2023-2024 / MATH0509-1

General mathematics I


25h Th, 30h Pr

Number of credits

 Bachelor in ancient and modern languages and literatures5 crédits 
 Bachelor in ancient languages and literatures : classics5 crédits 
 Bachelor in information and communication5 crédits 
 Bachelor in modern languages and literatures : German, Dutch and English5 crédits 
 Bachelor in history of art and archaeology : general5 crédits 
 Bachelor in history5 crédits 
 Bachelor in modern languages and literatures : general5 crédits 
 Bachelor in history of art and archaeology : musicology5 crédits 
 Bachelor in ancient languages and literatures : Oriental studies (Registrations are closed)5 crédits 
 Bachelor in philosophy5 crédits 
 Bachelor in French and Romance languages and literatures : general5 crédits 
 Bachelor in biology6 crédits 
 Bachelor in geography : general6 crédits 


Arnout Van Messem

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The course begins with the thorough review of elementary mathematical concepts that are part of the curriculum of secondary school.
Next, it proceeds with some generalizations of important concepts, such as functions of multiple variables, integrals on non-compact intervals, ...

More specifically, the main subjects of the course are the following:

  • Elements of logic and set theory
  • Numbers, absolute values, powers, scientific notation, first and second degree equations, formula transformation of formulas
  • Inequalities, systems of equations, proportionalities, matrices
  • Geometry: Points, lines, vectors, components and coordinates, equations of lines in the plane, distance and perpendicularity, elements of geometry in space, equations of lines and planes, conic sections
  • Trigonometric numbers, specific angles, right triangles, arbitrary triangles
  • Dot product, projections, cross product
  • Reference functions (including logarithms and exponentials), important constructions
  • Limits, continuity, derivatives and their applications, primitives and integral calculus (including on non-compact intervals)
  • Basics of functions of several variables
  • (If time permits: some differential equations)
 The students of the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature are exempted from the last part of the course, namely the part on primitives and integrals (and everything after).



Learning outcomes of the learning unit

At the end of this course, students will have acquired a good understanding of the concepts which have been taught. They will be able to determine the context in whiche these techniques are applicable, and will be able to apply them wisely to solve simple or more complex problems.

They will have learned to develop and express logical reasoning.

They will have the necessary mathematical background to tackle user-based mathematics courses in the rest of their program.




Prerequisite knowledge and skills

The course starts from the basics of mathematics, and it is possible to follow the course without any prerequisite knowledge. However, students who have taken less mathematics in their secondary education are less trained, will recognize fewer concepts, and should therefore expect to double their efforts to catch up.



Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Theory classes are taught ex cathedra.

The theory lectures are followed by exercise sessions (in parallel groups) in which students are asked to solve a number of problems under the supervision of the assistants. After the exercise class, a document containing (short) solutions will be made available.



Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:


Recommended or required readings

The slides, as well as a theory course, will be available on eCampus.

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam

Additional information:

The evaluation of the cours takes places through a written examination.

This exam consists of multiple choice questions (50% of the total grade), for which the modalities will be explained during class, as well as open questions (50% of the total grade).

There will be open questions that require the resolution of exercises (30% of the total grade), as well as theoretical questions (20% of the total grade). For this, a list of theory questions that need to be studied will be provided beforehand.




Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course


Professor: Arnout Van Messem

Assistants: Safia Bennabi, Arman Molla, Lucas Michel



Association of one or more MOOCs