LSU College of Science
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Math 3903

Current catalog description:

Math 3903 Methods of Problem Solving (1) Prereq.: MATH 1552 and MATH 2070, 2085, or 2090. May be taken for a max. of 3 hrs. of credit when topics vary. Pass-fail grading. Instruction and practice in solving a wide variety of mathematical and logical problems, and participation in the Putnam competition.

The Undergraduate Studies Committee recommends the following new description:

Math 3903 Methods of Problem Solving (2) Prereq.: MATH 1552 and MATH 2085, 2090 or consent of the department. May be taken for a max. of 6 hrs. of credit when topics vary. Pass-fail grading. Instruction and practice in solving a wide variety of mathematical and logical problems. Students in this course are encouraged to participate in the Putnam competition.

Summary: The above proposal would change Math 3903 in four ways:

(1) To drop Math 2070 from the list of prereqs. (Last fall, the department voted to drop Math 2070 from the catalog.)

(2) To add "... or consent of the department" to the list of prereqs. We had a few freshmen who made a positive score (which is very good) on the Putnam competition in fall 2011 and who wouldn't have been able to take Math 3903 with the old list of prereqs.

(3) To increase the number of student credit hours of Math 3903 from 1 to 2. Often the course is under-enrolled. This course meets twice a week and is a lot of work for the students. They are reluctant to sign up for this course if it is only one credit hour.

(4) To change "... and participation in the Putnam competition" to "Students in this course are encouraged to participate in the Putnam competition." The old statement suggests that students are required to participate in the Putnam competition; the new statement indicates that they are not required to do so.

The Undergraduate Studies Committee also recommends the following two changes (not shown in the Catalog):

(5) Change the short title of Math 3903 (used in the schedule booklet) from "METH OF PROB SOLVING" to "PROBLEM SOLVING."

(6) To change the "type" of this course from lecture to seminar.

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FormC-Math3903-2012-10-11.doc58.5 KB