This syllabus is subject to change at the instructor's discretion.
This page is permanently under construction. Look for updates.

Syllabus of Math 167

For All Practical Purposes, Spring 2011

Instructor Peter Kuchment

Office Rm. Blocker 614A, Telephone (979)862-3257

E-mail:, Home Page: /~kuchment

Course title and description

For All Practical Purposes (3 Credit Hours) Emphasizes application of mathematics in today's world. A variety of applied problems which can be solved using quantitative means will be discussed. Topics include: urban services and elements of management science (optimal routes, planning and scheduling), elements of statistics (sampling/polling methods, analyzing data to make decisions), codes used by stores, credit cards, and internet security, cryptography. Time permitting, other topics may be chosen at instructor's discretion.


High school Algebra I and II.


The class has a lot to offer to a broad spectrum of students, with different mathematics backgrounds - from advanced to those who fear math. The goal of this course is to demonstrate to students that mathematics is not about memorizing formulas, but rather a wonderful process of logical thinking that can be applied to today's world. It is a great class for everyone who wants to explore wonders of mathematics. The class can be used to fulfill the Math core curriculum requirements. It, however, does not replace a calculus class, if the latter is required for further studies.

Learning objectives

By the end of the course students should be able to understand mathematical structures underlying real life situations (routing, planning, coding, etc.), solve basic problems of planning and scheduling, be able to understand correct ways of obtaining and using statistical information. Moreover, they would appreciate the beauty and power of mathematics.

Tests, quizzes, and homework

The grade will be determined by homework, quizzes, exams, and a cumulative final exam. It is recommended that besides solving home assignments, you look at other problems in the textbook and consult with the instructor if you have any difficulties. You can find some suggested problems here, although it is a good idea to at least browse through other problems as well.
Reading the book ahead is also beneficial. Extra credit problems on the material to be covered will be given before some lectures.

Tentative schedule of the course


Chapters and sections

Home assignments

Tests and quizzes (dates are flexible and will be confirmed closer to a test).


Ch. 1, Urban services (urban graph traversal problems)

Assignment #1, due January 25th.

Quiz #1 (January 20th).


Ch. 2, Business efficiency (optimal routing)

Assignment #2, due February 3rd.

Quiz #2 (February 3rd)


Ch. 2, Business efficiency (traveling salesman problem)

Assignment #3. Due February 8th.



Ch. 3, Planning and Scheduling


Ch. 3, Planning and Scheduling


Exam #1. Thursday, February 17th.


Beginning of Ch. 7 (sampling). Then Ch. 5, Exploring Data: Summaries and Plots.

Assignment #4. Due Fenruary 24th.

Quiz #3. February 24th.


Ch. 7, Data for decisions: Good and bad sampling methods. Ch. 6.


Ch. 7, Data for decisions: Good and bad inferences from data.

Assignment #5. Due March 22nd






Ch. 16, Identification numbers (bar codes, zip codes)

Assignment #6. Due April 19th.

Exam #2. March 31st.


Ch. 17, Information Science (binary codes, parity check sums).

Quiz #4. April 19th


Ch. 17, Cryptography

Assignment #7. Due May 3rd.

Office hours before the final exam: To be announced.

Final exam: Wednesday, May 11, 1-3pm


All points earned from home assignments, quizes, exams, and the final exam, will be added (without any weighting), and the total will be compared with the possible maximum total. Then the grade will be computed as follows:

Percentage of points


90% and higher


80% and higher


70% and higher


60% and higher


Less than 60%


Make-up policy:

Make-ups for missed quizzes, home assignments and exams will only be allowed for a university approved excuse in writing. Wherever possible, students should inform the instructor before an exam or quiz is missed. Consistent with University Student Rules , students are required to notify an instructor by the end of the next working day after missing an exam or quiz. If there are confirmed circumstances that do not allow this (a written confirmation is required), the student has two working days to notify the instructor. Otherwise, they forfeit their rights to a make-up.

Late work

Late work will not be accepted, unless there is an university approved excuse in writing. In the latter case student has a week to submit the work.

Grade complaints:

Sometimes the instructor might make a mistake grading your work. If you feel that this has happened, you have one week since the graded work was handed back to you to talk to the instructor. If a mistake is confirmed, the grade will be changed. No complaints after that deadline will be considered.

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 Services for Students with Disabilities (Cain Hall, Room B118, or call 845-1637).

Copyright policy:

All printed materials disseminated in class or on the web are protected by Copyright laws. One xerox copy (or download from the web) is allowed for personal use. Multiple copies or sale of any of these materials is strictly prohibited.

Scholastic dishonesty:

Copying work done by others, either in class or out of class, looking on other studentοΎ’s papers during exams or quizzes, having possession of unapproved information in your calculator/computer/phone, etc., and/or having someone else do your work for you are all acts of scholastic dishonesty. These acts, and other acts that can be classified as scholastic dishonesty, will be prosecuted to the full extent allowed by University policy. In this class, collaboration on graded assignments, either in class or out of class, is forbidden unless permission to do so is granted by the instructor. For more information on university policy regarding scholastic dishonesty, see University Student Rules at
"An Aggie does not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do." Visit and follow the rules of the Aggie Honor Code. or


This syllabus is subject to change at the instructor's discretion

Back to P. Kuchment's Home Page

Last revised April 10th, 2011