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Math 101 Spring 2017
Freshman Seminar: Networks and Models
Course Syllabus

Course: Math 101

Title: Freshman Seminar

Textbook: There is no required textbook for this course. Throughout the course, I will make reference to various materials that can be used for further reading if desired. One text I will reference frequently, and would recommend looking at, is Networks, Crowds, and Markets by Easley and Kleinberg. Other references and lecture notes will be provided as needed.

Subject Material: The goal of this course is to learn the basic ideas underpinning a new, vibrant, and very important topic in mathematics and computer science, namely, the study of large networks. We will discuss what networks are, what they look like, and explore some of the tools that mathematicians and computer scientists use to try to understand network structure. Our goal is not to delve into the nitty-gritty of the complicated mathematical details, but to begin to understand how these models work, how they evolve, and what properties they intend to capture. No specific prerequisite knowledge is presumed. Our journey will take us primarily into the world of graph theory and probability, and how these two subjects work together to produce beautiful, rich structures that we use to try to understand the world.

A note on course structure: Unlike most of your math classes, there is no syllabus of material we need to cover here. The course structure is a little more free for us to explore as we choose. If you want more of a particular topic, or there's something you're interested in covering, please let me know! I'd by super happy to try and accommodate any requests as we go along. In addition, you should expect that there may be more writing and less problem-solving than you're used to in this course. It's a great time to sharpen your LaTeX skills, without piles of equations to deal with!

Lecture: Attending the lecture is a fundamental part of the course. Your attendance and participation will be a substantial part of your course grade. Should you need to miss lecture, I suggest talking to a classmate to get a rundown of what happened, so that you are prepared for the next class. Attendance and participation grades will be calculated as follows: For each lecture, attending, and actively participating/listening earns 5 points. The total will be taken out of 100 points. There are 21 lectures total.

Classroom Conduct: In the classroom, a certain level of respect and attentiveness is expected. Please do not use phones or computers, play games, or talk to friends during lecture. This can be distracting to other students and the instructor.

Calculators: A calculator is not required for this course. A calculator would never help you understand these concepts anyway.

Homework: Homework problems will be assigned on the course homework page, and should be completed and turned in by the beginning of class on the indicated due date. Some homework problems may be assigned during the lecture, and added to the course homework page immediately following lecture. Please be attentive as this page will be updated very frequently, and I'd hate for you to miss something.

Exams: There will be no exams in this course! Hurray!

Final Essay: In lieu of a final exam, students will write a final essay. More information about this will be provided later on.

Grading: Your final course grade will be based on the following weighted average: A curve may be applied to final scores or individual examinations at the instructor's discretion. Regardless of the curve, the following basic rubric will be in place:

Academic Honesty: Academic dishonesty is a serious offense, carrying serious administrative sanctions. Any instance of dishonesty will be pursued by the instructor. It is in your best interest to follow all policies laid out here and elsewhere on the website, and familiarize yourself with the university guidelines for academic honesty. Please help maintain both your own integrity and the integrity of Carnegie Mellon University.

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