Connections in Mathematics
Instructor: Dr. Stephen C. Smith (ssmith@cvgs.k12.va.us)
Course Description:
This course provides students with introductory experiences in symbolic logic, binary and other bases, probability, conditional probability, set theory, voting schemes and apportionment theory, and numberous topics of personal finance and investment. Both EXCEL and a variety of websitebased applications will be used throughout the year. Emphasis is placed on conceptual understanding, solving real world applications, and fostering mathematical reasoning and communication.
Course Materials:
The text for this course will be “The Nature of Mathematics”, 10th ed., by Smith (no relation). You will be responsible for any text while it is in your possession.
Methodology:
The beginning of most class periods will be used to answer questions on the material that is due for that day. The rest of the class period will consist of a variety of activities which will include lecture, individual and group problem solving, and exploration of questions and concepts. It is strongly advised that you prepare for each class by working assigned homework problems and by reading and taking notes on the text to be covered in the next class.
Study Aids:
There are many reference books and web sites widely available that can serve as study aids for this course. However, it is unlikely that any materials beyond those provided in class will be necessary. If you feel at any time that you require additional assistance, please discuss this with me at the beginning or end of the next class.
Participation:
You should plan to be actively involved in class. This means being attentive and participating in class discussions and activities.
Absences (consult the Student Handbook for additional information):
When you miss any amount of class time, for any reason, it is your responsibility to contact a student colleague in the class to obtain the information you missed.
Foreseeable absences for any reason need to be discussed with the instructor in advance. Failure to do so will result in an unexcused absence.
If a student is absent (excused) for only one class meeting, upon return he/she is expected to have completed the work which was due on the day of absence. If a test was missed, the student is expected to take the test on the day of return. If a student misses two or more consecutive class meetings, he/she should talk to the instructor to devise a plan to catch up.
Work missed because of an unexcused absence cannot be made up. If a test is missed because of an unexcused absence, then that test grade will be lowered by 10 points for each day late.
Tardiness (consult the Student Handbook for additional information):
You are expected to be in our class, ready to learn, by our starting time. Given my responsibilities as the Director of the Governor’s School, I might not be in the room; that does not relieve you of your responsibility to be in the class, ready to learn, by the beginning of class. I will permit one unexcused tardy without any grade penalty. After that, I may lower your grade for each unexcused tardy.
Honor Code:
Students are required to pledge all work that they turn in for a grade. The complete pledge will be written out by hand and signed prior to completing the work. The pledge is as follows:
"I have not given, received, or observed any unauthorized assistance on this assignment."
Grading:
The grading scale is a standard 11/10/10/10 point scale.
89.5100  A 
79.589.4  B 
69.579.4  C 
59.569.4  D 
During the first semester students will work with introductory experiences in symbolic logic, binary and other bases, voting methods, apportionment schemes and paradoxes, probability, conditional probability, set theory, and nonroutine problem solving. Emphasis is placed on conceptual understanding, solving real world applications, and fostering mathematical reasoning and communication.
Specific Course Content and Objectives (First Semester):
the student will be able to:
 translate sentences to symbolic form,
 construct truth tables,
 state the converse, inverse and contrapositive of statements,
 determine the validity of an argument,
 design a simple circuit (or a gate) as a logic application,
 understand and use basic set theory concepts, including intersections, unions, complements, distributive and De Morgan’s laws, and cardinality,
 recall and be able to compare and contrast voting methods, voting dilemmas, apportionment methods and paradoxes
 convert numbers in the decimal, binary, octal, and hexadecimal systems,
 recall the processes necessary and properly solve problems related to the Fundamental Counting Principle, permutations, and combinations,
 compute probabilities and evaluate expected values,
 compute conditional probabilities,
 identify and solve problems using an Euler Circuit
 identify a Hamiltonian Cycle
 identify and construct a minimal spanning tree
 solve Traveling Salesman problems
 Tests (5 @ 120 pts = 600 pts)
 Test Corrections (5 @ 20 pts = 100 pts) Specific requirements must be met…
 Final Exam (1 @ 200 pts) This is a comprehensive semester final.
 Projects (3 @ 30 pts = 90 pts) These are completed individually or in teams.
 Class Participation (10 pts): Asking or answering questions well, putting problems on the board, and generally being attentive and engaged
This course provides students with experiences in topics of personal finance and investment and the use of EXCEL to facilitate calculations such as those used in an amortization schedule. Students will also learn the calculus basics necessary to participate in the Senior Science Scenario project during the sixth six weeks. The use of EXCEL and the free website www.Wolframalpha.com will be explored.
Throughout the course emphasis is placed on conceptual understanding, solving real world applications, and fostering mathematical reasoning and communication.
Specific Course Content and Objectives (Second Semester): the student will be able to:

Identify how payroll related taxes affect income; topics include
Gross, taxable and adjusted income
Social Security Tax/Medicare, Federal, State, Local payroll taxes
Tax brackets 
Identify and estimate major household expenses including:
Housing, insurance, transportation, and miscellaneous living expenses
College expenses, home purchasing, having a baby, raising a child from birth to 18, etc.  Explore credit card benefits and fees, debit card information, etc.

Compute origination fees, discounts, repayments, and total cost of loans
Compute simple interest
Compute compound interest (including discrete and continuous compounding)
Compute APR for addon interest loans 
Define the terms “stocks,” “bonds,” “mutual funds,” and “annuities"
Compute the effective (annual) yield
Compute average annual returns
Compute the present and future value (given certain assumptions) of annuities  Create an amortization schedule for a home purchase
 Use Microsoft EXCEL to numerically investigate data

Additional topics presented by guest speakers may include:
 the fundamentals of Group Theory
 Fractals and computing a fractal dimension
 special math problems and their solutions
 mathematical proofs (direct, proof by contradiction, existance proofs, and proof by induction)
 Tests (3 @ 150 pts = 450 pts)
 Final Exam (1 @ 200 pts) This is a comprehensive semester final.
 Finance Project (1 @ 100 pts = 100 pts) This is completed independently.
 Smaller Projects (2 @ 50 pts = 100 pts) These are completed independently or in teams.
 Class Participation: Asking or answering questions well, putting problems on the board, and generally being attentive and engaged is expected. Failing to do so can result in a deduction of points from the total points earned.
 SCubed grade (1@150 pts)