In the modern world it is increasingly important to be able to read and write logically and coherently. Whether one is designing computer algorithms, writing a legal argument, advocating for social or environmental causes, or doing research in basic sciences, clear and effective communication is critical. The aim of this unit is to identify and practice logical argument through mathematical writing. Key components of good writing and common pitfalls will be identified, and students will contribute writing samples and engage in peer-review. Students will be exposed to elegant writing samples and beautifully simple mathematical gems. For instance we read an essay on the notion of dimension: What is a 26 dimensional space? What does it mean for a fractal to have dimension 1.2619? Or we might read about Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem, which has bearing on the limits of attainable knowledge. In the process students will also learn how to write and read mathematical proofs.
online; 2x3-hr workshop
Essay (60%); practical exercises (20%); presentation (20%)