MAT 475, Problem solving seminar, Winter 2018


Prof. Kasra Rafi
Office: BA 6188 (Bahen Centre)


Tuesdays 12 - 2 pm in BA 1210.
Thursdays 12 - 1 pm in BA 1210.

Office hours

Mondays 5-6 pm or by appointment.

Teaching Assistant

Leonid Monin
You can contact Leonid to set an appointment if you need to discuss the grading of quizzes.


Problem-Solving Through Problems, by Loren C. Larson (Main).
How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method , by George Póya (Suplimentary).

Course description

We'll get more competent at solving math problems and writing their solutions by solving many math problems and writing their solutions.

Problems Sets and Quizzes:

There will be a weekly problem set posted here. The solution will not be collected. Instead, there will be weekly quizzes based on the Problem Set (12 quizzes in total). Only the grades of the best 10 quizzes will count towards the final grade. That is, each quiz is worth 5% of your final grade.

Also, for each problem set, a group of stundets will be assigned to write the complete solutions to all the problems. These solutions will also be posted here. Writting these solution counts for 10% if your grade.

Final Exam

The time and location for the final exam will be announced later.

Marking scheme

Your course grade is computed as follows:

Study hints

The problems are assigned on Thursdays. You should read the problems immediately and if you have trouble understading what the problem is asking, you can stop by during the office hours which are also on Thursdays. You should then form study groups and spend a few hours every week on solving these problems to prepare for the quiz.

Policy on missed quizzes or exams:

There are no make up quizzes. If you miss more than two quizzes for a legitimate reason which you can document, your grading scheme will be adjusted by increasing the final exam component of your mark. The documentation must be submitted no later than 7 days after the date of the exam/quiz. You can find the University of Toronto Medical Certificate form here.


MAT224H1/MAT247H1, MAT235Y1/MAT237Y1/MAT257Y1, and at least 1.0 FCE at the 300+ level in APM/MAT.

You need to be comfortable with proofs and with using the language of writting mathematics. Familiarity with Linear Algebra, elementary number theory and modular arithmetic and plane geometry is also useful for some of the problems examples will discuss.

Academic integrity

The University of Toronto Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters can be found here.

Accessibility needs

The University of Toronto is committed to accessibility. If you require accommodations for a disability, or have any accessibility concerns about the course, the classroom or course materials, please contact Accessibility Services as soon as possible: email or visit here.