Math 347 Geometry

TuTh 7-8:15 WH C-155

Matt Jones                   email:        

Website: You will find the syllabus and course assignments on the website.        

Office:  NSM A-120             phone:  (310) 243-2410

Office Hours:        Tu.          4-5:20pm

                                Th.          3:30-5:20pm

Th.          8:20-9:10pm

                                And by appointment

Text and Materials:  There is no text for this course.  We will be working from handouts and developing our own study materials as a class.  As this is a geometry course, you will need to make diagrams and sketches frequently.  For this reason, you should always bring a pencil, a ruler, a compass, and a protractor to class and use them to help you make accurate diagrams whenever possible.  In addition, we have access to the Geometer’s Sketchpad program to do explorations and examples.

Course Description and Philosophy:  This course is designed to enhance your understanding of geometry.  Geometry in this class means not only the familiar (but perhaps forgotten) Euclidean geometry from high school, but also non-Euclidean geometries, such as spherical and projective geometry.  We will see that non-Euclidean geometries are of value by themselves, but also help us to understand Euclidean geometry better.

The style of this class will probably be different than most math classes that you have experienced in the past.  In this class, you, the students, will be responsible for finding and understanding the solutions to the problems we encounter.  My responsibility as the instructor is to provide guidance to you in learning geometry as well as mathematical thinking.  I am not “the source,” and rarely is there an “answer key.”  In this class, as in life, if you want answers, you have to find them.

Goals:  Students will understand

·         Fundamental ideas of mathematics used in geometry:  proof, axiomatization, and definition

·         Essential geometric principles of congruence and similarity

·         Distinguishing features of Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries, and in particular the importance of the parallel postulate

Expected Outcomes:  By the end of this course, students will be able to:

·         Write, read and correct both proofs and definitions

·         Prove principal theorems of Euclidean geometry, including triangle congruence theorems and equivalent forms of the parallel postulate

·         Identify objects which are congruent or similar and establish congruence or similarity with a proof

·         Identify familiar Euclidean theorems which are false in spherical and/or projective geometry, and identify corresponding theorems (if they exist) in non-Euclidean space


Class participation log and journal   214 points

Assignments                                          96 points

2 Exams and 1 Quiz                              400 points

Final                                                       290 points

Total                                                       1000 points

Class participation log and journal:  For each day of class beginning Thursday, January 27, excluding exam days, you are expected to write a two-part entry.  The first part, the log, will be a record of your actions in class, including:  (1) a detailed description of any results you presented in front of the class, including the number of the problem, whether it was a proof, a counter-example, a calculation, etc., and whether your presentation contained any mathematical errors;(2) a detailed description of any comments you made about results presented by others (including the professor), including the number of the problem and the type of comment (question, correction, assisting the presenter’s explanation); (3) a brief description of any small group discussion(s) you may have had during the class.  The second part, the journal, will be a reflection on what you learned in the class, and each journal entry should be at least 120 words.  Occasionally, you will also be asked to read an article and comment on the reading in your journal. 

Log and journal rubric:  You are expected to type your class participation journal and log in single-spaced 12 point font, and turn it in on February 15, and again on the last day of class, Thursday, May 12.  You earn points based on the contents of your journal and log as follows:  For each correct and complete journal entry, you will receive 4 points.  If you are absent, you cannot receive points for that day’s journal entry.  I keep attendance records and I check journals against these records.  You also receive 20 points for each correctly presented complete solution to an assigned problem, 3 to15 points for partially correct or partially complete solutions (less credit is given for presentations which are very incomplete or which the presenter cannot explain), 2 to 10 points for comments, questions, or any assistance given to clarifying another presenter’s explanation.  The log is your record of your work in class, and you are responsible for keeping complete and accurate data.  You may submit your log and journal at any time for feedback (or to have your points counted).  You can receive up to 25 points extra credit for extensive participation recorded in your log.

Assignments will be given on a weekly basis, due each Tuesday, will each be worth 8 points, and will have 6-12 problems:  problems will be marked as “for presentation/discussion” or “for careful write-up.”  As suggested by the names, presentation problems will be discussed in class, while I will read at least one of the problems marked as “write-up.”  You receive one point for each correct “write-up” problem, and the remainder of the points will be given for showing work, including partial and scratch work, for the “presentation problems.” If you are absent, you are responsible for getting your assignment to me on the day it is collected.

Exams/Quiz: A quiz will be given on March 1, and exams will be given March 22 and April 26.

The Final will be given on Tuesday, May 17, from 7-9pm, and will be cumulative.


Creating Conditions for Successful Learning:  Research shows that one of the most important factors determining success in math class is the amount of time spent working on the material.  This applies to you in more than one way: 

  • be in class, every class, and be on time,
  • be prepared to participate in group work and discussions every day so that class time is not wasted, and
  • aim to spend 1 hour every day, not including class time, working on homework assignments, readings, journals, and studying.

In addition, you need to have:

  • your assignments with you and ready to turn in on the day they are due
  • phone numbers and emails of at least 2 classmates so that you can be informed if you miss a class.


Make-up Policy:  I do not accept late or make-up work.  If you experience a major emergency, special arrangements may be made at my discretion.  Please make every effort to contact me as soon as possible when you know you will miss a class due to an emergency; do not wait until the next class to ask about being excused from an assignment.


Grading Scale: A:  92% or better, A-:  88-91%, B+:  85-87%, B:  81-84%, B-:  78-80%,

C+:  75-77%, C:  71-74%, C-:  66-70%, D:  62-65%, F 61% or below.


Academic integrity is expected.  Cheating, fraud, plagiarism or other academic dishonesty is unacceptable and will be cause for disciplinary action.