Math 306

Spring 2005

Professor Ben Ford

Office: Schulz cubicle farm (room 2009C, then room 2016B) #41

Phone: 664-2472


Texts: R. P. Burn: A Pathway into Number Theory (Second Edition) and G. Jones and J. Jones: Elementary Number Theory

Class times: Tuesday and Thursday, 10:45-12, Stevenson 3076

Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 10:00-10:30, Library study area on second floor (go left past circulation desk, then study area is on the right); by discovery, or by appointment.

Cell phones should be off (not just put in silent mode) during class.

Homework, tests, grading, and schedule

What's this course all about?

According to, number theory is “The study of properties of integers, generalizations of integers, and relations between them, especially Diophantine equations (equations in integers) and prime numbers.” We will study modular arithmetic, divisibility theory (including the Euclidean algorithm), prime factorization and the distribution of primes, perfect numbers, and Fermat’s Last Theorem. The course will involve writing LOTS of proofs. The only way to become better at understanding and creating proofs is to do it – lots!

How will class work?

We'll spend most class time seeing presentations and working on problems in small groups. When we come to the end of a topic, I will give a brief summary. Many problems on the midterm and final will come from presented problems, so everyone is responsible for all of the problems that get presented.


M*A*T*H Colloquium – You should make this a regular part of your week. Especially relevant to you this semester are the talks on March 16 and April 27.

Other books:

The library has several other Number Theory texts. You might find them useful for other reading.