Undergraduate Courses

MA 330, Foundations of Mathematics

Course Description and Goals

This is a basic course on the foundations of mathematics, primarily intended for students in mathematics, science, engineering, and philosophy. Topics include

  • symbolic logic and the algebra of logical operations, including conjunction, disjunction, negation, implication and equivalence
  • methods of proof, including direct proof, counterexamples, and mathematical induction
  • sets and the algebra of set operations, including union, intersection, complement, and Cartesian product
  • abstract functions
  • equivalence relations and their properties
  • partial order relations and their properties
  • cardinality, including finite sets, countably infinite sets, and uncountable sets

Additional topics may include

  • combinations and permutations
  • recurrence relations
  • construction of number systems (integers, rational numbers, real numbers)

Course goals include

  • an improved ability to think abstractly, and in particular, a basic understanding of mathematical structures defined axiomatically
  • the ability to construct careful, correct, succinct proofs of simple theorems
  • the ability to recognize fallacious arguments and logical flaws
  • an improved understanding of the interplay between conjecture, example, counterexample, and proof
  • a basic understanding of the central role of sets, functions, and relations in mathematics
  • an improved ability to read, write, speak, and think in mathematical terms


MA 172, Calculus B and one MA course at the 200 level or above

Credit Hours

3 Semester Hours

Grading System

This course is graded A, B, C, D, F. The grade typically depends on a combination of class tests, homework assignments, quizzes, and a comprehensive final exam.