College Geometry, MATH 480/680, Summer Session 2, 2018

This is the home page and first day handout for MAT 480/680, meeting MTWRF from 9:40 to 11:10 in CBC-C315.  My name is Dr. Arthur Baragar, my office is CDC 1016, and I can be reached at 702-895-0378. Important information announced in class will also be posted on WebCampus. The prerequisite for this course is MAT 181 or consent of the instructor. You should also know how to multiply, invert, and take determinants of 2x2 matrices (so you should have studied some linear algebra -- this is covered in MAT 126 and MAT 330).

Syllabus: This course will cover the following topics of geometry:


Text:  A Survey of Classical and Modern Geometries, by Arthur Baragar, published by Prentice Hall. The website for this text (which includes errata) is at

Other Details:  Sketchpad assignments will be handed in electronically through WebCampus, and in one file (I'll explain how to do this when the time comes).  You may use Geogebra instead, if you wish; Geogebra is available for free.

Sketchpad assignments can be done on campus computers in CEB 309, CBC-B133, CBC-B322, or at home if you have a copy of Geometer's Skecthpad.  Geometer's Sketchpad was developed by Key Curriculum Press and is now distributed by McGraw Hill Educational.  One year student licenses are $10.56 (?).

A ruler and compass will also be required to do some exams.  

Grading Scheme:

Exam two will have an in class component and a take home component, which is due the following day (Wednesday) at the beginning of class. Exam four is due at the begiining of class on 7/5. There is no preset correlation between numerical grades and letter grades.  A letter grade (without + or -), a report card, if you like, will be posted on WebCampus after every exam, starting with Exam two.  Sample exams will be posted on WebCampus.

Office Hours: If you need to see me, please look for me during the office hours posted below, or please make an appointment. If there is no one in my office during the last half of the office hour, I will feel free to leave, so please arrive early.

Cell phones during exams: Please make sure your cell phone is out of sight (e.g. in your pocket, in your bag, or at home) or left with me for the duration of the exam.

University required announcements:

Academic Misconduct—Academic integrity is a legitimate concern for every member of the campus community; all share in upholding the fundamental values of honesty, trust, respect, fairness, responsibility, and professionalism. By choosing to join the UNLV community, students accept the expectations of the Student Academic Misconduct Policy and are encouraged when faced with choices to always take the ethical path. Students enrolling at UNLV assume the obligation to conduct themselves in a manner compatible with UNLV's function as an educational institution. An example of academic misconduct is plagiarism. Plagiarism is using the words or ideas of another, from the Internet or any source, without proper citation of the sources. See the Student Academic Misconduct Policy (approved December 9, 2005) located at:

Classroom Conduct—Students have a responsibility to conduct themselves in class and in the libraries in ways that do not interfere with the rights of other students to learn or of instructors to teach. Use of electronic devices such as pagers, cellular phones, or recording devices, or potentially disruptive devices or activities, are permitted only with the prior explicit consent of the instructor. The instructor may rescind permission at any time during the class. If a student does not comply with established requirements or obstructs the functioning of the class, the instructor may initiate an administrative drop.

Classroom Surveillance—Nevada Revised Statutes (State Law) 396.970  Surreptitious electronic surveillance on campus; exceptions. [Effective January 1, 2017.]

  1. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2, it is unlawful for a person to engage in any kind of
    surreptitious electronic surveillance on a campus of the System without the knowledge of the person being
  2. Subsection 1 does not apply to any electronic surveillance:
    1. Authorized by a court order issued to a public officer, based upon a showing of probable cause to believe that criminal activity is occurring on the property under surveillance;
    2. By a law enforcement agency pursuant to a criminal investigation;
    3. By a peace officer pursuant to NRS 289.830;
    4. By a uniformed peace officer of the Nevada Highway Patrol Division of the Department of Public Safety pursuant to NRS 480.365;
    5. Which is necessary as part of a system of security used to protect and ensure the safety of persons on the campus; or
    6. Of a class or laboratory when authorized by the teacher of the class or laboratory. (Added to NRS by 1993, 2138; A 2015, 575, 3668, effective January 1, 2017)

Copyright—The University requires all members of the University Community to familiarize themselves with and to follow copyright and fair use requirements. You are individually and solely responsible for violations of copyright and fair use laws. The university will neither protect nor defend you, nor assume any responsibility for employee or student violations of fair use laws. Violations of copyright laws could subject you to federal and state civil penalties and criminal liability, as well as disciplinary action under University policies. Additional information can be found at:

Disability Resource Center (DRC)—The UNLV Disability Resource Center (SSC-A 143,, 702-895-0866) provides resources for students with disabilities. If you feel that you have a disability, please make an appointment with a Disabilities Specialist at the DRC to discuss what options may be available to you. If you are registered with the UNLV Disability Resource Center, bring your Academic Accommodation Plan from the DRC to the instructor during office hours so that you may work together to develop strategies for implementing the accommodations to meet both your needs and the requirements of the course. Any information you provide is private and will be treated as such. To maintain the confidentiality of your request, please do not approach the instructor in front of others to discuss your accommodation needs.

Final Examinations—The University requires that final exams given at the end of a course occur at the time and on the day specified in the final exam schedule. See the schedule at: (Not applicable for summer courses.)

Incomplete Grades—The grade of I—Incomplete—can be granted when a student has satisfactorily completed three-fourths of course work for that semester/session but for reason(s) beyond the student's control, and acceptable to the instructor, cannot complete the last part of the course, and the instructor believes that the student can finish the course without repeating it. The incomplete work must be made up before the end of the following regular semester for undergraduate courses. Graduate students receiving "I" grades in 500-, 600-, or 700-level courses have up to one calendar year to complete the work, at the discretion of the instructor. If course requirements are not completed within the time indicated, a grade of F will be recorded and the GPA will be adjusted accordingly. Students who are fulfilling an Incomplete do not register for the course but make individual arrangements with the instructor who assigned the I grade.

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Religious Holidays Policy—Any student missing class quizzes, examinations, or any other class or lab work because of observance of religious holidays shall be given an opportunity during that semester to make up missed work. The make-up will apply to the religious holiday absence only. It shall be the responsibility of the student to notify the instructor within the first 14 calendar days of the course for fall and spring courses (excepting modular courses), or within the first 7 calendar days of the course for summer and modular courses, of his or her intention to participate in religious holidays which do not fall on state holidays or periods of class recess. For additional information, please visit:

Transparency in Learning and Teaching—The University encourages students to use a transparency template to discuss with their instructors how assignments and course activities benefit student success:

Tutoring and Coaching—The Academic Success Center (ASC) provides tutoring, academic success coaching and other academic assistance for all UNLV undergraduate students. For information regarding tutoring subjects, tutoring times, and other ASC programs and services, visit or call 702-895-3177. The ASC building is located across from the Student Services Complex (SSC). Academic success coaching is located on the second floor of SSC A (ASC Coaching Spot). Drop-in tutoring is located on the second floor of the Lied Library and College of Engineering TBE second floor.

UNLV Writing Center—One-on-one or small group assistance with writing is available free of charge to UNLV students at the Writing Center, located in CDC-3-301. Although walk-in consultations are sometimes available, students with appointments will receive priority assistance. Appointments may be made in person or by calling 702-895-3908. The student's Rebel ID Card, a copy of the assignment (if possible), and two copies of any writing to be reviewed are requested for the consultation. More information can be found at:

Learning outcomes: This is required by the University, but is way down here because I do not believe including it adds any value to the first day hand out. The lazy way of including learning outcomes is to add action verbs to the syllabus. So, "The student will learn about Euclidean geometry..." etc. Feel free to pencil in your own action verbs above. Another favorite: "The student will learn how to think critically and analytically." I expect you to both absorb knowledge and sythesize it. (Translation: You'll be asked to come up with and write up proofs.) But learning outcomes should not be about my expectations. They should be about yours. In a famous reply to a question raised by a student: "Do not ask what I will cover, ask yourself what you will discover." (Sorry, I don't remember who said that.)


The point is, what you learn is up to you. I, like any of your professors, am just a guide. To overwork an old cliche, I am guiding you up a mountain. You can choose to stare at your feet the whole way up, and when you get back down, proudly wear the T-shirt "I made it up Mount Geometry." Or you can choose to look around and take in the beauty of this subject. Opt for an education, not just a degree.

UNLV Home Page * Arthur Baragar's Home Page