Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College


Mathematics 123. The Edge of Reason

Consciousness has been memorably described as a flashlight trying to illuminate itself. (Perhaps art is the human activity that best understands the surrounding darkness?) The Edge of Reason is the boundary between light and dark: the mathematics at the border between knowing and not-knowing. In this course, we’ll use logic and reason to grapple with ideas and concepts that are literally beyond the reach of human imagination. The Edge of Reason is for anyone interested in understanding the mental models our minds make. While people who enjoy math are encouraged to take the course, the only prerequisites are an open mind, a big mouth and an inquiring spirit. The payoffs are keener analytical abilities, a new way of looking at reality, a penchant for expressing the inexpressible and the ability to tolerate sleep deprivation.

An intertwined co-requisite is Eng 243 taught by Michael Drout at the same time, on alternating days. This is a yearlong course consisting of one class each semester. By taking both semesters, students will attain the QA and AH designations and also fulfill a two-course Connections requirement. However, a student may enroll in only The Edge of Reason.