## Mathematics 281S, Fall 2024

### Problem Solving Seminar

Instructor: Lenny
Ng

Meeting time: Wednesdays 4:40-5:55 pm

Location: Physics 119

Office hours:
TBA, and by appointment.

**Course syllabus** (last updated July 25)

In this half-credit seminar, you will develop and hone your
mathematical problem solving skills. Each week you'll be challenged
with fun, recreational, and unconventional problems on a different
topic. Topics will range widely through areas such as number theory,
algebra, combinatorics, probability, and geometry, with a focus on
areas that aren't typically part of a conventional math
curriculum. Solving many of the problems will involve just as much
creativity as technical knowledge.

This is a working seminar. Students are expected to attend and
actively participate in the class meetings. There will be weekly
problem sets consisting of a variety of problems around a theme of
the week; each student will write up solutions to two problems of
their choosing from the problem set. Your grade will be based on
your problem sets and class attendance/participation.

Prerequisites are minimal, and **everyone is welcome regardless of
background**! However, instructor permission is required. Please
email Professor Ng
if you are interested, and include the following information: what math
courses you've taken at
Duke, including courses you're planning to take in fall 2024, and
any other relevant problem-solving experience (from math competitions
or anywhere else).

*Please note: the department also offers another half-credit seminar
(Math 283S, known until 2020 as Math 281S), aimed more toward
mathematical competitions. If you are interested in enrolling in
Math 283S, please contact Professor James Hughes.*