Stephen Greenfield, Department of Mathematics
Counts in Interdisciplinary Math/Sciences
MTh 2 SEC 203 (BC)
Prerequisite: All students wishing to enroll must have a good knowledge of precalculus. Further knowledge of mathematics, computer science, and other sciences will help and is recommended.
The title is a joke: "New Math" was the name of a style of instruction a generation ago which would quickly make math deficiencies vanish. It didn't and they didn't. This seminar will cover concepts and ideas in mathematics that have been invented (or discovered!) in the last 50 years. Since mathematics can be relentlessly cumulative, and in recent years estimates are that 250,000 to 300,000 new "theorems" have been published annually (!), this may seem daunting, but we will try! Generally, the seminar will include mathematics that is essentially NEW: substantially invented/discovered within the last 50 years, mathematics that can be explained with few prerequisites (but see note above, please), mathematics that is important in areas collateral to mathematics and perhaps even to much of society, and mathematics that can be discussed effectively. Possible topics include:
Most of the pedagogy will be traditional in mathematics (instructor standing, students sleeping). I'll try to actively involve students in working out examples and extensions of the material. Computers will be used for some of this and appropriate instruction will be given.
STEPHEN GREENFIELD is a member of the Rutgers Department of
Like everyone else in the business, he mostly teaches
he recently created and several times taught a course on
and public policy. He also has jointly instructed a course
with a physicist.
He believes that learning and teaching mathematics is
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