# MAT 143 Problem Solving in Mathematics

This is a sample syllabus only. Ask your instructor for the official syllabus for your course.

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### Revised Course Description

Objective is to increase students' abilities to use knowledge and experience when encountering new and unexpected situations. Develop higher level thinking skills, learn to formulate, analyze, and model problems. Choosing relevant information, making conjectures, devising plans and testing solutions. Intended primarily for prospective mathematics teachers.

MAT 143 meets for three hours of lecture per week.

### Prerequisites

Fulfillment of the ELM requirement.

### Objectives

After completing MAT 143 students will

• demonstrate improved mathematical thinking by
• tackling questions and discussing them
• reflecting on this experience
• monitoring and evaluating one's own thinking
• studying the process of resolving problems
• noticing connections between what is learned and one's own experience
• demonstrate improved knowledge about problem solving in the mathematics curriculum by
• differentiating between problems and exercises in mathematics
• explaining the different roles that different types of problems play in the curriculum
• identifying factors that affect problem difficulty and problem-solving performance
• describing the role of problem solving in generating mathematics

### Expected outcomes

Students should be able to demonstrate through written assignments, tests, projects, papers, presentations, portfolio of total work for the semester, and/or scheduled examinations that they have achieved the objectives of MAT 143.

### Method of Evaluating Outcomes

Evaluations are based on problem solving performance tasks, homework, projects, papers, class presentations, short tests, portfolio of total work for the semester, and/or scheduled examinations covering students' understanding of topics covered in MAT 143.

### Text

Thinking Mathematically, by John Mason, Leone Burton, and Kaye Stacey. Addison-Wesley, 1985.

#### Contents

• Specializing and generalizing
• Three phases: what do I know, what do I want, and what can I introduce.
• Responses to being stuck
• Attack: conjecturing
• Attack: justifying and convincing
• Developing an internal monitor
• Becoming your own questioner
• Developing mathematical thinking

Students' grades may be based on problem solving performance, homework, projects, papers, class presentations, short tests, portfolio of total work for the semester, and/or scheduled examinations that test students' understanding of the topics covered in the course (see "Method of evaluating outcomes"). The instructor determines the weight of each of these factors in the final grade.

### Attendance Requirements

Attendance policy is set by the instructor.

### Policy on Due Dates and Make-Up Work

Due dates and policy regarding make-up work are set by the instructor.

### Schedule of Examinations

The instructor sets all test dates except the date of the final exam. The final exam is given at the date and time announced in the Schedule of Classes.