Math/CS 299/399 Colloquium in Mathematics & Computer Science I & II Fall 2018 

Course Syllabus

Dr. David A. Reimann, Professor
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Albion College
Albion, Michigan
Office 252 Putnam
Office Hours 10:30 - 11:30 pm, Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri.
2:15 - 3:30 pm, Mon
2:15 - 3:00 pm, Thursday.
I am also available by appointment at other times. Email me or talk to me before or after class to set up a meeting outside my regular office hours.
I am often in my office at many other times. Come see me if you need help - that is why I am here!
Phone 517-629-0426 (Office)
517-629-0361 (Secretary)
Course Math/CS 299/399
Course Name Colloquium in Mathematics & Computer Science I & II
Sections CS 299 (Section 1; CRN: 8150)
CS 299 (Section 1; CRN: 8151)
Math 299 (Section 1; CRN: 8144)
Math 399 (Section 1; CRN: 8145)
Credit 1/4 Unit
Math/CS 299: Selected topics in mathematics and computer science as presented by students, departmental faculty and visiting speakers. Requirements include written summaries of each presentation and a paper on a mathematics/computer science topic of personal interest.

Math/CS 399: Selected topics in mathematics and computer science as presented by students, departmental faculty and visiting speakers. Requirements include written summaries of each presentation, a departmental major assessment examination, and an oral presentation on a mathematics/computer science topic of personal interest.
Course Objectives The main goal of this course is to increase your engagement in the discipline. As a mathematics or computer science major or minor, you have only a limited number of courses and professors at Albion. This course is designed to broaden your horizons and learn more about mathematics and computer science topics. Another goal of our colloquium courses is to help develop your ability to communicate effectively. You will also learn more about a topic of interest to you.
Classroom Expectations We will have roughly a speaker every week (possibly more than one) who will present a lecture on a mathematics or computer science topic. Be courteous to our speakers. Ask questions as you would in other courses. Convention dictates a discussion perior following the lecture where you can ask more broad and general questions regarding the topic. You should think about these types of questions during the talk. I expect you in class every meeting prepared and excited to learn. This is particularly important because the speakers are only here during the scheduled time. Missing speakers should only be done in rare cases for truly unavoidable circumstances.
Prerequisites Math/CS 299: Math 143 or CS 173.
Math/CS 399: Math/CS 299 and senior standing.
Since Math 299 and CS 299 are cross listed courses, the 299 course may not be taken again under the other designator. Likewise, because Math 399 and CS 399 are cross listed courses, the 399 course may not be taken again under the other designator.
Meeting Times
and Locations

Thursday at 3:30 - 4:35 pm in 227 Palenske
List of Speakers
Required Books None.
Online Resources
  • LateX Wikibook.
  • The (Not So) Short Introduction to LaTeX2e
  • How to use BibTeX
  • Software We will be using LaTeX and BibTeX for document preparation. This a free system available in for a variety of platforms. I strongly encourage you to use ShareLaTeX, which is an online platform. Not only will you have access to you files everywhere, you can share them with me. See Get LaTeX for more LaTeX options.
    Performance Evaluation

    This class is only offered Credit/No Credit. You must earn 200 points to earn credit for this course, with at least 75 points from Speaker Reviews (including a possible Speaker Introduction), 20 points from the Resume (299) OR Statement of Purpose (399) assignment, and 60 points from the Paper (299) OR Talk (399) assignment. In addition, students enrolled in 399 must complete a department assessment.

    Grade Element Possible Points Due
    Intro Essay 12 Hardcopy essays will be due at the next beginning of class on during the third week.
    Speaker Reviews 120+
    (10+ @ 12 points each)
    Hardcopy summaries will be due at the next regularly schedule class following the talk.
    Speaker Introduction, OPTIONAL
    (credit for at most one introduction)
    (replaces corresponding speaker review)
    Written introductory remarks (not required to be in LaTeX) will be due the day of the talk.
    299: Resume, OR
    399: Statement of Purpose
    30 Draft: Second week of classes
    Final: Second week of academic advising
    Extra Credit:On-line Profile and Resume 15 points (Optional) Last day of classes
    Extra Credit: Bring a friend 2 points each week(Optional)  
    299: Paper, OR
    399: Talk
    100 Topics: Week 7
    299 Papers: Finals week
    399 Title and Abstracts: Week 12
    399 Talks: Last class meeting period
    399: Assessment Required Finals week
    Total Possible Points 250+  

    Unless otherwise indicated, all assignments must be completed using TeX or LaTeX.

    No credit will be given for students missing speakers or for assignemnts submitted after the due date expect in the cases of an official College event or documented serious circumstance beyond your control. If you miss class because of participation in an official College event you must make prior arrangements with me. In situations of a documented serious circumstance beyond your control, please contact me as soon as possible.


    The following is the Albion College statement on attendance: "Regular attendance in all classes is expected. Every absence from class is inevitably a loss — usually one which can never be made up. A student has the responsibility to inform his or her faculty member, whenever possible in advance, of an absence due to serious or prolonged illness, and verification of absences due to emergency reasons, may be obtained from the Office of Residential Life."

    In this course class absences are only excusable in documented extreme cases of unforeseen hardship or official College event, as described in the Student Handbook. Please notify me in writing (email is preferred) prior to official college events (sporting, class trips, etc.) that make it impossible for you to attend class. If you miss class because of participation in an official College event you must make prior arrangements with me. In extreme cases of unforeseen hardship, please contact me as soon as possible. In either case, you are still responsible for all material and assignments.

    In cases where you have not taken personal responsibility, you will forfeit the possibillity of earning points. No credit will be given for a missed test or other scheduled in-class assignment, nor will late assignments be accepted.

    You will have an opportunity to review your grade and other unreturned assignments for four weeks after the start of the subsequent semester. After that time, I will discard all unclaimed materials.

    Academic Integrity and Expectations

    As an academic community, Albion College is firmly committed to honor and integrity in the pursuit of knowledge. Therefore, as a member of this academic community, each student acknowledges responsibility for his or her actions and commits to the highest standards of integrity. In doing so, each student makes a covenant with the college not to engage in any form of academic dishonesty, fraud, cheating, or theft.

    The goal of this course is for you to learn a rigorous academic discipline, not penmanship, typing, or other forms of plagiarism. Chapter III of the Student Handbook details instances and penalties for academic dishonesty. It also describes acceptable usage of the campus computing/networking facilities. In this class you are expected to do your own work unless explicitly stated.

    Here are some things which will be considered cheating:

    • Using or turning in another's work as you own - with or without their permission.
    • Allowing someone else to use or turn in your work as theirs - in whole or in part.
    • Joint effort on an assignment with individual submissions represented as individual work.
    • If a student cannot explain why the solution is correct or how the solution was obtained.
    Here are some things which are encouraged:
    • A submission using help from the instructor, student assistants, or the texts.
    • Discussion of the concepts related to the course material.
    • Discussion of assignments to understand what is required.

    Typically, I grade papers one problem at a time. If you turn in someone else's work as you own, it really stands out. Please do your own work! If you are having trouble on an assignment come see me as soon as possible - I'm here to help!

    We, as students and faculty, have the privilege and challenge of promoting higher standards of ourselves, the College, and society in general. Here are several expectations we should have this semester.

    What you should expect of me. What I expect from you.
    To attend class regularly and punctually and to adhere to the class schedule. To attend class regularly and punctually.
    Come to class prepared. Come to class prepared.
    Grade and return work in a reasonable amount of time. Fulfill all course assignments and requirements.
    Know course material thoroughly and prepare and present it conscientiously. Uphold academic honesty in all activities.
    Maintain scholarly, professional, and courteous demeanor in class. Maintain scholarly, professional, and courteous demeanor in class.
    Be available at reasonable times for consultation. Keep all appointments except for extreme cases.

    Communication is essential in any relationship. Our student-teacher relationship is no exception. If you have any concerns with the class material or logistics, please talk to me as soon as possible.

    Academic Support

    Accommodations statement: Any student with a disability who believes the requirements of this course may require accommodations or modifications should contact the Learning Support Center (LSC) Director, Dr. Pamela Schwartz, who will work with you to develop a plan for reasonable accommodations based on your information and supporting documentation. If you have completed this process and have requested accommodations through the LSC for this semester, plan to meet with me as early as possible to discuss a plan for implementing these modifications in this class. It is best if we can talk at least one week prior to their implementation. The LSC is located in 114 Ferguson Hall (on the first floor of the administration building) and is open during regular business hours throughout the school year. The main phone is 517/629-0825, and the number for the Adaptive Technology Office is 517/629-0411.

    College-Wide Learning Support: Academic support at Albion College is provided through the Academic Skills Center and the Learning Support Center.

    • The Academic Skills Center, located in the Seeley Mudd Building of the Library supports student success at Albion College through the Quantitative Studies Center and the Writing Center. The ASC also operates Study Rooms in various academic areas. For information, visit the ASC website at
      • The Quantitative Studies Center provides a wide range of support to students in many subject areas. Students are free to drop in for occasional help from trained student tutors or to make appointments for on-going tutorial sessions. QSC staff members are available to assist you with the use of mathematics, statistics, spreadsheets, or graphing calculators in any course. The center also offers workshops on topics such as partial derivatives in chemistry and preparing for graduate school exams. For more information, contact the QSC Director, Karla McCavit, (x0824;
      • The Writing Center provides trained peer consultants prepared to work with writers at every stage of the writing process—from getting started brainstorming to writing drafts, and from organizing ideas to revising or final editing. Writing consultants support students by responding to writing in process, not by proofreading, editing, or writing students' papers. Both drop-in tutoring and scheduled appointments are available during the Writing Center's evening hours. For more information, contact the Writing Center (x0828; or the Director, Scott Hendrix (
    • The Learning Support Center, located in 114 Ferguson Hall (the administration building), offers individualized assistance with college-level study strategy and skill development. Students frequently utilize the center to improve grades, reading speed or comprehension. As part of this mission, the LSC also provides individual peer tutoring support for most introductory courses. In addition, the LSC provides assistance and accommodations to students who have documented learning disabilities. For more information, contact the LSC Director, Pamela Schwartz (x0825;

    Copyright © 2018, David A. Reimann. All rights reserved.