Euclidean and Non-Euclidean Geometry
Department of Mathematics and Computer
- Meeting times:
- 10:00 - 10:50 MTThF Thompson 374
- Final Exam: Math 300 has a final exam scheduled for Monday, May
12, 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM. It will be a two-hour, comprehensive exam having the weight of two
hour exams. University regulations require that all students in this class
take the final at this time.
- Bob Matthews (email firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Thompson 390E
- Extension 3561
- Office hours:
- 11:00 - 11:50 MTThF
- Or by appointment.
- If you catch me free at any time, please feel free to drop
in. Messages sent via email are welcome, and can be used to ask
a question or to set up an appointment.
- Required: Greenberg, Marvin J.: Euclidean and
Non-Euclidean Geometries W.H. Freeman and Company, 2008. We will
work our way through the first eight chapters of the textbook, and cover
as much of chapter 10 as time permits.
- Required: A straight-edge and compass (some inexpensive
ones are available at the bookstore).
- Other readings as assigned. In addition to readings from
the textbook (which will be our primary reference), we will,
from time to time, leave the textbook to explore ideas and
questions generated by the text using other sources.
- A particularly
useful resource is
MacTutor History of Mathematics web page at the University of St.
- Prerequisites: Math 181 or permission of the instructor.
Weekly reading and lecture schedule
- Three hour exams + a comprehensive final: (The final exam will have the
weight of two hour exams).
- Written exercises will be given the weight of one hour exam. I
will make assignments from the textbook on a routine basis, and
will select problems from each assignment to grade. You may also
be asked to present your work on the board. Last semester I tried assigning problems to small groups, and then
asking each group to make a presentation in class. I plan to continue
that this semester some time after the first several weeks. These
assignments will be part of the homework score.
Some comments on the course:
A course in Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries serves several
purposes in the undergraduate mathematics curriculum. For prospective
teachers, it is a course required by many states for teacher
certification. For many, it is the first course that involves
rigorous proof. For students interested in the philosophy and history
of mathematics, it provides an important example of how mathematics
works, how one does mathematics, how mathematics has developed over
time (together with false starts and wonderful surprises), and gives
insight into what are commonly called 'foundational issues' (What are the role
of axioms? What is
the nature of proof? What is the nature of mathematical truth? What,
if anything, does this all mean? What is the geometry of the space
We will approach all of these issues in the course of this term.
We will study geometry by doing it. From the practical point of view,
this means that we will spend time learning how to prove things and
how to present results both orally and in writing. Along the way we
will talk about and work with the process of discovery, the
uncovering of hidden assumptions, the rigorous presentation of results, and
the logical and philosophical foundations of mathematics (and some of
the issues surrounding those foundations).
- Foundational issues
- Proofs and methods of proofs
- Lots of geometry, and
- Philosophical issues
It will be a lot of work, but it should also be a great deal of
Some Important Dates:
Please check the Master
Calendar for important dates in the term (last day to add/drop,
Please note that the last day to withdraw with an automatic 'W' is Monday,
March 3. The rules for withdrawing from a class have changed.
Please review the revised policy on course withdrawals in the
Hour Exams will be held on the following dates:
- Exam 1: Friday, February 22
- Exam 2: Friday, March 28
- Exam 3: Friday, May 2. Please note that this is during the
last full week of classes.
Math 300 has a final exam scheduled for Monday, May 12, 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM. It will be a two-hour, comprehensive exam having the weight of two
hour exams. University regulations require that all students in this
class take the final at this time
Return to my home page