This semester I am teaching a course for freshman mathematics majors.  The course is called Introduction to Formal Mathematics.  One purpose of the course is to develop a tight-knit cohort of mathematics majors and another purpose is show them that mathematics is about more than “solve for $x$.” We do some problem solving, a little proof writing, and introduce them to a few topics they may or may not see in future courses.  The course is a lot of fun. Feel free to check out the course webpage.

The last couple weeks we have been doing a little combinatorics and some graph theory. Today one of the students remarked something to the effect, “I liked math before, but this stuff is just so cool.”  I agree.  There is no reason why we couldn’t teach these topics to high school students or even middle school students.  Unfortunately, we are too obsessed with trying to make sure students pass standardized tests and can take calculus in high school.

Dana C. Ernst

Mathematics & Teaching

  Northern Arizona University
  Flagstaff, AZ
  Google Scholar
  Impact Story

Current Courses

  MAT 320: Foundations of Math
  MAT 431: Intro to Analysis
  MAT 511: Abstract Algebra I

About This Site

  This website was created using GitHub Pages and Jekyll together with Twitter Bootstrap.

  Unless stated otherwise, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

  The views expressed on this site are my own and are not necessarily shared by my employer Northern Arizona University.

  The source code is on GitHub.

Land Acknowledgement

  Flagstaff and NAU sit at the base of the San Francisco Peaks, on homelands sacred to Native Americans throughout the region. The Peaks, which includes Humphreys Peak (12,633 feet), the highest point in Arizona, have religious significance to several Native American tribes. In particular, the Peaks form the Diné (Navajo) sacred mountain of the west, called Dook'o'oosłííd, which means "the summit that never melts". The Hopi name for the Peaks is Nuva'tukya'ovi, which translates to "place-of-snow-on-the-very-top". The land in the the area surrounding Flagstaff is the ancestral homeland of the Hopi, Ndee/Nnēē (Western Apache), Yavapai, A:shiwi (Zuni Pueblo), and Diné (Navajo). We honor their past, present, and future generations, who have lived here for millennia and will forever call this place home.