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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Mathematics : Mathematics

Undergraduate Course: Proofs and Problem Solving (MATH08059)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Mathematics CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course is designed to introduce and develop the fundamental skills needed for advanced study in Pure Mathematics. The precise language of professional mathematicians is introduced and the skills needed to read, interpret and use it are developed.

The 'Axiomatic Method' will be developed along with its principal ingredients of 'Definition' (a statement of what a term is to mean), 'Theorem' (something that inevitably follows from the definitions) and 'Proof' (a logical argument that establishes the truth of a theorem).

Constructing proofs, and much other mathematical practice relies on the difficult art of 'Problem Solving' which is the other main theme of the course. Facility comes only with practice, and students will be expected to engage with many problems during the course.

The principal areas of study which are both essential foundations to Mathematics and which serve to develop the skills mentioned above are sets and functions, and number systems and their fundamental properties.
Course description This syllabus is for guidance purposes only:

1. Sets, proofs quantifiers, real numbers, rationals and irrationals.
2. Inequalities, Mathematical induction.
3. Upper Bounds, Least Upper Bounds and Limits.
4. Monotone Convergence. Decimals, Series.
5. Complex numbers, roots of unity, polynomial equations, fundamental theorem of algebra.
6. Euclidean algorithm, prime factorization, prime numbers.
7. Congruence, primality testing.
8. Equivalence relations, functions.
9. Counting and choosing, binominal coefficients, more set theory.
10. Permutations.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Higher Mathematics or A-level at Grade A, or equivalent
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students are advised to check that they have studied the material covered in the syllabus of each prerequisite course before enrolling.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  550
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 30, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 17, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Revision Session Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 143 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Students must pass exam and course overall.
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 80 %, Coursework 20 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework 20%, Examination 80%
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)(MATH08059) Proofs and Problem Solving2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)(MATH08059) Proofs and Problem Solving2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Show an appreciation of the axiomatic method and an understanding of terms such as 'Definition', 'Theorem' and 'Proof'.
  2. Read and understand Pure Mathematics written at undergraduate level, including 'Definitions', 'Theorems' and 'Proofs'.
  3. Write clear meaningful mathematics using appropriate terms and notation and to analyse critically elementary Pure Mathematics presented or written by themselves or others.
  4. Understand and be able to work with the fundamental ingredients of sets, and functions between sets, and the basic properties of number systems.
  5. Solve standard and 'unseen' problems based on the material of the course.
Reading List
Students will be provided with electronic notes based on "A Concise Introduction to Pure Mathematics" by Martin Liebeck.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Wei En Tan
Tel: (0131 6)50 5043
Course secretaryMs Louise Durie
Tel: (0131 6)50 5050
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