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Pmu199y1y Course Outline

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Feng Chen

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COURSE OUTLINE – PMU199 2012-13 (Mathematics in Current Events) Mathematics has been a key to many of the spectacular discoveries of our times. Mathematics is fundamental to creating and analysing many of the models we use to understand the world around us and to invent new technologies. From managing business risk to designing medical diagnostic equipment, mathematics provides insights inaccessible by other means. This seminar is based on a review of topics selected from popular publications such as Scientific American and American Scientist or from recent events. Each student will make a presentation each term based on an article(s) describing a significant application of mathematics and may work in a team, depending on class size. The instructor will present the first one or two topics and then guide the discussion and assist in placing the applications in the context of modern mathematics in the student presentations, providing simple explanations whenever possible. After each presentation an independent written report will be required from each of the presenters on the material and the discussion. A test will be written by the whole class at the end of each term containing one question on each presentation in the preceding term. The first class of each term will be devoted to organising teams and choosing topics. We will try to start the presentations as early as possible, so please prepare. The presentation schedule is fixed in the first two classes Marking scheme The scheme below applies to the first term and will be repeated in the second term. Participation and attendance 20% Presentation 20% Report 40% Test 20% Below are possible topics. Of course, you are also free to choose another suitable topic. 1. Encryption –secure internet communication eg. banking 2. GPS and how to calculate the best route from A to B 3. Game theory –modern economics, the Deep Blue chess program 4. Business risk, financial derivativ
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