MATH 1890 FWS: Writing in Mathematics
This course is only offered in the Summer Session.
Ever wonder how a line can fill a square and how we can count infinities? In this course, we consider these and other mathematical notions. We analyze and practice writing as a means of thinking about mathematics. We read selections from outstanding texts about the nature of mathematics, such as (but not limited to) Reuben Hersh’s "The Mathematical Experience" and William Byers’s "How Mathematicians Think". We debate the merits of the research into how mathematicians think and what they do in their profession; we consider some surprising possibilities concerning the rapport of mathematics to reality and we examine in a new light the mathematical knowledge we acquired throughout our school careers; occasionally we will invite Cornell faculty to join in our discussions and to share their experience of mathematical practice. The assignments will concern well known basic mathematical concepts, as well as the relationship between mathematics and mind, language, literature, art, music, history, and nature. A Cornell First-Year Writing Seminar.