Transition to Formal Mathematics: Math 299, Section 5

Fall 2013

Instructor: David Duncan
Email: duncan42[at]
Office: Wells Hall C-315
Office Hours: By appointment
TA: Minh Pham
Lecture: M, W, F 12:40-1:30, Berkeley Hall 319
Recitation: Th 3-4:20, Wells Hall A-106


Homework will be due at the beginning of every lecture, unless otherwise specified.


The Final will be held on Monday, December 9 from 10 am -12 pm in Brody Hall 112. If you have an exam conflict, then you should go to Wells Hall C-212 before December 6 to tell them you need to take the make-up exam (if you do not do this then you cannot take the make-up exam).

The final will be accumulative. You can expect approximately 1/3 of the problems to test on the material from the first midterm (set theory and logic), 1/3 to test on material from the second midterm (proof techniques and number theory), and 1/3 to test on the more recent material. Here is a more detailed list of the recent material:

Here is an exhaustive list of material that could show up on the final.

Remember that having the correct solution to the problem is only part of the story. You also need to express your solution coherently. In studying for the exam you should practice writing up your solutions to problems in essay format, since this is how you are expected to answer problems on the exam.

Here is a set of review problems for the final. You do not need to hand this in. Solutions.

I will be holding additional office hours on Saturday 12/7 from 1-3 pm and on Sunday 12/8 from 2-4 pm.

Midterm 2

The second midterm will be held on Thursday, November 7 during the recitation.

This midterm will test on a subset of the following:

You will not be tested on the group axioms, the infinitude of the primes, Diophantine equations, or modular arithmetic.

Here is a set of review problems for Midterm 2. You do not need to hand this in. Solutions

The MLC will be holding a review session in Wells Hall A108 on Wednesday Nov. 6, from 7:30 pm to 9:50 pm.

Here is some additional review material. Many of these problems will be covered in the MLC review session. Warning: There is some material in these worksheets that you are NOT expected to know for the exam (see above for what you ARE expected to know). Review 1, Review 2, Review 3, Review 4.

Midterm 1

The first midterm will be held on Thursday, October 3 during the recitation.

The midterm will test on a subset of the following:

Here is a set of review problems for Midterm 1. You do not need to hand this in. This review sheet is designed to focus your attention on what to study for the midterm. If you understand how to do all problems on this review sheet, then you should have no difficulty understanding the problems on the midterm.


12/6: I will be holding additional office hours on Saturday 12/7 from 1-3 pm and on Sunday 12/8 from 2-4 pm.

11/15: Here is the handout from class on the real number axioms. Here is a version with more details (you are not required to hand in the two exercises at the end).

10/16: Here is the Methods of Proof Handout from class today. Here are solutions.

10/14: Here are solutions to the recitation worksheet from Oct. 10: Page 1, Page 2

10/9: Here are some notes on axioms.

9/24: The rewrite of essay 1 is due on Friday, October 4. Here are some more details. Here are solutions.

9/20: The Math Learning Center in Wells Hall offers tutoring for this class at the following times: M, T, W 1:40-4 and 6:20-8:40; Th 6:20-8:40. Our TA, Minh, is there M, T, W 2:50-4:00, and also M, W 7:30-8:40.

9/13: Please double space your solutions to Essay 1.

9/11: The due date for Essay 1 has been extended from Monday 9/16 to Wednesday 9/18.

9/11: The assignment for Homework 5 has been modified. (Problems 4 and 5 are no longer required.)

9/9: Here is the supplement handed out today in class.

8/28: Dr. Schenker has posted some useful comments for students who are beginning to write mathematics. (Dr. Schenker was the instructor for the summer session of this course. This summer session was the very first time Math 299 was offered at MSU.)

8/28: The Math Learning Center is an excellent (and free!) resource. Note that they have certain hours dedicated specifically to Math 299.

8/28: There will be a quiz during the first recitation (8/29) of the semester. It will cover the material from the first lecture (8/28).

Other Information

Last modification 1/4/2014