MATH 301 Introduction to Mathematical Analysis I (MW 1-2:45)
MATH 635 Foundations of the Finite Element Method (MW 5:30-6:45)
FYS 108 The Godfather of Numbers (MW 1-2:15)
Could one design the universe using just mathematics? That’s the question we’ll explore in this course. Numbers are the easiest, they can be hewn out of emptiness. For geometry, we’ll need the notion of “point,” leading to notions of length, distance, space. Circles and squares might be too boring, so we’ll also generate fractal shapes. Then comes physics, and some hard choices. What alternative to select for distance, whether to use “curved” geometry or not, whether to make the universe finite or infinite. Fortunately, we’ll have “The Godfather of Numbers” to guide us, the eponymous narrator of our textbook. Along the way, he’ll point out connections with science, philosophy, art, and show us how math is woven into our universe’s very fabric.
MATH 120 Introduction to Contemporary Mathematics (MW 5:30-6:45)
This will be a test version of a redesigned course that differs from the standard version offered in previous semesters. As textbook, we will follow “The Godfather of Numbers” a novel that explains mathematics in the context of the formation of the universe. The story shows how one can start with numbers, then build up arithmetic, geometry, and algebra, culminating in pattern formation and physics. Along the way, we will explore how the concept of infinity is key to several topics in contemporary mathematics.