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Math 197: General Course Outline

Catalog Description

197. Individual Studies in Mathematics. (2 to 4 units). Tutorial, three hours per week per unit. Limited to juniors/seniors. At discretion of chair and subject to availability of staff, individual intensive study of topics suitable for undergraduate course credit but not specifically offered as separate courses. Scheduled meetings to be arranged between faculty member and student. Assigned reading and tangible evidence of mastery of subject matter required. May be repeated for maximum of 12 units, but no more than one 197 or 199 course may be applied toward upper division courses required for majors offered by Mathematics Department. Individual contract required. P/NP or letter grading.

General Information The Math 197 title has been used to cover coursework for a course that is listed in the catalog but not given in a particular year. However, Math 197 cannot be used to duplicate the coverage of a regularly offered course. University regulations specify that courses labeled 197 are open only to juniors and seniors with a 3.0 GPA in their major field. Math 197 is intended for students who have already taken a number of Math and PIC courses.

In order to enroll in a 197 course, the student's petition must receive the approval of the sponsoring faculty member and of the Undergraduate Vice Chair. The petition should spell out student's obligations are for successful completion of the course, including what will be covered in the course, how often the student will meet with the faculty sponsor, and what written material will be required.

While the 197 course is meant to be flexible, to cover students or groups of students with special interests and in special situations, there is a list of criteria that the Undergraduate Vice Chair considers before giving approval to a 197 petition. Some of these conditions have been mentioned above. Exceptions to these conditions are rare. The conditions are:

1. Math 197 is intended for students who have already taken a number of Math and PIC courses.

2. Math 197 cannot be used to duplicate the coverage of a regularly offered course.

3. The 197 course should be sponsored by a regular Mathematics Department faculty member.

4. Before agreeing to sponsor a 197 course, the faculty member should have some good grounds upon which to assess the student's potential and level of ability, such as having had the student in another course.

5. There should be roughly 30 hours work for each unit credit.

6. The faculty sponsor and the student should meet on a regular basis, which should be specified in the petition. For four units credit, weekly meetings are appropriate, while for two units credit, biweekly meetings suffice.

7. There must be some written work, specified in the petition, that is submitted to the sponsoring faculty member and available to the Undergraduate Vice Chair upon the conclusion of the course.

8. Math 197 credit will not be given for work also turned in for another course.

9. Math 197 is not appropriate for field study credit, except in conjunction with a project for a Mathematics Department faculty member that also has a major component of reading on an advanced topic.