Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


Cultural change has often been in tandem with progress in the development of art and science, and in particular, of mathematics. This unit examines some of the many influences of mathematics on abstract thought, conceptions of reality, the nature of truth and valid argument, and the development of science and technology. In everyday life, there are paradoxes and counter-intuitive phenomena that are best explained by mathematics, and we endeavour to take a journey that will explore the power of modern mathematical thinking in the modern world. Topics include: Renaissance mathematics, and in particular, the mathematics developed to understand graphical perspective in art; classical game theory; combinatorial game theory and network models; cryptography; correlation and causation. This unit assumes the student has little or no mathematical background.

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 1 elective

Students are able to (1) apply knowledge to real-life problems; (2) develop and analyse an academic argument.; (3) awareness of contributions of other cultures.; and (4) understanding mathematics as a model for describing the real world..


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) essay; (2) tests (3 tests worth 10% each); and (3) final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Miccal Matthews
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
practical classes: 1 hour per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.