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Honors Program
Course Description

Honors First Year Experience: Linked Courses

Introduction to Mathematical Proof and Art, Doubt and Proof

"Earlier in my life, I thought I was in love with the answers. I found out later that I was really in love with the questions . . . " - Roger Dunsmore.

HONR 194H Introduction to Mathematical Proof (Block 2) This course aims at introducing the concept of proof through many different lenses. We will examine some of the most famous accessible proofs in history and learn about the mathematicians who proved them and why the proofs are important. Doing so, we will develop our ability to prove mathematical statements in a variety of novel settings. We will also touch on why pure math is "unreasonably effective" in the sciences, how mathematical proof relates to statistical proof and scientific induction, proofs role in debate and legal proceedings, how to discern political truth, and the idea of mathematical beauty and connections to art.

HONR 194I Art, Doubt and Proof (Block 3) This class will explore the world of theatre through script analysis of three plays, Art by Yasmina Reza, Doubt by John Patrick Shanley, and Proof by David Auburn. Students will focus on the structure and themes of the three plays, primarily using Aristotle's Poetic elements as the basic of this analysis. They will then design (costumes, lights, set, sound), direct, and perform as actors in a scene from one of the plays as a culminative project (one scene will be performed from each play).

Each of the plays explored in this class focuses on all three of these themes: Art focuses on beauty, but examines truth (conviction and doubt) and validity (proof) through the perspective of three amateur art critics. Doubt is ultimately about the discomfort of questioning the authority of the institution. Proof considers not only the efficacy of mathematical theorems and proofs, but also their elegant beauty, as well as the human doubts and madness of the family members involved in the process of "proving".

We hope our students develop an appreciation and love for mathematics not just as an application to life's everyday needs, but for the beauty and elegance that exists in that discipline. Tyler and I will visit one another's classes and share our personal insights regarding the plays and the mathematics. -Larry Brazil

Honors First Year Experience: Linked Courses
The subject matter in these two courses will be interrelated and each course will substitute for general education requirements in each field of study. The purpose of Honors First Year Experience is to foster extended collaboration among students engaged in the study of ideas that transcend specific disciplines. These courses will emphasize active involvement and project completion. First Year Honors Linked Courses are an excellent way to begin your undergraduate explorations of Experience One. Students must register for both classes, one after the other during Blocks 2 and 3.

HONR194C Introduction to Mathematical Proof (Block 2): Students must satisfy the Math Proficiency Standards (see page 8 of the catalog).
HONR 194D Art, Proof and Doubt (Block 3): Introduction to Mathematical Proof (Block 2):

General Education in Mathematics: M127 Topics in Mathematics
General Education in Expressive Arts: THTR 101

Instructors: Dr. Tyler Seacrest and Larry Brazil

Time: Fall 2016, Blocks 2 & 3,

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