Applied Mathematics

MWF 12:30 - 1:20, Bagby 120

Office Hours: MWF 2:30 - 4:00, TR 3:30 - 5:00

Course Assignments and Resources

Course Description

This is a course in applied and applicable mathematics.  The theme for Applied Mathematics for the Fall 2012 semester is "The Mathematics of Sound and Music."  Aspects of this theme will be explored from a variety of perspectives.  Topics include the basic mathematics of waveforms, mathematical models of timbre, frequency and pitch, synthesizing musical waveforms, some aspects of voice leading, and algorithmic generation of music.  Mathematical topics that may be new to you include Fourier series, the Fourier transfrom, Markov chains, and partial orders.


Math 231 (Linear Algebra), Math 242 (Calculus III), or permission of instructor

Class Meetings

MWF 12:30 - 1:20, Bagby 120

Final Exam Date

Monday, May 7, 2 p.m - 5 p.m.


None.  Your lecture notes, supplemented by notes provided by me, will be your text.

Determination of Course Grade

  • one in-class test 30%
  • projects: 30%
  • mathematical notebook: 15%
  • Mathematics Cultural Points: 5%
  • final: 20%


One in-class test will be given.  The tentative dates for the test is Monday, October 29.

Mathematical Notebook

I will ask you to keep a mathematical notebook for this class.  This notebook should contain both your class notes, and your solutions to the homework problems I assign.  I will periodically take up your notebook, and assign a grade for your recent work.  It is important that your mathematical notebook be devoted exclusively to this course, and that it be a clear and complete record of your work in the course.

Mathematics Cultural Points

Mathematics is one of the oldest of the academic disciplines, and in addition to its intellectual content, it has a rich history and culture. Mathematics culture points ("cults") are awarded for activities which engage with that culture in a substantive, non-trivial way. You may earn cultural points in a variety of ways, such as attending and reporting on a Math/CS colloquium talk, or solving a Math/CS Problem of the Month. In order to receive the full 5% credit for cultural points, you must earn at least 10 cults. Cults are awarded for the following activities:

  • Attending a Math/CS colloquium, either at Hampden-Sydney or Longwood (+5)

  • Submitting a non-trivial solution to a new Math/CS Problem of the Month, either at H-SC or Longwood. (+5)

  • Submitting a non-trivial solution to a new problem in The American Mathematical Monthly, The College Math Journal, or Mathematics Magazine.  These journals are available in the library. (+5)

To earn cults for one of these activities, a student must submit a brief write-up (approximately one page, word processed) addressing the following topics:

  • A description of the activity and a summary of what the student's participation entailed (e.g. for a colloquium talk this would include a summary of the details of the talk; for a solved problem, this would mean a complete solution to the problem).

  • A description of how the specific activity deepened their understanding and appreciation of mathematics, in particular if it connected to their current course material.

All reports must be word-processed.  Handwritten reports are not acceptable.  The number of cults awarded for a specific activity depends on the quality of the write-up.  In grading the cults, you will not receive the full cults score if you do not use proper spelling and grammar in your write-up.  If anything is misspelled or if there is at least one instance of improper grammar, you will not receive the full cults score.  If another one of your professors is awarding cults, a student may use the same activity to earn cults in more than one class.  However, the number of cults a particular assignment will earn is completely up to the professor who receives it.  In other words, the same assignment may earn a different number of cults, depending on the professor who grades it.

Attendance and Excused Absences

You are expected to attend every class.  See the Hampden-Sydney College Catalog for the College's policies on class attendance.  You assume full responsibility for all material covered during any absence.  A grade of "0" will be assigned for all work missed due to unexcused absences.

Make-Up Policy

You will have ample time to complete any outside homework assignments, so I will not accept any late submissions for these.  If you are sick on the day of a test or in-class quiz, then you must get in contact with me before the test or quiz is given to arrange a make-up.  If you have a legitimate college-sponsored event in which you must participate (such as a sporting event) scheduled on the same day as a test or in-class quiz, then you must get in contact with me before the test or quiz is given to arrange a make-up

Laptops, Cell Phones, Texting, etc.

  • no laptops in class
  • all cell phones should be turned off during class, or be put in silent mode
  • no texting or other use of the internet during class please