Colorado State University, Pueblo
Math 425 — Complex Variables — Spring 2010

Here is a shortcut to the course schedule/homework page.

Lectures: MWF 10-10:50pm in PM 115      Office Hours: MWF 11am-12pm and TΘ12-1pm in PM 248

Instructor: Jonathan Poritz     Office: PM 248     E-mail:
Phone: 549-2044 (office — any time); 357-MATH (personal; please use sparingly)

Text: Complex Variables and Applications, 8th Edition, by James Ward Brown and Ruel V. Churchill. Please bring it to class every day.

Prerequisite: Math 325.

Content: We will cover most of Chapters 1-7 of the textbook, along with various other additional topics as time and interest allow (it would be particularly fun to spend some time with Chapters 9&10). The theme of all of this work is doing calculus with complex-valued functions of a complex variable. The amazing thing is how perfectly it all fits together, compared to calculus over the real numbers. If real analysis (the grown-up term for "calculus over the real numbers") sometimes feels like
Pablo Picasso 
[so: a huge mess, with the dead bodies of great ideas lying around everywhere],
well, then complex analysis is more like
M.C. Escher 
[so: beautiful and serene and powerful... but a little paradoxical].

Academic integrity: Mathematics is more effectively and easily learned — and more fun — when you work in groups. However, all work you turn in must be your own, and any form of cheating is grounds for an immediate F in the course for all involved parties.

Students with disabilities: The University abides by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which stipulate that no student shall be denied the benefits of education "solely by reason of a handicap." If you have a documented disability that may impact your work in this class for which you may require accommodations, please see the Disability Resource Coordinator as soon as possible to arrange accommodations. In order to receive this assistance, you must be registered with and provide documentation of your disability to the Disability Resource Office, which is located in the Psychology Building, Suite 232.

Your activity: This is a typical 400-level class, in which the primary goal is for you to understand and be able to work with ideas, not numbers and formulæ (or even algorithms). It is expected that you will take several (further) steps into the subculture of academic mathematics, which has its own characteristic ways of speaking, listening, reading, writing, and discourse, some of which are more than two thousand years old, while most of the rest are at least several decades or centuries old... and yet they are tremendously powerful and efficient. In fact, an argument could be made that they underlie in a fundamental way the scientific method and the whole project of modernism itself. It is for this reason that we will spend a fair bit of time discussing and practicing these metamathematical processes both in class and in work you do at home. In particular:

Grades: Your total homework points will be scaled to be out of 200. Both midterms will be graded out of 100, while the final will be out of 150. Group activities, classroom participation an other impromtu activities will together count for 50 more points. This means that the maximum possible course points are 600. Letter grades will then be calculated in a way no more strict than the old "90-100% is an A, 80-90% a B, etc." system, based on your total points. (Note that by Math Department policy, there will be no +'s or -'s on final course grades.) On test days, attendance is required -- if you miss a test, you will get a zero as score; you will be able to replace that zero only if you are regularly attending class and have informed me, in advance, of your valid reason for missing that day.

Contact outside class: Don't hesitate to talk to me at my office, PM 248, during official office hours -- or any other time/place you can find me on campus. And if you cannot find me, e-mail at is the best alternative (except for emergencies, in which cases try my phone).