Math 302,   NonEuclidean Geometry,   Fall 1999

Sec.Meetings Professor/EmailOffice PhoneOffice HoursFinal Exam
D1147 Altgeld,
MWF 11am
Susan Tolman
222a Illini 244-6260M noon, W 2pmF 17 Dec 8am
G1243 Altgeld,
MWF 3pm
John M. Sullivan
326 Illini 244-5930M 2pm, F 10amM 13 Dec 7pm

Web address:
Course information is available online at
Experiencing Geometry by David Henderson. We will use the new edition; this will be available by Tuesday (Aug 31) as a photocopied course packet at Notes-n-Quotes, 502 E John St, 344-4433, under "Math 302/Sullivan".
Other materials (please bring these to every class):
- a bound composition book for your journal entries;
- scissors and construction paper;
- transparent tape and thin masking tape;
- the tennis ball we lent you as a model sphere;
- further materials as announced in class.
Thomas Kuhnt ( and Man Li (
All department mailboxes are located in 250 Altgeld Hall.
The official prerequisite is sophomore-level calculus, but this course does not build on that material. What is necessary is a certain amount of mathematical maturity.
There will be weekly homework assignments, due on Wednesdays (and assigned by the previous Friday). The homework counts for 25% of the course grade. No late homework will be graded. However, late homowork is worth doing and handing in, and will be considered in borderline cases.
Before every Monday and Friday class, you will be given a discussion question. You should think about this at home and record your conclusions in a bound journal, which will be checked each day. Your thoughts will form the basis of our in-class discussions. This work and other in-class activities will count for 15% of your grade.
There will be two hour-tests on Fridays in class, on Oct 1 and Nov 5; the exact material covered on each will be announced by the preceding Monday. Each test counts for 15% of your grade. The final exam covers the entire course, and counts for 30% of the course grade.
Different Sections:
The two sections of Math 302 have different instructors, but will cover the same material at roughly the same pace. The exams will be comparable but slightly different. It will be considered cheating to discuss the contents of an exam with students in the other section between the two administrations of the exam.
This course introduces two-dimensional geometry, in the familiar Euclidean plane, but also in the sphere and the hyperbolic plane, as well as in more general surfaces. Learning to write good mathematical arguments is a goal of this course. We will occasionally meet in a computer lab for interactive demos on Wednesdays.

The first third of the course (covering the first five chapters in Henderson) examines the notions of straightness (allowing us to define lines in our surfaces) and of angles and circles; it ends with constructions for the hyperbolic plane. The second third of the course (covering the next five chapters) examines transformations, areas, congruence, and the parallel postulate. The final third of the course will cover selected additional topics.