Basic Concepts in Mathematics


Course Objective

After this course...

... the student can understand and reproduce simple mathematical
statements and proofs, and check them for correctness.
... the student can choose an appropriate strategy to prove a
mathematical statement.
... the student can write down the proof of a simple mathematical
statement in a clear and unambiguous manner.
... the student knows the definitions of certain basic mathematical
concepts and is able to prove statements and theorems about these.
... the student displays an active attitude that is necessary for the
further study of mathematics.

Course Content

This course is all about essential notions and techniques in
mathematics. You will learn about, and work with, things like sets,
logic, counting, relations, functions and cardinality, but we will spend
at least as much time on various techniques for proving mathematical
statements, including direct and contrapositive proof, and proof by
contradiction and induction. We will also teach you how to write down
mathematical arguments properly.

Teaching Methods

Lectures, study sessions and tutorials (total 8 hours per week).
Students are also required to hand in a homework assignment every week.
We expect you to dedicate in total about 20 hours per week to this

Method of Assessment

Your final grade is built up as follows:

A test in week 2 [25%];
A test in week 5 [25%];
A final exam in week 8 [50%];
A number of unannounced tests during lectures [max. 5% bonus];

You will also be required to hand in 6 written assignments;

To pass the course...

... your final score must be no less then 55% (all students);
... 5 out of your 6 hand-in assignments must have been graded as
"sufficient" (all students). A hand-in assignment that is initially
graded as insufficient, may be handed in a second time;
... you must have been present at 75% of the study sessions and
tutorials (full time students only);

If you don't fulfill these requirements, then you must take the resit
exam in January. The resit exam then counts for 100% (i.e. the partial
grades that you obtained during the course in period 1 will no longer be

Entry Requirements



We use the "Book of Proof" by Richard Hammack (2nd Ed.) This book is
available for free on the website of the author.

Target Audience

BSc Mathematics Year 1

Additional Information

Participation in 75% of the study sessions and tutorials is mandatory
(for full time students) in order to pass the course.

Recommended background knowledge

High school mathematics

General Information

Course Code X_401104
Credits 6 EC
Period P1
Course Level 100
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator prof. dr. B.W. Rink
Examiner prof. dr. B.W. Rink
Teaching Staff prof. dr. B.W. Rink

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar, Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: