Course Information Undergraduate prospectus

Mathematical Technology and Thinking

Course summary

Course code: MATH1103
Level: 4
Credits: 30
School: Architecture, Computing and Hums
Department: Mathematical Sciences
Course Coordinator(s): Anthony Mann



Learners will be introduced to the culture of mathematics: notation, language, key concepts. They will gain an overview of the panorama of 21st-century mathematics.
Learners will gain the skills in computing, and in thinking and writing mathematically, which will be required during the rest of their studies.
Learners will gain experience of working with others and of presenting their work through oral presentations.
An aim of this course is to emphasise the "fun" element of mathematics by presenting a wide range of interesting problems rather than examining subjects in depth as is done elsewhere on the programme. Learners will have very different interests and preferences for different branches of mathematics and this course hopes to provide something to enthuse everyone.
This course will include the Personal Development Planning component of the first year of mathematics programmes.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:

1. Use software such as spreadsheets to tackle mathematical problems.
2. Describe key concepts and solve simple problems in a wide range of areas of mathematics.
3. Articulate your reflections on your learning experience.
4. Present results to their peers

Indicative content

Mathematical modelling (a week's intensive groupwork at the beginning of the course, culminating in group presentations).
Computing - use of software such Excel to solve equations, carry out iteration, present results graphically. Use of specialist mathematical software such as Matlab.
Mathematical notation and culture - concepts like "Theorem", "Proof", "Lemma"; notation ("s.t.", the symbols for "There exists" and "For all").
Multicultural origins of mathematics.
Notations and algorithms for arithmetic in Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt. Ancient Greek, Chinese, Indian mathematics.
Different areas of mathematics - Superficial overviews of subjects such as analysis, algebra, geometry, topology, combinatorics, logic, mechanics, electrodynamics, quantum theory, chaos.
Mechanics - Newton's laws and their application to simple systems. Relativity as a refinement of Newton's laws, axiomatic approaches to mathematics.
The basis of Financial Mathematics - the financial markets. Introduction to option pricing.
Pure mathematics, such as number theory, introduction to groups and symmetry. Dealing with infinity - countability and uncountability.
The PDP element of the course will cover mathematical thinking, use of resources, reflection on learning in this and other courses, planning option choices, awareness of possible career choices.

Teaching and learning activity

Lectures, workshops, tutorials, seminar discussion, groupwork in varying proportions depending on the material to be covered.


Summative assessment:
Group presentation - 10%
LO - 4
A 15-minute presentation on the group's Modelling Week project.

Computing assignment - 30%
LO - 1
An individual assignment using computer software to solve and present solutions to mathematical problems.

Mathematical assignment - 20%
2000 words
LO - 2, 4
An assignment investigating one or more of the areas of mathematics discussed.

Logbook/Portfolio - 20%
2000 words
LO - 2
An electronic logbook/portfolio to which students will add weekly uploads reflecting on their learning.

Examination - 20%
LO - 2
A short multiple choice examination.

Formative assessment: Weekly tutorial exercises