Introduction to Chaos and Fractals
Office: Third Floor Arts and Sciences
Phone: x249, 244-9836|
Mailing List: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Hours: Basically whenever I'm around.
Tutors: Rita Turner, Jenn Atkinson
Help Sessions: Wednesdays, 6:30 - 8:00 pm, TAB.
I have several goals for this course:
- I want you to gain a solid understanding of the basic mathematical
ideas behind chaos and fractals.
- I want to help you improve your quantitative literacy, problem
solving skills, and mathematical confidence.
- I want you to gain a sense of how math and physics is done, and
gain an awareness that these are not static, "dead" disciplines.
Textual Materials: We will read Chaos: Making a New
Science by James Gleick. This is a "popular science" book and is
not a traditional text. For more mathy information, we will use a
number of worksheets and handouts developed by Bob Devaney and co-workers.
I will hand these out in class.
Your evaluation will be based on the following:
I will assign grades (for those who so opt) by following the
guidelines in the COA Course Catalog. I do not have any quota of A's,
- Weekly Homework Assignments: 45 percent.
- Final Project: 25 percent.
- Class Participation: 15 percent.
- Short Papers: 15 percent.
Policies and Stuff: First Draft
- The final version of this and related documents can be found on
the course web page, http://hornacek.coa.edu/dave/Teaching/Chaos+Fractals.W01.
- Homework will be due Fridays at the end of the day. More than one
unexcused late homework assignment will result in me mentioning this
in your narrative evaluation and may result in a lowering of your
- You are strongly encouraged to work together on homework. You
can also consult me, class tutors, other faculty, friends,
and family. However, the homework you hand in should represent
your own understanding. This means that if your friends get a
homework problem and you don't understand how they did it,
you shouldn't photocopy their solution and turn it in.
- There will be no exams. However, there may be a large-ish,
synthetic assignment toward the end of the term.
- Collaborating with two other students, you will do a final
project. Your group will give a presentation of around 45 minutes
towards the end of the term. Your group should also produce something
tangible -- i.e. a paper, some artwork, or a scientific poster. For
more info, see the project
guidelines and a list of possible
- I will almost always assign reading for each class. You should
do the reading, and come prepared with some questions or areas that
you want to discuss.
- You will write three short (2 page) papers exploring ideas from
the book by Gleick. Information about what's expected for the short
papers can be found here.
- We will probably need to schedule an extra class or two during
weeks 9 or 10 so we have enough time for the presentations.
- More than two missing homework assignments will result in a grade
no higher than a C.
- As I plan on sending out homework assignments and other
information via email, it is important that you check your email
regularly. Also, you will need to use the www for some of your
- I expect you to attend class.
- Academic misconduct -- cheating, plagarizing, etc. -- is bad. Any cases
of academic misconduct will result in a judicial hearing, as per
pp. 14-15 of the COA handbook. Possible consequences range from
failure of the assignment to expulsion. For more, see the revised statement on academic
integrity passed by the faculty last winter.
- For more, see a list of what to
[ Dave ]
[ Chaos and Fractals ]
[ COA ]
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