Summary: Math 181 A: Advanced Problem Solving:
Historical and Pedagogical Contexts, Spring 2006
Instructor: Bill Jacob
Office: 6719 South Hall, Phone: 893-8048
Office Hours: Monday, 10:00-12:00, Wednesday, 1:00 to 2:00, also by appointment.
Text: Math 181 A Reader. Available at the Alternative Copy Shop in Isla Vista.
Final Exam: Tuesday June 11: 8:00 11:00 a.m.
Attendance: You must be punctual and always attend class. It is not possible to complete the
work for this course if you miss class. We will have an enjoyable time in this class, but if you
are the type of person who likes to skip class meetings and do all the work prior to exam
week, please leave now.
The Course: The purpose of this course is to take an in-depth look at the recent use of
problem-solving as a basis for mathematics instruction. During the past decade, the National
Science Foundation as well as other federal and private agencies have supported the
development of new mathematics curricula, a number of which are used in local schools.
Students who complete this course will have a better understanding of how these curricula are
designed to promote students' conceptual understanding of mathematics. We will also
examine some of the controversies that surround the new curriculum.
Problem solving will be studied from three points of view.
· First, students will be expected to collaborate on a number of challenging mathematical