Hello and welcome to Math 245!

The website you are at right now will be the the home for all announcements, assignments, and information for our class, so save this link:

We won’t be using Canvas for this course, except perhaps to post some mid-semester grades. Check out the resource links on the right for more information about the class.

SUMS Conference – Extra Credit

Extra credit opportunity:  Attend either keynote address plus two contributed student talks and write a one-page typed reflection of your day at SUMS for 5 points.  Students that are unable to attend SUMS due to work or other obligations please contact me before October 1 for an alternate opportunity.

Register for the conference at the SUMS website:

Including Graphics in LaTeX Documents

To include a graphic in your Overleaf LaTeX document, you must do three things:

  1. Add the line “\usepackage{graphicx}” after the other \usepackage command at the top of the document;
  2. Upload a JPG graphic file to your document by pressing the “Project” button and then clicking the arrow that appears when you hover over “Files” in the sidebar, the selecting “Upload from Computer”;
  3. Add the line “\includegraphics[width=3in]{filename}” somewhere in your document, choosing an appropriate width and using the name of your JPG file.

Add/Drop Deadline

The deadline for dropping Fall semester classes is Tuesday, September 4. Be sure to check your course catalog and ask your advisor before making any changes!

Math Colloquium

On Mondays the JMU Department of Mathematics and Statistics hosts a weekly colloquium series. Speakers are sometimes visitors from other schools, and sometimes faculty from our own department. Most talks are designed to be accessible to undergraduates, and you are encouraged to attend if you can! Colloquium talks are about an hour long and start at 3:50pm, in Roop 103. Cookies and refreshments are served at 3:30pm in the same room. Check out the JMU Math/Stat Colloquium Schedule for weekly updates.

If you look at the schedule, you’ll notice that the first speaker is your professor for this course!

In this talk I’ll be speaking about mathematical 3D printing and design, and will bring a lot of interesting 3D printed models to pass around the room. I hope you can come to this fun and accessible talk. I’m also recruiting students for my departmental 3D printing lab and for 3D design and research projects, so please to my talk come if you think you might have an interest in joining my 3D team this semester.

First Day Logistics

Here’s what we’ll do during the first day of class. If you join the class late then make sure you do these things on your own as soon as possible.


The required textbook for this class is A Discrete Transition to Advanced Mathematics, by Bettina and Thomas Richmond. This book is available in an old edition published by Thompson/Brooks-Cole and in a new edition published by the American Mathematical Society. These editions are essentially identical, so please feel free to purchase either one.

If your textbook order is delayed during the first week of class, then you can download a PDF of the first two sections from the class Canvas site (used here only to protect the distribution of this copyrighted material). If your textbook order is delayed more than a week, then you’ll have to make friends with someone who is willing to share their book with you until your copy arrives!