Math 502, Spring 2008: Information and Policies

Link to class schedule.


M. Randall Holmes


We meet in MG 120 Tuesday and Thursday, from 1:40 pm to 2:55 pm.

Office and Hours:

Office: Math/Geology 240A. Hours: To be determined after consulting you all. See ``open office policy'' below.


My office telephone number is 6-3011 (426-3011 from off-campus). My home telephone number is 345-2899: students are welcome to call me but please no calls after 8:30 pm any day or between 6 pm Friday and noon Sunday.

Electronic Information:

WWW (web page):

I read my e-mail constantly and respond promptly. An electronic version of the syllabus, which will include homework assignments, will be accessible from my web page. The electronic version is the official syllabus, and any changes will be posted there and not distributed on paper.  Please note that this document was obtained by editing an earlier syllabus; please call any editing errors caused by this to my attention.

Title of Course:

Math 502: Logic and Set Theory. This is section 001. This is the second time that this graduate level course has been offered.   Please be aware that everything in this syllabus is subject to change.


The catalog text for the course follows:


           Math 502 Logic and Set Theory (3-0-3)(S)(even-numbered years). This course is structured as three 5-week components: formal logic, set theory, and topics to be determined by the instructor. The logic component will include: formalization of language and proof, the completeness theorem, the Lowenheim-Skolem Theorem. The set theory component will include: cardinality, Cantor's theorem, well-orderings, ordinals, the transfinite recursion theorem, the Axiom of Choice and its equivalents. PREREQ: Math 314.



The “textbook” for this course is the evolving set of notes found at this link.   These notes are subject to change and should be refreshed regularly.  It should also be noted that material is included (especially at the end) which will not be covered.


The add deadline (and deadline for dropping without a W) is February 4. The drop deadline is March 3. Petitions to drop classes after this date are usually unsuccessful.  From two to four hour exams will be given at various points to be announced during the semester.   Examinations are likely to have out-of-class as well as in-class components.  The final exam will be Thursday, May 10, 2008, 1:00 pm- 3:00 pm, in our regular room.




This is my standard language about calculators which may be irrelevant to this particular course!  We may sometimes have occasion to use calculators in class. Use of a plain scientific calculator (without graphing or symbolic computation capabilities) will be allowed on tests. Make sure you have such a calculator if you want to use a calculator on tests. You may not use cell phones or PDAs (such as Palm Pilots or Pocket PC's) as calculators during any exam. No exceptions will be made. 


Homework will be assigned from time to time and makes a substantial contribution to your grade.  Homework assignments are due one week after the date at which they are posted in the online schedule, unless I specifically note otherwise, to give you plenty of time to consult me if you need to.  Your homework should be your own work.  There may be computer exercises assigned as homework (using the Marcel software mentioned in the notes):  in this case there will be instruction on how to use the software and you will be provided with computer accounts.


How Your Course Grade Will Be Computed:

I expect to give between two and four in-class exams this term and the final. There will not be review days for exams or for the final, though I will be willing to take questions about exams during the usual time for homework discussion (within reason).   Each exam is worth 100 points.  Your total homework grade will count as one or two exams (Ibll make this decision at the end). The final counts 200 points; your percentage grade on the final may replace the lowest of the other exam grades (not the homework) if this helps you. 90 or above is an A; 80 or above is a B; 70 or above is a C; 60 or above is a D; lower grades are F (after any scaling).  I may occasionally use the new +/- grading, but only in borderline cases; you should not expect to get such a grade.

Eligibility for this Class:

No exceptions will be made. If the computer tells me that you don't meet prerequisite or placement exam standards for this course, I will free your seat for someone who does meet them (in fact, the office staff now does this before it even comes to my attention).


Attendance will not be taken except on the first two days. If you do not attend this class on at least one of the first two days, I will exercise my option to have you administratively withdrawn (though not until after the third day of classes).

Open Office Policy:

My office hours for these classes are to be announced. I will almost always be in my office at the officially scheduled times, and I will try to warn you when I will not be. If I am in my office during a posted office hour, I am available to help you. Don't assume that these are the only times when you can get help! I am never offended by a student asking me for help if I am in the office (though I may help only briefly if I am very busy).  I will post information on my web page concerning times I am likely to be found (and times I will not be found) in my office.

Late Work and Makeups:

Makeups for exams will be possible, and should if possible be arranged in advance of your absence.  Homework handed in late will probably be accepted though I may choose to penalize it (or not) at my entire discretion in each individual case (better to turn it in on time!)

Academic Honesty:

The penalty for cheating (defined as looking at another student's paper or unauthorized use of books or notes during an exam) will be a grade of zero (0) on the relevant exam. A repeat offense will mean an F in the course.   Similar remarks apply if your homework is not your own original work.

Courtesy Issues:

Cellular phones must be turned off during class. If there is a good reason that you must await a phone call during class, please inform me in advance and minimize the disruption by sitting near an exit. Cell phones must be turned off (no exceptions whatsoever) during an exam. You do not need to contact me if you are missing class or if you need to arrive late or leave early; but I do need you to enter or leave the class quietly in either case. Of course, you do need to contact me, preferably in advance, if you are missing an exam.


The word ``yesterday'' is defined to mean the previous class session; the word ``tomorrow'' is defined to mean the next class session, unless I specifically say otherwise :-)