MATH 575 High School Mathematics from an Advanced Viewpoint

MATH 575 High School Mathematics
from an Advanced Viewpoint

Section 001, Spring 2018

Instructor: Kevin McLeod
Office: EMS E481
Office hours: TR 10:00-10:50;
               (or by appointment)
Phone: 229-5269
Home page:
Class schedule: TR 5:30-6:45 PM, EMS E295

Primary Text: Sultan & Artzt, The Mathematics that Every Secondary School Math Teacher Needs to Know.

Secondary Text: Berlinghoff & Gouvêa, Math Through the Ages, A Gentle History for Teachers and Others. (Either the 1st or the 2nd edition.)

Course description

The ultimate aim of this course is to provide you with the deep understanding of high school mathematics that you will need in order to become an effective teacher. In order to do this, we will not simply repeat the material of a typical high school algebra or geometry course. Instead, we will explore this material from a deeper viewpoint, making connections between content strands and trying to understand why mathematics works the way it does. Course topics will include the number concept; the relations between arithmetic and algebra, and between algebra and geometry; and functions and modeling. You will be expected to take an active role in class,
participating in activities and discussions. For this reason, attendance is particularly important: you will not be able to make up a missed class just by reading the textbooks.

Class information and materials will be posted on the class website,, available through my home page, . Any relevant information about the class, such as exam dates or other announcements, will be posted on the website, so you should get into the habit of checking it on a regular basis. Homework will also be posted, so if you do have to miss a class you can still be prepared for the next one. If I find useful and relevant links during the semester, they will also be posted; if you find some yourself, please let me know. You are responsible for any information posted on the website, so whichever one you use, please check it regularly.


Your grade for the course will be based on the following factors:

  • Homework You will be assigned homework after each class period. The homework may be given out in class, but will always be posted on the class website. Homework will usually consist of exercises from the primary text, some of which will be collected and graded. 20%.
  • Papers You will be asked to write two short papers on topics connected to the material covered in class or, more generally, to the class goals. 10% each.
  • Midterm This will be a 1-hour exam, given close to the 6th week of the semester. (The exact date will depend on the pace of the class, and will be announced at least one week in advance.) 20%.
  • Final Exam The final exam will be comprehensive, and will take place from 5:30-7:30 pm on Tuesday, May 15. 25%.
  • Class participation 15%.

There will be no make-up for the final exam. You may have a make-up for the midterm if I am convinced that you had a valid excuse for missing the original exam. The make-up must be taken within one week of the original midterm, and will be an oral exam.

Average Time Investment

The amount of time that an average student should expect to spend on this class is as follows:

  • Classroom time (face to face instruction): 45 hours
  • Time taking exams (midterm, final exam): 4 hours
  • Time for preparation and study for exams: 16 hours
  • Time completing reading and other homework assignments: 85 hours

Total number of hours: 150.

Students with disabilities

If you feel you are a student with a disability, please meet with me as early in the semester for any help or accommodation you may need.

Students with disabilities

If you feel you are a student with a disability, please meet with me as early as possible in the semester for any help or accommodation you may need.

University policies

You should keep yourself informed of important dates in the University calendar.

The Secretary of the University has a page dedicated to university policies for religious observances, grade appeal procedures, military service and other matters. You should also familiarize yourself with the information on the Dean of Students Office webpage concerning proper student conduct at the university, both academic and non-academic misconduct. You will be held responsible for
the information and policies contained at these links.

Finally, please note that I reserve the right to make changes to this syllabus in the event of a
disruption to normal classroom activities, or other needs that may arise during the semester.