Math 314 syllabus

Course information

Meeting times: M,W from 3:00–4:15pm
Textbook: Stephen Abbott, Understanding analysis, 2nd edition
Lecture notes: Draft notes document
Homework assignments: View homework
Office hours: TBA

Course description

Real analysis is one of the core areas of modern mathematics. It is also the subject that provides the foundations for introductory calculus. The course content is valuable for both aspiring math practitioners and future educators. In this class we will also be exposed to rigorous mathematical thinking, reasoning, problem solving, and proof.

We will begin by discussing a simple but surprisingly deep question: what are real numbers? The answer to this question will lead us to a key concept, the completeness of the real numbers. With an understanding of completeness, will be able to undertake a rigorous study of familiar concepts from calculus: limits, series, continuity, and of course derivatives and integrals. Our study of continuity will also take us on a short tour of the theory of topology—the abstract study of continuity and its properties.

Anticipated learning outcomes

Rough plan

Course format

The course will be delivered through synchronous remote class sessions. Each session will include a mixture of questions on previous material, discussion of new material, and an in-class activity.


In-class participation 10%

You are expected to attend remote class sessions, and to be prepared to ask questions and discuss the material. Following the discussion, we will start an in-class activity. A small portion of your grade will be based on attendance, attention, collaboration and completion of these activities.

Homework 50%

Homework will be assigned each week and collected the following week. Most exercises will be graded for both correcteness and mathematical style. Some will be graded for completeness only. You are encouraged to collaborate with your peers, and you are welcome to use online resources when you are stuck (please reference). But please keep in mind that you must always fully understand your solutions and most importantly write them in your own words.

Take-home exams 20% x2

Take-home exams will be given during the 8th week and the finals week of the class.


This syllabus is subject to change. I may make refinements and updates in the first week of classes. While I don’t expect any substantial changes, please allow for some flexibility. I will give notice before making any changes to the syllabus.