Mathematics 108 -- Fall 2012 (August 18 2012)
W 12:30 pm-01:20 pm MSEE B012 David Drasin (MA 622)
The format of each class is a weekly presentation by an invited speaker/guest, each an
expert on a different aspect of mathematics in our world today. Our purpose is
to make prospective Mathematics majors aware of (some of the) career opportunities available
for graduates with a good mathematical background. In addition, we will try to give a glimpse of
some of the uses of mathematics in our world today, many may be unfamiliar to you.
Students are expected to attend each lecture, and submit a short (1-2 paragraph) report on the
experience. You will be expected to write at college level, and you should convince the reader
(me!) that you have learned something from the hour; I am also interested in comments about
the suitability of the level of presentation, and how appropriate you found the material. This
should not take a long essay--as you look at the number of students in the room you will see that I will have a lot to read. I would expect on average about 15 lines of text in two or three
paragraphs, but you should write enough to convince me that you thought about the material
in the talk. Organizing the course and reading the essays takes time, but I hope it will be worth it
to you. Most essays should incorporate material from links when provided by the speaker.
The format for submission is to use the link www.blackboard.purdue.edu, log in with your ITAP
account, select MATH 108, and paste your essay in the appropriate box. I do not want to have
to process Word documents or anything like that, just plain text: no other format
will be accepted. The deadline for each essay is
5 PM each Monday, that is, 5 days after the presentation. Please remember that this is a
college-level class, and your writing should try to mirror that. I expect good grammar and
spelling. This especially applies to international students.
NOTICE: I will read and correct most errors in language, etc., but your final grade will
depend only on my judgement that you attended the lectures and thought about the presentation.
I understand that different students have different preparations in mathematics and English.
Attendance is expected at each class, and usually I will take attendance.
The class has been divided into two groups, and write-ups for each talk are to be done by the group to which it is assigned.
This is a rather new course for the Mathematics Department, and while there is no exam, the
hope is that it will enrich your experience with mathematics and Purdue.
You may email me, although I may not check email more than once or twice a day.
My office hours are Wednesday 10:00-11:00, may change. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org