Shravan Vasishth

Professor, Dept. of Linguistics, University of Potsdam, 14476 Potsdam
Speaker, Language Cluster, Cognitive Science
Phone: +49-(0)331-977-2950 | Fax: - 2087 | vasishth at

Foundations of Mathematics (Winter Semesters, MSc Cognitive Systems)

Note that the Winter 2016 course will be taught by Lena Jaeger.
. This page only contains information about the course as I teach it. Anyone can take this course; there is no need to email me to ask whether you can attend.
This course covers basic undergraduate level mathematics needed for the MSc Cognitive Systems program, and for advanced statistical data analysis in psycholinguistics.
Textbook: Gilbert and Jordan, 2nd edition, 2002.
Video lectures: Students should follow the relevant lectures on MIT Open Courseware by Gilbert Strang and Denis Auroux. Please see here, here, and here. Of course, you should not hesitate to consult other sources. Apart from the course textbook, I recommend Jordan and Smith, fourth edition, but this is optional.
Lecture notes: available here.
Homework: Six or seven assignments will be handed out. Students must get at least 60\% overall in the homework assignments to qualify to take the final exam. Detailed solutions will be provided; students are expected to work with these solutions themselves to make sure they understand and correct their errors. Students who want to get extra practice should not hesitate to do the exercises given at the end of each chapter in the textbook (the book provides solutions too).
Schedule: We have approximately 14 meetings in this course (this varies a bit from year to year). We don't have regular lectures; rather, students are expected to work on their own to read the textbook and watch relevant video lectures on MIT Opencourseware and elsewhere. In the meetings, I will mostly discuss solutions. But I may occasionally give lectures as needed. The approximate schedule is as follows:
Lecture Topic Reading HW
1 Precalculus I: algebra; perm. and comb.; inequalities to-do HW 0
2 Discussion: HW0 sols to-do -
3 Precalculus II: series to-do HW 1
4 Solutions HW 1 to-do
5 Differentiation to-do HW 2
6 Solutions HW 2 to-do
7 Integration to-do HW 3
8 Solutions HW 3 to-do -
9 Matrix Algebra I to-do HW 4
10 Matrix Algebra II, partial derivatives to-do HW 5
11 Solutions HW 4 and 5 to-do -
12 Double integrals, change of variables to-do HW 6
13 Solutions HW 6 to-do -
14 Final exam - -

Grading: The final grade is based on a 20-minute oral exam and the HW assignment grades.