MATH 120
Spring 2006
Section 1: MWF, 9:10—10:10, Copley 244
Section 2: MWF, 10:20—11:20, Copley 205

Instructor: Richard Hammack
Office hours:
Office: 238 Copley
11:3012:30 Mon, Wed, Fri.
Work: 752-7210 (and voice mail)
1:002:00, Mon, Tue
Home: 353-8572 (before 9:30 p.m., please)
and by appointment
E-mail: rhammack

Text: A Concise Introduction to Logic, by Patrick Hurley, Ninth Edition.

This is a course in symbolic logic, a method which is used to analyze and evaluate reasoning. In symbolic logic, English phrases are represented by symbols, so that complex arguments become expressions that resemble mathematical equations. Rules are then applied to deduce conclusions or evaluate the validity of arguments.

This course can make you a better person. You will probably find that it improves your reasoning skills, and enables you to more forcefully support and defend your beliefs. You should also find that after taking this course you are in a better position to critique the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments of others. In addition to being useful in everyday life, the reasoning skills you will develop are very important in academic work, and are highly valued by employers. They can also give you an edge if you take the GRE, GMAT or LSAT.

We will cover material from Chapters 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 of the text. Your grade is determined by homework, quizzes, participation, three tests and a final exam. Details follow.

Graded Homework: I will assign short, graded homework problems to be due several days per week. You should be prepared to turn these solutions in to me on the appointed days. However, on some days, instead of collecting the papers, I will ask for volunteers to present some of their solutions on the board. It's important that you put lots of energy and thought into homework, as the investment will greatly improve your understanding, and therefore will increase your test and quiz grades. I encourage you to work together on homework, though the work you turn in must be your own (not blindly copied). In addition to the homework you turn in, you should work lots of extra exercises for practice. The starred problems in the text have answers in the back. These will sometimes appear on quizzes.

Quizzes: There are about 7 short (10 to 15 minute) closed-book quizzes. Quizzes are announced at least a week in advance. Most quiz questions will be similar to (sometimes even identical to) starred problems or homework problems.

Participation: Participation means that you in some way demonstrate intellectual involvement in the course. It does not necessarily mean that you ask questions and volunteer answers. Active participation may include your working lots of exercisess, taking advantage of office hours, and displaying preparedness, dedication and intellectual curiosity.

Tests: There will be three hour-long in-class tests, tentatively scheduled as follows
Test #1: (Chapters 1, 4, 5) Wednesday, March 1
Test #2: (Chapter 6) Monday, March 20
Test #3: (Chapter 7) Wednesday, April 19

Each of these tests will be closed-book and closed-notes. I will write the tests under the assumption that everyone is studying the material at least 6 hours per week outside of class.

Final Exam:
The final exam is comprehensive, covering all material discussed in class. I teach two sections of this course, and each has its own final exam time. You may take the other section's final exam if you wish, provided you inform me a week in advance (so I can prepare the correct number of exams). Thus, you may take the final exam either on Thursday, May 18, 8:30—11:30, or on Friday, May 19, 8:30—11:30. A make-up final can be given only with the consent of the Dean's office.

No electronic devices of any type (other than watches) may be used during any test, quiz or exam.

Make-up Tests and Quizzes: I will drop your lowest test grade and several of your lowest quiz and homework grades. If you miss a test or a quiz, that is one of the grades that will be dropped. As was noted above, a make-up final can be given only with the consent of the Dean's office.


The 10-point grading scale is used:
A: 90-100
B: 80-89
C: 70-79
D: 60-69
F: 0-59
Your final average is computed as follows:
Quizzes 25%
Highest 2 test grades 40%
Homework 5%
Participation 5%
Final Exam 25%

Attendance: I do not take attendance, but I do notice if you are not attending class. If your grades are high, I do not mind if you miss class occasionally. However, if your grades are low and you miss a lot of class, I will notify your advisor and the Dean of Students. Excessive absences can lower your participation score. As a matter of courtesy, you should arrive punctually and stay for the entire duration of each class you attend. Please inform me ahead of time if you must leave early.

I reserve the right to deduct a one- or two-point service charge on each test that, due to an unexcused absence, is not claimed on the class day after the test is given.

HAC: The Higgins Academic Center provided free tutoring for logic. I will announce the schedule when it becomes available. If your grade is below a C, I require you to attend at least one tutoring session per week until your grades improve, and failure to attend can lower your participation score.

Cell Phones: Please be sure that all cell phones and other electronic devices are turned off for the entire duration of each class.

Internet: Information about this course is posted on the Internet. To find it, go to my home page ( and click on "Math 120." There you will find the syllabus, homework assignments, a calendar, grades, and copies of old test and quizzes.

Office: Please feel free to stop by my office whenever you have a question, or if you just want to chat. If my posted hours are inconvenient, I will be happy to schedule an appointment.

Tell me if you are having trouble. Catching up can be very difficult once you get behind, so let me know as soon as you think there is a problem.

Notice: The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and other Federal laws require Randolph-Macon College to provide a "reasonable accommodation" to any individual who advises us of a physical, psychological, or learning disability. If you have a physical, psychological, or learning disability that requires an accommodation, you must first register with the Office for Disability Support Services, located in the Higgins Academic Center.