Mathematics and its Environment

Faculteit Science and Engineering
Jaar 2020/21
Vakcode WMMA013-05
Vaknaam Mathematics and its Environment
Niveau(s) master
Voertaal Engels
Periode semester I b

Uitgebreide vaknaam Mathematics and its Environment
Leerdoelen After finishing the course, students are able to

1) set up a research project on the position of mathematics as a scientific discipline, with strong societal relevance,
a) asking research questions with a historical, policy or scientific background,
b) processing information which helps understanding problems in a limited amount of time,
c) finding relevance for a research project outside the field of mathematics, but with relation to that field.
2) present some provocative thoughts on specific highlights of 20th century mathematics,
a) giving short presentations on newly acquired knowledge relating to the current state of mathematics,
b) defending ideas on the position of mathematics in society,
c) discussing the use and position of mathematics in academia.
3) take active part in discussions on the present position of mathematics in both society and in academia,
a) challenging set concepts on the position of mathematics,
b) challenging ideas on the working of academia in public
4) relate how academics skills and knowledge on mathematics can be of use to other disciplines, both inside and outside academia,
a) reviewing their own work on mathematics in relation to its position within academia,
b) the work of peers on the position of mathematics within academia
Omschrijving Students construct a survey of the environment of modern mathematics. They learn to set up focused and limited research projects to acquire information on specific subjects.

The course is a combination of short lectures, in which the teachers introduce topics from the 20th century history of mathematics. Students will give their own views on these topics in a series of short presentations. These presentations are the basis for discussions both inside and outside the classroom. Students are expected to contribute through modern media.

Starting with three broad themes all students are obliged to present their own findings on three broad themes from the 20th century (Proof, Bourbaki, and Mathematics and Society). After this, two specialists will introduce further topics, to broaden the scope of the course (mathematics and technology, and mathematics and communication). Finally, the course work is concluded with a discussion on ethics, both concerning the use of mathematics as well as in functioning in academia more in general.

All students will (1) give two short presentations (PechaKucha-style) on two different subjects. (2) Write one online-article (Wikipedia/Blog/Facebook/Social Media-style). (3) write a research paper on a subject relating to the general theme of the course.
Uren per week
Onderwijsvorm Hoorcollege (LC), Opdracht (ASM), Werkcollege (T)
Toetsvorm Opdracht (AST), Presentatie (P), Verslag (R)
(Two oral presentations (total 25% of final grad), one online review/blog/short article (total 25% of final grade), a final research paper (total 50% of final grade). The average of all marks should be higher than a 5.5. Non of the marks should be lower than 5 (if that is the case a reperation assignment can be required))
Vaksoort master
Coördinator dr. A. Mali
Docent(en) dr. A. Mali
Entreevoorwaarden The course builds on knowledge of the second year bachelor course History of Mathematics.
Opmerkingen This course was registered last year with course code WMMA16002
Opgenomen in
Opleiding Jaar Periode Type
MSc Applied Mathematics: Computational Mathematics  ( MSc Applied Mathematics: Computational Mathematics ) - semester I b verplicht
MSc Applied Mathematics: Systems and Control  (MSc Applied Mathematics: Systems and Control) - semester I b verplicht
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MSc Mathematics: Mathematics and Complex Dynamical Systems - semester I b verplicht
MSc Mathematics: Science, Business and Policy  (MSc Mathematics: Science, Business and Policy) - semester I b verplicht
MSc Mathematics: Statistics and Big Data  (MSc Mathematics: Statistics and Big Data) - semester I b verplicht
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