having group discussions and doing group activites in class.

About me:

My e-mail address is My web page can be found at My office is Elizabeth 214-2. My office hours this semester are:

I am always in my office during these times. If you cannot make these regularly scheduled hours, let me know and we can set up another time to talk. Please come by if you need help, or if you just want to chat. You will see that when I lecture, it is informal. I will be calling you by your first name (or a nickname if you prefer), so please call me Erich.

About you:

You will not need much prior mathematical knowledge for this class. Attendance in this class is not mandatory, but since some of your grade is based on class participation, it would be wise of you to attend. If you fall behind later, come see me as soon as possible. Please be respectful of both me and your classmates. This means coming to class on time and not socializing in class. You will often be working in groups, but working together on the tests will obviously not be tolerated.

About the math department:

I am usually available to answer your questions, but the math department offers several additional ways to get help. Much of the day, free math tutors can be found in the math office, Elizabeth 211. Also, Nancy, the math secretary has a list of paid tutors available at other times. There is also a math clinic which runs most evenings in Elizabeth 209. Please seek help as soon as you fall behind.

About your grade:

Homework will usually not be collected, but I will answer questions in class as time permits. These problems will help you prepare for the tests, and you should do them. I encourage you to work together on the homework problems, but make sure you can do them by yourself

Class Participation is worth 1/4 of your grade. This includes contributing to the class discussion, working on the class activities, and possibly some pop quizzes.

Tests will be given about every two to three weeks, and will be announced at least a week before they occur. I do not give make-up tests. If you miss a test without telling me beforehand, you will receive a zero. You will be expected to show your work and justify your answers. Each of the 4 tests is worth 1/8 of your grade.

The Final Exam is comprehensive and is worth the remaining 1/4 of your grade.