Math 302 Activities for Dropping Homework Grades, Fall 2001

You can earn the right to drop your lowest one or two homework grades.  To drop each grade, you need to do one of the following activities. (Note that it doesn't matter when you do the activity: your lowest grade from the whole semester will be dropped.)

For the purpose of record-keeping, send email to your instructor after you have completed any of the activities and before the next class.  The deadline for completing any of these activities is one week before the last day of classes.

Please note that there is no way to drop more than two homework grades!

  1. Attend any two mathematics talks from the following list:
  2. After attending, and before the next class meeting, send a note to your instructor.  You will be asked to say a few words about the talk in class, but you don't need to write anything about it.  Note that you should not expect to understand everything in the talk you go to (nobody does) but you should at least try to understand the main idea of the talk.  The department posts a weekly schedule of talks.

  3. Find and read an article related to geometry in the mathematics journal The American Mathematical Monthly and write a paragraph or two about it.  You will also be asked to say a few words about it in class.  With prior approval from your instructor, you can choose an article from another journal, for example a journal in mathematics education.
  4. Crochet or knit a hyperbolic plane. Instructions can be found in your textbook. If you choose this option, you will be asked to bring in your hyperbolic plane to class from time to time. However, you should find that having your own model makes it much easier to answer some of the problems we will ask in this course.  If you plan to do this, it will be most useful to do it near the beginning of the semester.  (There are probably other construction methods that, unlike paper, will result in sturdy and permanent models; if you have another idea for constructing a sturdy model, please talk to us about it.)
  5. Write a short story about life in hyperbolic space.  This should be about five pages in length.  For inspiration, you may want to look at  the books Flatland: A Romance of many Dimensions by Edwin Abbott and Geometry, Relativity and the Fourth Dimension  by Rudolf Rucker.
  6. Write a lesson plan related to some of the material that you have learned in this course. This should include
    1. The grade and level of the students. (The grade can be anywhere from preschool to 12th grade, and the level can be anywhere from special education to a project for just the few most gifted students.) You should also mention prerequisites, if there are any.
    2. Materials needed, if any.
    3. The objective of the lesson, that is, what you hope the students will be able to accomplish by the end of the lesson.
    4. The plan for what you will actually do in the lesson. This should include estimated time, the method(s) of instruction that you will use, and what techniques you would use to analyze the students' understanding.
    A reasonable length should be a page or two.
  7. Read a chapter in a Geometry book for high school students. Write a one to two page essay comparing and contrasting it to what we have learned in this class.
  8. Work through a section from the book that we will not cover in class. This includes all of chapters 12-14 and 17-22. It also includes sections 11.2-7, 15.4 and 16.5-6.
  9. Think of something mathematical to do that interests you! But be sure to get prior approval.