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Contemporary Mathematics

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Fall 2012
Bolin Hall
Classroom Number
Dr. Mark Farris (view Profile)


Excursions in Modern Mathematics 7th ed. By Tannen
Course ID farris93745 at
Course Objectives

This course is designed to show ways in which mathematics has developed in the recent past and ways in which mathematics is used in modern society.  The material will be presented in three independent units. 

Unit     Topic                           Chapters                                  Exam Date

  I         Social Choice                1-4                                         Thurs, Feb 19

 II        Management Science    5-8                                         Thurs, Apr 2

III        Statistics                      13-16                                       Thurs, May 14, 8:00AM-10:30AM

Course Expectations

Prerequisite:  Math 1003 or satisfactory score on placement exam.

Grading Standards

You will receive a grade for each of the three units.  Each unit grade will be based on your best 3 out of 4 homework assignments (25%) and a unit exam (75%).  In addition, each unit will have an optional writing assignment.  If you choose to do a writing assignment, it will add up to 10% to your unit grade.  There will be no penalty if you choose not to do a writing assignment.  Your final grade for the course will be based on the average of your 3 unit grades.  Letter grades will be assigned in the usual fashion: 90% for an A, 80% for a B, etc.

Final Exam 05/14/2012 8:00AM-10:00AM
Submission Format Policy

Homework: Via MyMathLab

Exams: Long scantron submitted in class

Writing: Typed on a Word Processor and submitted by hard copy

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.
Late Paper Policy

If you miss an assessment activity for an unexplained or frivolous reason, there will be no opportunity to make up the missed work.   If your car won’t start on the morning of an exam, you have a reason for missing class and a make-up opportunity is potentially, but not necessarily, available.  But, if you don’t inform me of this in a timely fashion then your excuse will be considered frivolous.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

By registering for this course, you have made 44 doctor’s appointments with Dr. Farris.  I expect you to attend every class meeting; I expect you to arrive on time; I expect you to remain in class for the entire scheduled time.  If you need to miss a class, arrive late to class, or leave class early please send me an e-mail in a timely fashion indicating why you will not be or were not present.  If you are absent for unexplained or frivolous reasons for a 7th time you are subject to being dropped from the course.  This will not happen as long as you maintain a passing average.

            If you miss an assessment activity for an unexplained or frivolous reason, there will be no opportunity to make up the missed work.   If your car won’t start on the morning of an exam, you have a reason for missing class and a make-up opportunity is potentially, but not necessarily, available.  But, if you don’t inform me of this in a timely fashion then your excuse will be considered frivolous.

Other Policies

Other: Students should refer to the current MSU Student Handbook and Activities Calendar for university policies on academic dishonesty, class attendance, student responsibilities, rights and activities.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at