MAT 108: Introduction to Abstract Mathematics (Spring 2020)
     MWF 9-9:50AM

My lectures and course materials, including PowerPoint presentations, tests, outlines, and similar materials, are protected by U.S. copyright law and by University policy. I am the exclusive owner of the copyright in those materials I create. You may take notes and make copies of course materials for your own use. You may also share those materials with another student who is enrolled in or auditing this course. You may not reproduce, distribute or display (post/upload) lecture notes or recordings or course materials in any other way?whether or not a fee is charged?without my express prior written consent. You also may not allow others to do so. If you do so, you may be subject to student conduct proceedings under the UC Davis Code of Academic Conduct.

          Daniel Bak
          email: sdbak[at]math[dot]ucdavis[dot]edu.
          Office hours: TBA

          Jiaxiang Li
          email: jasonljx[at]math[dot]ucdavis[dot]edu.
          Office hours: TBA

PREREQUISITES: A good working knowledge of calculus (courses MAT 21AB) and some linear algebra (MAT 22A, may be taken concurrently). You are responsible for satisfying the prerequisites!

TEXTBOOK: A Transition to Advanced Mathematics, 8th Edition, by D. Smith. M. Eggen. R. St. Andre (Brooks-Cole, 2011). Chapters 1-5 will be covered. Earlier editions of the book are also fine, but please check the numbering of problems assigned for homework.

GRADE: Course grade will be based on the following:


Tuesday meeting is a discussion session, lead by the TA, and devoted to homework and further elaboration on lecture material. Attendance of discussion sessions is mandatory.

Please bear in mind that talking, cellphone ringing, newspaper reading, etc. disrupt the lectures. Use of computers, cellphones, recorders, or any other electronic devices during lectures is not allowed.

If you have any problem at all that requires special accommodation, please let me know well in advance! In particular, the Student Disability Center asked me to post this message:

Use of books, notes, calculators, or anything else but pencil and paper, will not be allowed on any exam.

Homework will be assigned about once a week, and due the following week. Late homework will not be accepted under any circumstances. See the Homework assignments page for homework information.

Also, there will be no make-up exams. A missed exam counts as 0 points. If you miss the final you will automatically receive an F. The grade I (Incomplete) will not be given in any circumstances. Be aware that, due to a recent policy change, the grade NS (Enrolled No Work Submitted) no longer exists, so you will receive an F if you submit no work.

Solutions for the midterms will be posted at the materials page.


  • Duane Kouba's lecture notes from MAT 108.
  • Two good books on set theory are Basic Set Theory by Shen and Vereshchagin, and Introduction to Set Theory by Hrbacek and Jech.
  • A tutorial on writing proofs by Larry Cusick at CSU Fresno.
  • Some tips on reading math books by Mark Tomforde at University of Houston.
  • A very nice guide on how to write solutions to math problems, by Richard Rusczyk and Mathew Crawford at Art of Problem Solving.
  • To read some of the most elegant proofs ever discovered, check out the Proofs from the Book by Martin Aigner and G?nter M. Ziegler.
  • TeX is the typesetting system used to write all mathematical texts nowadays. It is an excellent idea to learn the most commonly used variant of TeX called LaTeX as soon as possible, although it will not be required in this course. Here is some information to get you started: MikTeX (TeX system for Windows), WinEdt (TeX Editor for Windows, not free), LEd (another TeX Editor for Windows, free), TeXnicCenter (yet another TeX Editor for Windows, free), GSView and Ghostscript (needed to handle PostScript files). A very good introduction is at the Art of Problem Solving website, and you can check out a LaTeX textbook by David R. Wilkins.