Math 2124 :: Introduction to Mathematical Problems :: Fall 2019

What's new?
Office hours during the exam period:
  1. Friday, Dec 6, 10.30 AM - 12 PM.
  2. Friday, Dec 13, 10.30 AM - 12 PM.

Course Details

Middlesex College

Location and Time: Tuesdays: 12.30 – 2.20 PM; Thursdays: 1.30 – 2.20 PM. Room: AHB-1B06.

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The Art and Craft of Problem Solving, Third Edition, by Paul Zeitz, published by Wiley.



Prof. Rasul Shafikov,
Office Hours: Monday 10.30 - 11.30 AM, Tuesday 2.30 - 3.30 PM in MC 112.


Course Outline

Primarily for Mathematics students, but will interest other students with ability in and curiosity about mathematics in the modern world as well as in the past. Stresses development of students' abilities to solve problems and construct proofs. Topics will be selected from: counting, recurrence, induction; number theory; graph theory; parity, symmetry; geometry.

Course syllabus (updated Sept 17)

What is expected?

What is expected of the student?

Students are expected to attend all lectures and complete all tests, assignments, and examinations. No aids are permitted in tests and examinations. Regular homework is an essential part of the course; it is the student's responsibility to keep up with the assigned homework and to seek additional help if and when it is needed.


Course Evaluation

Midterms & Assignments - 60%; Final Examination - 40%. No calculators or other electronic devices or any other aids are allowed on tests and exams..

Important Note

This course differs from other mathematics courses in that it is not based on a specific body of knowledge but, instead, focusses on the processes involved in solving problems which incorporate mathematical constructions. Consequently, active participation of each student is necessary to make the course interesting and rewarding.


Handouts with practice problems will be posted regularly.

  1. September 5.
  2. September 12.
  3. October 1.
  4. October 22.
  5. November 19.
We will have problem solving session every Thursday. Be prepared to discuss the problems posted for each week.
  1. September 19 (updated Sept 17).
  2. September 26.
  3. October 3.
  4. October 17 (new version posted Oct 16).
  5. October 24.
  6. October 31
  7. November 21
  8. November 28
  9. December 5


Homework will be collected biweekly.

  1. Assignment 1. Due Tuesday, October 1 in class.
  2. Assignment 2. Due Tuesday, October 22 in class. (New version posted Oct 16).
  3. Assignment 3. Due Thursday, Nov 12 in class.
  4. Assignment 4. Due Tuesday, Dec 3 in class.


There will be two in class midterms: October 8 and November 12. Please mark these dates in your calendar.

The Final Einal exam is scheduled for Tuesday, December 10, 9 AM - 12 PM.

All exams are cumulative!


SENATE POLICY ON PREREQUISITES: Unless you have either the requisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enroll in it, you may be removed from this course and it will be deleted from your record. This decision may not be appealed. You will receive no adjustment to your fees in the event that you are dropped from a course for failing to have the necessary prerequisites.

STATEMENT ON ACADEMIC OFFENCES: Scholastic offences are taken seriously and students are directed to read the appropriate policy, specifically, the definition of what constitutes a Scholastic Offence. Computer-marked multiple-choice tests and/or exams may be subject to submission for similarity review by software that will check for unusual coincidences in answer patterns that may indicate cheating.

ABSENCE OR MISSED WORK: If you are unable to meet a course requirement due to illness consult the Policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness - Undergraduate. If you are unable to meet a course requirement due to other serious circumstances, contact your instructor immediately.

SUPPORT SERVICES: Registrars: Main Campus (other registrar offices: Brescia, Huron, King's);
Student Development Centre;
University Students' Council;
Academic Calendar;
Students who are in emotional/mental distress should refer to Mental Health Western for a complete list of options about how to obtain help.