Math 220 (Section 906) -- Fall 2013

Foundations of Mathematics

Tuesday & Thursday 3:55-5:10, ZACH 333A

Quick Links:


Writing Assignments:

Math Department Math 220 Web Page:

Help Sessions Schedule:

Handouts: Proofs

Final Exam, Tuesday, Dec. 10 (1:00-3:00 PM, ZACH 333A)

Exam 2, Thursday, Oct. 31 (in class) Solution Key

Exam 1, Thursday, Sept. 26 (in class) Solution Key

Course Description:

The course is designed to provide a foundation for further study of mathematics beyond calculus. A major part of this foundation is to learn how to write proofs, and proof writing will be the main focus of the course. Students will be expected to
  • Correctly solve problems,
  • Write complete proofs of solutions in a coherent fashion,
  • Have a conceptual understanding of the material.
The core topics of the course include logic, set theory, number theory, induction, functions, relations, operations, and combinatorics. Other topics may be covered as time permits. A complete course description is available at Math 220 Course Description, and our detailed weekly syllabus can be found below.

Course Information:

Instructor: Matthew Papanikolas

Office Hours: Tues. 11:00-12:00, Thurs. 1:00-2:00; also by appointment

Office: 321 Milner


Textbook: The required textbook is An Introduction to Abstract Mathematics, by Robert J. Bond and William J. Keane, Waveland Press, 1999, ISBN-10 1-57766-539-2, ISBN-13 978-1-57766-539-7.

Course Syllabus: The course covers most of chapters 1-5, 7. See below for a detailed weekly syllabus.

Writing Course: Math 220 is an official Writing Course, and hence about 1/3 of your grade is based on how well you communicate your ideas beyond simply solving problems. Your writing skills will be taken into accont on all work in the course, and especially on Proof Writing Assignments and Exams.

Calculators: Use of calculators on homework is perfectly acceptable. However, calculators will not be permitted on exams.

Prerequisite: Math 172 (second semester calculus) or equivalent.

Course Webpage:

Department Webpage: The department's page on Math 220 is available here.


There will two types of written homework to be handed in separately. In all cases, it is perfectly reasonable for students to collaborate on homework, but each student is expected to write up solutions individually. Students turning in nearly identical work may not receive full credit on assignments.

Homework Problem Sets: There will be weekly assignments of problems from the text, which will be turned in for a grade. Your two lowest homework scores will be dropped at the end of the semester when calculating your homework average. Homework sets will be posted here

Proof Writing Assignments: There will be weekly assignments that emphasize writing proofs. Your grade on these assignments will be based on how well you organize your mathematical arguments and how clearly you present them. Your two lowest writing assignment scores will be dropped at the end of the semester. These writing assignments will be posted here

Exam Schedule:

There will be 2 in-class exams during the semester, as well as a cumulative final exam. The dates and times are listed below.

Exam 1

Exam 2

Final Exam


Sept. 26 (Thurs.)

Oct. 31 (Thurs.)

Dec. 10 (Tue.)
1:00-3:00 PM






Your final course grade will be determined by your performance on homework, writing assignments, and exams. The contribution of these items toward your grade are as follows:





Writing Assignments


Exam 1


Exam 2


Final Exam


The following grade distribution will be used in determining final course grades:


Percentage of Total Points











Detailed Syllabus:

We will use the following schedule for lectures, covering material out of the given sections of Bond & Keane. We will adhere to this schedule as closely as possible, though changes may be necessary as the semester progresses.

Week 1 (8/27, 8/29): Sections 1.1-1.2
Week 2 (9/3, 9/5): Sections 1.2-1.3
Week 3 (9/10, 9/12): Sections 1.4, 2.1
Week 4 (9/17, 9/19): Sections 2.2-2.3
Week 5 (9/24, 9/26): Section 3.1; Exam 1 on Thurs. 9/26
Week 6 (10/1, 10/3): Section 3.2
Week 7 (10/8, 10/10): Section 3.3
Week 8 (10/15, 10/17): Section 4.1
Week 9 (10/22, 10/24): Section 4.2
Week 10 (10/29, 10/31): Section 5.1; Exam 2 on Thurs. 10/31
Week 11 (11/5, 11/7): Section 5.2
Week 12 (11/12, 11/14): Sections 5.3, 5.4
Week 13 (11/19, 11/21): Sections 5.5, 7.1
Week 14 (11/26): Section 7.2
Week 15 (12/3): Finish Section 7.2 and Review
Tue., 12/10, 1:00-3:00 PM: Final Exam

Course Policies:

Missed Work: Making up missed work (including missed exams and homework) will be arranged according to University policies only. A university approved excuse must be provided to the instructor in writing (e-mail is sufficient) within 1 working day for exams and within 2 working days for other work.

Academic Dishonesty: "An Aggie does not lie, cheat, or steal or tolerate those who do." It is not permissible to hand in the work of others for a grade, including work on exams, quizzes, and homework. You are allowed to discuss homework with others, but your write-ups are expected to be done on your own and in your own words. Copying the work of others will be prosecuted to the full extent possible under University policies. Please see the Honor Council Rules and Procedures on the web at

Disability Assistance: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact Disability Services in Cain Hall, Room B118, or call 845-1637. Students seeking speical considerations for an exam must contact this office several weeks in advance of the exam. For more information, visit

Copyright Information: All printed handouts and web materials are protected by US Copyright Laws. No multiple copies can be made without written permission of the instructor.

Contact Information: Course announcements may occasionally be made via e-mail (e.g. in case of a change to office hours or to correct potential errors in homework problem sets). Students should regularly check their TAMU e-mail accounts.

Page maintained by Matt Papanikolas, Dept. of Mathematics, Texas A&M University.