MATH 2030: Discrete Dynamical Systems

MATH 2030-1   Discrete Dynamical Systems   Spring 2009

Time & Location:  M W F 1:40 - 2:30 pm in 243 Lockett

Instructor:  Dan Cohen
OfficePhone Email Webpage Office Hours
372 Lockett578-1576 W F 2:30 - 3:30 pm*
* I will also hold office hours by appointment, and will usually be happy to discuss things if you drop by at other times.

Text:  Robert L. Devany, A First Course in Chaotic Dynamical Systems
We will cover (portions of) chapters 1 though 17.

Prerequisites:  MATH 1552 (Calculus II).

Catalog Description:  Dynamical systems with discrete time and in one spatial dimension; hyperbolicity; quadratic maps; chaos; structural stability; bifurcation theory; and higher dimensional systems.

Since MATH 2030 is a bridge course, aiming at beginning the transition to higher level mathematics, the level of abstraction will be somewhat higher than what you've encountered in prerequisite courses.

Advice: Focus on Conceptual Understanding! To do well in mathematics, plan on spending a substantial amount of time daily reading the section(s) covered, reviewing class notes and working homework exercises. In most mathematics courses, including this one, each subsequent section depends substantially on the preceding sections. You are expected to attend each regularly scheduled class and to keep up with the assigned work. Read each section critically and carefully, look at the worked examples, and work problems in addition to the assigned homework problems if needed to gain a full understanding. Make use of my office hours, ask questions in class or by email, discuss the material with other members of the class, etc..

Homework and Quizzes:  Homework will be assigned regularly (primarily from the text). Assignments will be announced in class and posted here. Quizzes will also be given fairly regularly, and will serve to provide in-class reinforcement of homework problems, definitions, calculations, and short proofs. Together, homework and quizzes will be worth 100 points. If it is possible for homework to be collected and graded regularly, homework will account for the majority of these points.

Homework problems are indicative of the problems you will see on quizzes and examinations. They are crucial to your development of a mastery of mathematics. Homework will be discussed in class as necessary.

Exams:  There will be two 100 point hour-long, in-class exams. These exams will tentatively take place after we finish Chapters 7 and 11. No make-up exams, except in extreme cases. If you must miss an exam, you should notify me before the exam takes place.

Final:  There will be a 150 point final exam on Monday, May 4, 3:00-5:00 pm. The final will be comprehensive, but will emphasize Chapters 12-17.

Grade:   Course grades will be based on the 450 possible points outlined above. It is possible that course grades will be curved slightly. In any case, 90-100% is assured an A, 80-89% a B, and so on.

Important Dates:   the last day to drop is January 20;  the last day to add is January 22;  the last day to withdraw is March 27.

Holidays:   Martin Luther King day is January 19;  Mardi Gras is February 23-25;  Spring Break is April 6-12.

Blue Books:   For redistribution for the exams and final, please bring three blue books to class during the first couple weeks of the semester.
Do not write in the blue books or fill in the cover page.

Bear in mind that you are taking this course under the guidelines of the Code of Student Conduct.

Dan Cohen   Spring 2009            This page: