# First-Year Mathematics Honours Scheme 2018-2019

#### Goals

- To help first-year students prepare for MATH courses at the 2000 level.
- To enhance an atmosphere that promotes the discussion of mathematics within the Department.

#### Logistics

- A test will be held on May 10, 2019 (Friday) from 3:00pm-5:00pm at LSB C1, for eligible and registered first-year MATH students (see point 4 below).
- To assist in the preparation for the aforementioned test, and to foster an atmosphere for discussion of mathematics, some senior MATH students will run the First-Year Honours Class.

The class schedule in 2018-19 is as follows:Term 1 - Oct 15, 22, 29, Nov 12, 19, 26;

Term 2 - Jan 14, 21, 28, Feb 11, 18, 25, Mar 4, 11, 18, 25, Apr 8, 15.

All classes are to be held on Monday night from 6:30pm-8:15pm at LSB C1 (tentatively).

This will be a unique learning opportunity where students will be guided to solve some interesting mathematics problems. Students are encouraged to come to this class regularly to practice your mathematical skills. - Depending on students’ performance in the test / attendance for the honours class, they will attain one of the following levels, and be rewarded accordingly:
Pass with starred distinction HKD$1,000 with certificate Pass with distinction HKD$800 with certificate Pass with merit HKD$500 with certificate Pass* Certificate Need improvement Free academic counselling *A student will at least obtain a pass if he/she attends at least 80% of the First-Year Honours Class. Any higher honour has to be attained by a satisfactory performance on the test.

- The test will cover the content of MATH 1010, 1030, 1050, plus anything that might appear in past HKALE Pure Mathematics examinations (starting from 1994).
- Students may wish to consult the relevant course webpages, as well as old HKALE Pure Mathematics textbooks and past papers. HKALE Pure Mathematics past papers can be found at
- Multi-media Information System of the Hong Kong Public Library. (Go to https://mmis.hkpl.gov.hk/home and search “HKALE Pure mathematics".)
- CUHK Library. (`UL Gov Document’ on the 1/F of the University Library, ‘CC Gov Document’ on the LG/F of the Chung Chi Library).

- Although HKALE Pure Mathematics textbooks are not easy to find in second-hand-book shops, there are good substitutes at http://archive.org such as:
- Here are some sample questions, and here is the question paper of year 2016, 2017 and 2018.

- Students may wish to consult the relevant course webpages, as well as old HKALE Pure Mathematics textbooks and past papers. HKALE Pure Mathematics past papers can be found at
- A student is eligible for the First-year honours scheme if he/she is admitted to The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2018, and have become a MATH major by August 31, 2019. Interested eligible students should register in the form below (end of page) in order to participate in the scheme.

#### FAQ

- Q: Is this compulsory for first-year MATH students?

A: No, this is entirely voluntary, but the scheme is designed to help first-year MATH majors build a more solid foundation. We hope this will help them succeed in MATH courses at 2000 level (and beyond), so we encourage *all* first-year MATH majors to participate. - Q: Why do we need to take one more test on top of the final examinations of the first year MATH courses?

A: The first year MATH curriculum is constrained by the teaching hours available. Many useful techniques, that used to be covered in HKALE Pure Mathematics examinations, are not treated to sufficient depth in the first-year MATH courses. In particular, experience shows that being able to do well in the final examinations of first-year MATH courses does not necessarily guarantee a solid preparation for second-year MATH courses. This is partly why we come up with this honours scheme, as a supplementary means to bridge this gap between the first and second years. - Q: How hard is the test going to be?

A: It is going to be harder than the final exams of MATH 1010, 1030, 1050 and HKDSE. It will be more akin to the level of difficulty of past HKALE Pure Mathematics examinations. - Q: Is there any ‘punishment’ for not doing well in the test?

A: No, absolutely not. In the worst case a student recognizes that he/she may need to catch up a bit, and we are always here to help. We take it as a good sign if a student is willing to put in effort. - Q: Is this program for students in the MATH enrichment program only?

A: No. You can participate as long as you were admitted to CUHK in 2017, and have become a MATH major by August 31, 2018. For instance, we expect many of you to be first-year MATH majors admitted through the Broad-Base Science Program. - Q: Is this program aimed at ‘top students’ only?

A: No, even though this program is called an ‘honours scheme’, we expect most (if not all) first-year MATH majors to participate. We hope that regardless of your mathematical background, you will all learn something through participation in this scheme. - Q: If I feel very prepared for the second-year MATH courses already, should I still participate in this scheme?

A: We still encourage you to take part in the scheme. After all, there is no harm getting an honour. We will try to make it fun to take part in the test, and we hope all of you will learn something from the questions we set. - Q: How should I prepare for this test?

A: We suggest that you take this chance to review all the material you have learned in MATH 1010, 1030, 1050, and also attempt as many questions as you could in the past HKALE Pure Mathematics examination papers. It should help too if you come regularly to the honours class, that is held every Monday starting from week 2 of each semester.