University of Virginia, January 2020

Course Location: Kerchof 317
Course Time: 9:30-11:45 and 12:45-3:00 (with breaks), Jan. 2-4 and 6-11
Instructor: David Sherman
Office: 211 Kerchof Hall
Office Hours: flexible
Office Phone: 924-7079
Course webpage:,2700/base.html

Prerequisite: a first course in calculus

Textbooks and other materials:
-- Experiencing Geometry: Euclidean and Non-Euclidean with History (third edition), D. W. Henderson and D. Taimina
-- Flatland, E. Abbott ($2 new from Dover)
-- The Thirteen Books of the Elements: Vol. 1 (Books I-II), Euclid (ed. Heath). This publication, which includes lots of scholarly commentary and can be had for $17 from Dover, is optional for purchase. Any text of Book I is acceptable. All of The Elements is available for free on the internet here.
-- Straightedge and compass
-- Tennis ball (or equivalent) and rubber bands

Course content: See,2700/description.html for the course description.

Timetable: Meeting for 4.5 hours daily means that it is difficult to predict our progress exactly, so I do not fix a firm schedule in advance. I will keep a developing timetable for the course at,2700/timetable.html to record each class's content and (with fallibility) some of the main events in upcoming classes.

Exams: We will probably have some kind of exam on the fifth, seventh, and ninth days. This is done a) to motivate you to keep up with the material, b) to make sure you leave the course having learned some specific things that I consider important, and c) to assign grades.

Other work: Every day there will be classwork, homework, and reading assignments. Here are some general homework policies that apply unless explicitly noted:
-- You are encouraged to work with other students, as long as you write up solutions entirely in your own words.
-- You are allowed to use outside sources (books, webpages, wise Uncle Rudy), but you must cite them on your paper.
-- You will be asked to revise and resubmit solutions that have gaps. Correct revisions will earn up to full credit (a little less if we have explicitly discussed the solution in class).
-- Each assignment is due at the next class meeting -- at least an honest and complete attempt. As in the previous point, my main concern is that you eventually arrive at a correct solution.
-- Solutions to bonus questions can be submitted at any time (unless they have been discussed in class).

Grading: Your final grade is based 55% on exams and 45% on everything else (including participation). No elements of the course will be dropped in this calculation.

Random dicta:
-- Students who have a learning disability documented by SDAC should let me know immediately so that we can make appropriate arrangements.
-- Please no computers/cell phones or meals during class. Drinks and small snacks are okay.
-- It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.
-- If a topic goes by without your mastering it, talk with me (or other students) about it soon after.
-- If a circumstance arises that affects your performance in the course, you should inform me before it influences your grade.
-- In class, ask questions. Answer questions. Make comments. Smile.

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