Math in the City

Fall 2012, Math 435

Instructors   Grad Teaching Asst

Petronela Radu Sandeep Holay Joe Geisbauer
Office: Avery Hall 239 Avery Hall 225 Avery Hall 336
Phone: 402-472-9130 402-323-3444
Office Hours: 1:30-2:20pm MWF, or by appointment 1:30-2:20pm MWF, or by appointment 9:30-10:30am M, 3:30am-4:30pm T, 12:30-1:30pm W, 9:30-10:30 F, or by appointment

Course Meeting Times: 2:30-3:20pm MWF in Oldfather Hall Room 204.

Course Website:

ACE Certification

This course satisfies ACE Outcome 10

ACE Outcome 10: Generate a creative or scholarly product that requires broad knowledge, appropriate technical proficiency, information collection, synthesis, interpretation, presentation, and reflection. Your instructor will provide you with background material and guidance when needed.

General Information about the Course:

This is a modeling course offered to math and non-math majors and it is run in collaboration with local businesses, research or administrative centers in town. The mathematical content of the course is diverse. The difficulty of the topics will be perceived differently by students; each of you will discover that it depends a lot on your background, the way you think and communicate in mathematics. Due to the open-ended nature of the course, you will have to keep up with work on the project throughout the semester . Do not hesitate to ask questions in or outside the class whenever in doubt about an argument, notation, etc. At the end of this course a successful student will not only have performed very well on the tasks during the semester, but s/he will be able to approach other real life problems that involve mathematics with more confidence.

This semester we will collaborate with Michelle Slack, Statistical and Modeling Analyst at Lancaster County Assessor. Details about the collaborator can be found here.


Your final grade will be computed based on the following scheme:
20% Homeworks
30% Project participation (documented through student journals, communication with team and instructors, participation in the poster session)
35% Project (memos, intermediate drafts, final report)
15% Performance during oral presentation (understanding of the work, communication skills, quality of the slides)

Homework. The homework will be announced in class and posted on Blackboard. You are encouraged to discuss the problems with your colleagues, but you have to write your own solutions.

Memos. Students will be required to write periodical memos or updates to summarize the work they have done on the project, to present the issues they have encountered, and sketch the direction for future work.

Journals. After each lecture the students will record in their journals (electronic files that they will continuously update) comments and reflections about the material they have encountered, questions they may have, and different ideas related to the project.

Guidelines for grading the report.

All participants in a group project will receive the same grade for the written part of the manuscript, so it is important that each person in the group participates fully and equally.


At the end of the semester, the students will present their work on the project during the miniconference scheduled for November 30 - December 1, 2012

Students are expected to attend and make a poster at the UNL Research Fair, which will be held November 7-8, 2012. More details will be posted here.

Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact the instructor for a confidential discussion of their individual needs for academic accommodation. It is the policy of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to provide flexible and individualized accommodation to students with documented disabilities that may affect their ability to fully participate in course activities or to meet course requirements. To receive accommodation services, students must be registered with the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office, 132 Canfield Administration, 472-3787 voice or TTY.

Department Grading Appeals Policy

The Department of Mathematics does not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. If you believe you have been the subject of discrimination or harassment---whether in this or any other math course---please contact the department. If, for this or any other reason, you believe your grade was assigned incorrectly or capriciously, appeals may be made to (in order) the instructor, the department chair, the departmental grading appeals committee, the college grading appeals committee, and the university grading appeals committee.

Course Evaluation

The Department of Mathematics Course Evaluation Form will be available through your Blackboard account during the last two weeks of class. You'll get an email when the form becomes available. Evaluations are anonymous and instructors do not see any of the responses until after final grades have been submitted. Evaluations are important---the department uses evaluations to improve instruction. Please complete the evaluation and take the time to do so thoughtfully.