University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Math 300
(Section 2)
Fundamental Concepts of Mathematics
Fall 2010

Click here to go the Homework Page
Click here to go to the Course Blog

Course News: These will occasionally be posted to the course web site.

Midterms 1,2 are scheduled for October 14, and November 18, 7-9 pm in LGRT 103. Midterm 2 is scheduled for November 18, 7-9 pm in LGRT 103. The Final Exam is scheduled for Dec. 17, 1:30-3:30 in LGRT 103.

Meeting times: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30-10:45, in Lederle 206. Additionally, during the first week of class, students will be assigned to a one-hour per week TA session. Please bring your schedule to the first day of class so that we can arrange the assignments. You should make every attempt to attend your own TA session, but if for some reason, you miss your TA session one day, you should feel free to attend another one that fits into your schedule.

Instructor: Dr. Farshid Hajir
Office: Lederle 1118
Phone: 545-6015
Email: hajir AT
Office Hours: Current office hours are Monday and Wednesday 2:00-3:00. These may change after a week or two depending on student demand. You are always welcome to set up an appointment by e-mail or phone.

Teaching Assistant and Seminar Leader: Nick Reyes
E-mail: nzreyes AT
Office Hours: Friday 3:30-5:30 in 1117 LGRT.

Blog: Here's a link to the course blog, which is a place where the students can discuss math, including additional problems posed by Farshid and/or Nick and/or the students themselves.

Texts: 1) Gilbert and Vanstone: An Introduction to Mathematical Thinking, Prentice Hall, 2005.
2) I have posted FARSHID'S COURSE NOTES to mywebsite.

Quizzes: Quizzes may be given by the TA during discussion sections or by Farshid during lecture; they will probably not be announced ahead of time. They will consist of one or two very simple questions. Absolutely no make-up quizzes will be given. Your lowest quiz grade will be dropped when computing your quiz average score.

Philosophical Remarks: They became so numerous, they lobbied successfully for their own page.

Homework: Homework will be posted on The Homework Page and collected every Thursday, unless otherwise noted, at the beginning of lecture. Late homework will not be accepted and the lowest homework grade will be dropped. Be sure to read and follow the homework rules.

Attendance: Attendance is required both during lectures and at the discussion sections. The instructors of the course consider attendance AND participation important ingredients for your success in the course. Frequent absences will be reflected in your grade.

Extra Credit: Some extra credit problems will be included in the homework assignments, or given during class.  The number of points for each problem will vary, as will the difficulty of the problem. The student with the most points at the end of the semester wins a fabulous prize. You may hand in Extra Credit solutions at any time throughout the term, until the last day of class.

   homework, quizzes, participation - 30%
   2 midterms - 20% each
   Final exam - 30%

Grading Scales


>= 93%


>= 90%


>= 86% and < 90%


>= 82% and < 86%


>= 78% and < 82%


>=74% and < 78%


>= 70% and < 74%


>=65% and <70%


>=60% and < 65%


below 60%

Tentative Class Schedule:

The approximate schedule of topics and readings is as follows.

Note: Readings in Gilbert-Vanstone are in (). Readings from Farshid's notes are in []. Thus, (1.2--1.6) refers to sections 1.1 through 1.6 of Gilbert-Vanstone and [II] refers to Chapter 2 of Farshid's notes.

  • Week 1: Problem Solving, Intro to proofs (1.1) [I]
  • Week 2: Reasoning methods, basic logic, sets (1.2--1.6) [II]
  • Week 3: Functions, injection, surjection, bijection, inverse (6.1--6.5) [III]
  • Week 4: Finite sets (6.6) [IV]
  • Week 5: Equivalence relations, partitions (3.3) [V]
  • Week 6: Review, MIDTERM 1
  • Week 7: Counting Principles [VI]
  • Week 8: Mathematical Induction (4.1--4.3) [VI]
  • Week 9: Elementary number theory, divisibility (2.1--2.5) [VII]
  • Week 10: Congruences (3.1-3.6) [VII]
  • Week 11: Review, MIDTERM 2
  • Week 12: The set of real numbers, countability (5.1--5.4) [VIII]
  • Week 13: Uncountable sets, Cantor's theorem (6.6) [VIII]
  • Week 14: Complex Numbers (8.1--8.4) [IX]
  • Week 15: Complex Numbers (8.5--8.8) [IX]