1. Read one of the following books (for the longer ones, a few chapters will do), and write a paper on it. This is *not* a book report; instead, the goal is to understand and present one or more of the main ideas in your own words.

**Chaos: Making a New Science by James Gleick**

** ***Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid *by Douglas R. Hofstadter

*Instability rules : the Ten Most Amazing Ideas of Modern Science*

by Charles Flowers

*How to Solve It : A New Aspect of Mathematical Method *by G. Polya

*Attacking Faulty Reasoning: A Practical Guide to Fallacy-Free Arguments*

by T. Edward Damer

*With Good Reason: An Introduction to Informal Fallacies *by Morris S Engel

*Logic Made Easy: How to Know When Language Deceives You *by D.J. Bennet

*Archimedes’ Revenge: The Joys and Perils of Mathematics* by Paul Hoffman

*Understanding the philosophy of science *by James Ladyman

*Scientific method in practice *by Hugh G. Gauch, Jr.

*Godel: A Life of Logic* by John L. Casti and Werner DePaul

*Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything*

by Steven Levitt

*Crimes Against Logic* by Jamie Whyte

* Super Crunchers: Why Thinking-by-Numbers Is the New Way to Be Smart*

by Ian Ayres

(Many of these are available in the CLC library)

2. Write a “mathematical biography” on one of the leading figures of mathematical Logic. Research the life and work of one, and write a paper about him. AT MOST one third of your paper should concern their biography. The remainder should show discuss their contributions to the field, and why it was important. Note that you also should refrain from giving a list of results – rather, the purpose of this paper is to show what you learned about their work. Connections to what we have learned in class should be included. Suggested subjects: Kurt Godel, Bertrand Russell, Aristotle, George Boole, Georg Cantor, Leibniz.

3. Each quarter, the U.S. government issues estimates of economic indicators such as the inflation rate, growth rate of the economy, and unemployment statistics. In recent years, there has been considerable controversy over the government’s calculation of the inflation rate – since many government outlays are directly tied to the inflation rate, small errors in its estimation can have large impacts on federal budgets. Write a report describing how the inflation rate is calculated, and why this method of calculation has been questioned. Be sure to discuss the CPI and how it impacts the economy and federal budget.

4. Imagine that you are a financial consultant. One of your clients is a young lady, age 30. She has recently bought a home for $200,000. The mortgage is for 30 years at a rate of 6%. She also wants to save for retirement. She is able to put $2400 annually into an IRA that earns 5% compounded monthly. The money put into the IRA is pre-tax; assume that she pays 25% of her income as income tax. She is currently weighing two options: either paying an additional $200 per month on her mortgage payment, or paying the same $200 into her IRA. Which would you recommend if she wants to retire at age 60? Draw up a couple of scenarios that would help her make her decision. Give a detailed comparison of the merits of each plan.

5. The following books discuss some of the ways in which statistical data is commonly misused:

– *How to Lie with Statistics*, by Darrell Huff

– *Damned Lies and Statistics* by Joel Best

– *More Damned Lies and Statistics* by Joel Best.

– *Standard Deviations: Flawed Assumptions, Tortured Data and Other Ways to Lie with Statistics by Gary Smith*

#MATH #Writing #Project