Math 130, Fall 2017

Information for students

bCourses Site
DSP students should speak to the instructor as soon as possible, even if you don't have a letter yet.
Guidelines on what to do if you think you may have a conflict between this class and your extracurricular activities. In particular, you must speak to the instructor before the end of the second week of classes.
Academic honesty in mathematics courses: A statement on cheating and plagiarism, courtesy of Michael Hutchings.
How to get an A in this class, courtesy of Kathryn Mann.


The required text for this course is The Four Pillars of Geometry by John Stillwell. You can download a copy of this book for free on campus through the UC library (if that link doesn't work, just search for the book at This book is a wonderful introduction, but a little too easy for us, so there will be lots of required supplementary readings supplied by the instructor. We will also use some excerpts from Hartshorne's Geometry: Euclid and Beyond Euclid. I recommend this to students wishing to go further. It can also be downloaded on campus.

Homework, Readings, etc.

(will be updated throughout the course)

Week 1 --- Thursday, August 24: Introduction to the Class Reading: Believe It, Then Don't: Toward a Pedagogy of Discomfort
Week 2 --- August 29 and August 31: Stillwell, Chapters 1 and 2 Handout: Euclid's Elements (for the adventurous, here's a Greek version) Activity: Euclid: the game Homework 1 (due Tuesday, Sept 5): Click here
Week 3 --- September 5 and 7: Stillwell, Chapter 2 Reading: Critique of the method of superposition, from Hartshorne Proofs of the Pythagorean Theorem: Click here For fun: Hinged dissections Homework (due Tuesday, September 12): Click here
Week 4 -- September 12 and 14: Constructibility Reading (testable): Constructible n-gons and field extensions (from Conjecture and Proof by M. Laczkovich) Reading (testable): Field extensions (from Abstract Algebra by Thomas Judson) Video: Construction of 17-gon (other videos: 1 and 2) Homework (due Tuesday, September 19): Click here
Week 5 -- September 19 and 21: Constructibility; Hilbert's Axioms Reading (testable): Sections 2.6 and 2.7 in Hartshorne Notes on the real projective plane: Click here Homework (due Tuesday, September 26): Click here (Question 3, 2.7.9 and 2.7.10 are optional)
Week 6 -- September 26 and 28: Hilbert's Axioms and Intro to Projective Geometry Reading: Sections 2.8, 2.9, and 2.10 in Hartshorne Homework: Prepare for Midterm
Week 7 -- October 3 and 5: Projective Geometry; Midterm Cumulative Midterm: Thursday, October 5 covering: up to and including Hilbert's Axioms (the axioms will be provided on the midterm) Reading: How to Win the Lottery with Projective Geometry (from How Not To Be Wrong, by Jordan Ellenberg) Homework 5 (due Tuesday, October 10): Click here
Week 8 -- October 10 and 12: Projective Geometry Reading: Stillwell, chapters 5 & 6 Homework 6 (due Tuesday, October 17): Click here Independent Project: Description, Topic Suggestions, and Grading Scheme
Week 9 -- October 17 and 19: Projective Geometry Reading: Stillwell, chapter 6 Homework 7 (due Tuesday, October 24): Click here
Week 10 -- October 25 and 27: Stillwell, Chapter 7 Homework 8 (due Tuesday, November 7): Click here (change of due date!) Reading: Wikipedia pages on quaternions and on quaternions for rotations
Week 11 -- October 31 and November 2: Stillwell, Chapter 8 No homework this week, no class on Tuesday
Week 12 -- November 7 and 9: Stillwell, Chapter 8 Homework 9 (due Tuesday, November 14): Click here