Time: Tuesday/Thursday, 11:10 am-12:25 pm
Location: YMCA 115
Instructor: Kenny Easwaran
Office: YMCA Building 314, 979-847-6128
Office Hours: Tuesday/Thursday 1-2 pm, or by appointment.
Course Description: This class covers the basic ideas of formal reasoning, both in logic and probability. Students will learn the meaning and importance of the concepts of valid and sound arguments, some methods for figuring out which arguments have each property, and ways of understanding arguments that hinge on probability when validity and soundness don't apply. Furthermore, students will develop skills to apply these methods to arguments phrased in ordinary language.
Grading Policies: 1/3 of the grade will be based on homework assignments. 1/3 of the grade will be from the midterm. 1/3 of the grade will be from the final. These assignments will be difficult, so it is very possible that an apparently low numerical score like 65/100 might turn out to be a B. I'll keep students updated about the connection as things go.
Working in Groups: I encourage people to work together on the homework assignments. If you work together with someone else on a homework assignment, you will get 2 bonus points, provided you meet the following conditions:
To get the bonus points, list the names of the people you worked with in your group. I will take that as your pledge that you met these four conditions. The 2 bonus points per assignment is not likely to make much difference to your grade, but I've found that working together in groups does help many people immensely in learning. Explaining your thoughts to others, and hearing their explanations, often gives you totally new insights.
Readings: There is no required text to purchase for this class. Most of the material will be from freely available chapters of online textbooks by Graeme Forbes and Gary Hardegree. Some further readings and resources will be made available through the website or e-mail later in the semester.
Disability Statement: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact Disability Services, currently located in the Disability Services building at the Student Services at White Creek complex on west campus or call 979-845-1637. For additional information, visit http://disability.tamu.edu.
Jan. 19, 21
Jan. 26 (no class Jan. 28 - I will be in Arizona)
Feb. 2, 4
Feb. 9, 11
Feb. 16, 18
Feb. 25 (no class Feb. 23 - I will be in Pittsburgh)
Mar. 1 (no class Mar. 3 - I will be in Chicago)
Mar. 8, 10
Mar. 15, 17 - Spring Break
Mar. 22, 24 - review and midterm
Mar. 29, 31
Apr. 5, 7
Apr. 12, 14
Homework 4 due in class on Apr. 14
Apr. 19, 21
Apr. 26, 28
Homework 5 due in class on Apr. 28
May 3 (no class, redefined day?)
May 5, 3:00-5:00 pm - Final Exam