The Number Mysteries (Online)

Course summary

The Number Mysteries (Online)



Overview

Based on Marcus du Sautoy's book The Number Mysteries, this course explores the question, how natural is mathematics? Through numerous online activities and 'at home' experiments, you will interact with mathematics as you have never done before.


For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.

Today, we inhabit a world that is full of technological advances which are only possible due to the huge leaps that science has made over the last few decades; the structure of DNA, the microchip, splitting the atom. Yet, as diverse as these major discoveries may seem, they are all understood through the language of mathematics.

Mathematics has come a long way from its humble origins of notches on a stick and through this ten week course we will take you all the way from the beginning of the number system to the very edges of the universe.

Packed full of diverse activities to suit a wide range of learning styles, The Number Mysteries maths course is for anyone who wants to go on a mathematical odyssey which may change the way they think forever.

Programme details

  1. The construction of the number system and the human relationship to it.

  2. Proofs and prime numbers

  3. Fractals

  4. Topology

  5. Probability Theory

  6. Probabilistic games

  7. Modulo arithmetic

  8. Encryption

  9. Mechanical System

  10. Chaos and complex numbers

Recommended reading

To participate in this course you will need to have regular access to the Internet and you will need to buy the following book:

  • du Sautoy, Marcus; The Number Mysteries [2010], Fourth Estate, Great Britain

Certification

To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee for each course you enrol on. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online. If you do not register when you enrol, you have up until the course start date to do so.

For more information on CATS point please click on the link below: http://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/studentsupport/faq/cats.php

Coursework is an integral part of all online courses and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework, but only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.

Assignments are not graded but are marked either pass or fail.

All students who successfully complete this course, whether registered for credit or not, are eligible for a Certificate of Completion. Completion consists of submitting both course assignments and actively participating in the course forums. Certificates will be available, online, for those who qualify after the course finishes.

IT requirements

This course is delivered online; to participate you must to be familiar with using a computer for purposes such as sending email and searching the Internet. You will also need regular access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification.

Fees

EU Fee: £255.00
Non-EU Fee: £295.00
Take this course for CATS points: £10.00

Tutors

Dr Thomas Woolley

Tutor

Course aims

This course aims to

  • give students a deeper knowledge and understanding of the concepts of number, shape, the role of logic and probability in game play, the role of mathematics in codes and the power of mathematical equations to predict the future;
  • provide students with activities that allow the students to interact with mathematics on a level which they may not considered before;
  • show how mathematics permeates many aspects of our daily lives;
  • aid the intuition of the participants when dealing with probability;
  • show the beauty behind the equations that mathematicians use.

This course will enable students to:

  • have confidence in situations where numerical processes are necessary.
  • question the statistical data that the media presents as fact.
  • organise problems logically, stating their assumptions and understanding their conclusions.

Teaching outcomes

By the end of this course students will be expected to understand:

  • mathematics is the language of the universe;
  • mathematics is more than just numbers;
  • intuition may not always be correct;
  • the power of proof;
  • mathematics allows us to explore theoretical systems without the need of physical experiment.

By the end of this course students will be expected to have gained the following skills:

  • Discuss mathematical ideas competently.
  • Suggest possible applicable branches of mathematics to new problems.
  • Clarify and evaluate assumptions based on their applicability.
  • Aid their intuition through mathematical insights.
  • Transform known solutions to new problems.

Assessment methods

Assessment for this course is based on two written assignments - one short assignment due half way through the course and one longer assignment due at the end of the course. Students will have about two weeks to complete each assignment.

Assignments are not graded but are marked either pass or fail.

Application

If you are unsure whether you are eligible to pay `Home/EU` or `Non-EU/overseas` fees, please read the UKCISA guidance notes to help establish your fee status.

Online Course Enrolment Form

Terms and conditions

For applicants and students on this course

Sources of funding

Find information on the different ways in which we may be able to help to support you financially whilst you are studying with us.

Level and demands

FHEQ level 4, 10 weeks, approx 10 hours per week, therefore a total of about 100 study hours.