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Syllabus for Intermediate Algebra

Prerequisite: Introductory algebra (Math 70)

Text: Intermediate Algebra for College Students, Blitzer, 5th edition, Prentice Hall, 2009 Student Solutions Manual, Blitzer, 5th edition, Prentice Hall, 2009 (optional)

Supplies: A scientific calculator; spiral notebooks; pencils. (See Calculator Policy, below.)

Topics To Be Covered:

Chapter Sections Topics
1 1,5 Algebra, Mathematical Models, and Problem Solving. Algebraic expressions and real numbers; problem solving and using formulas.
2 1-3 Functions and Linear Functions. Introduction to functions; graphs of functions; the algebra of functions
3 1-3 Systems of Linear Equations. Systems of linear equations in two variables; problem solving and business applications using systems of equations; systems of linear equations in three variables.
4 1-3 Inequalities and Problem Solving. Solving linear inequalities; compound inequalities; equations and inequalities involving absolute value.
5 1-5,7 Polynomials, Polynomial Functions, and Factoring. Introduction to polynomials and polynomial functions; multiplication of polynomials; greatest common factors and factoring by grouping; factoring trinomials; factoring special forms; polynomial equations and their applications.
6 1-4,6-8 Rational Expressions, Functions, and Equations. Rational expressions and functions: multiplying and dividing; adding and subtracting rational expressions; complex rational expressions; division of polynomials; rational equations; formulas and applications of rational equations; modeling using variation.
7 1-7 Radicals, Radical Functions, and Rational Exponents. Radicals expressions and functions; rational exponents; multiplying and simplifying radical expressions; adding, subtracting, and dividing radical expressions; multiplying with more than one term and rationalizing denominators; radical equations; complex numbers.
8 1-5 Quadratic Equations and Functions. The Square Root Property and completing the square; the Quadratic Formula; quadratic functions and their graphs; equations quadratic in form; polynomial and rational inequalities.
9 1-6 Exponential and Logarithmic Functions. Exponential functions; composite and inverse functions; logarithmic functions; properties of logarithms; exponential and logarithmic equations; exponential growth and decay; modeling data.
10 1 Distance and Midpoint Formulas; circles.

Classroom Procedure:
Classes will be a combination of lecture/discussion and question/answer sessions.
During a typical class, we will first go over questions from the previous class homework assignment. After that, I will present new topics from the text section(s) to be covered for that class.
Classroom attendance will not be taken, but regular attendance is highly recommended.
You need to bring your text and your homework notebook to every class meeting.
Variations in the typical class format will occur on days when quizzes or exams are given:

o For many class meetings, homework quizzes will be given during the last five minutes of the class (see Grading Procedure for more details).
o On exam days, the entire class time will be used for the exam.

Homework assignments will be given for all of the material covered in the class and will typically consist of doing most of the odd-numbered exercises from the text section(s) covered during the class.
Before attempting the assignment for a given text section, you should first read and study the text section.
Solutions to all homework problems should be written out, in detail, in your homework notebook.
Assignments should be completed before the next class meeting.
Answers to all of the odd-numbered problems can be found in the back of the text; the Student Solutions Manual gives details on how to get the answers.
When doing the homework, your goal should be to work to a level of understanding so that you usually get the correct answer to a problem on the first try. If you do not achieve this goal, then you do not sufficiently understand the material and should re-read and re-study the text material. For example, you are not achieving this goal if for most homework problems you find yourself falling into this pattern:

a) You try a problem;
b) You check your answer and find that it is wrong;
c) You look back at the examples and text description;
d) You eventually discover and fix the mistake;
e) For the next problem, you repeat these steps.

Homework assignments will not be collected, but completion of homework assignments is essential for understanding the material and for getting good scores on the homework quizzes and exams.
Note: The tentative class schedule and the homework assignments are posted on the class web page.

Grading Procedure:
Points earned from homework quizzes, exams, and a comprehensive final exam will determine grades.

Homework Quizzes:
As mentioned before, on many class days, homework quizzes will be given during the last five minutes of class. A homework quiz will consist of being given one or more randomly selected problems from an earlier homework assignment to copy from your homework notebook to the quiz sheet. There will be a total of 30 homework quizzes given during the semester. Your top 25 quizzes will count 100 points. Note: No make-up quizzes will be given. If you take more than 25 quizzes, the extra quiz scores will count as bonus points.

Six in-class exams will be given. The first exam will count 100 points and each of the remaining five tests will count 120 points each. Each exam will be cumulative. Note: Make-up exams will be given only under extraordinary circumstances, when you have made prior arrangements with me. The tentative exam schedule is given below.

Final Exam:
An in-class comprehensive final exam will count 200 points. Note: No make-ups will be given for the final exam. The final exam date and time is given on the next page (not tentative).

Final Grade:
Your final grade will be determined by the total number of the 1000 possible points that you earn, as follows:
900-1000 = A, 800-899 = B, 700-799 = C, 600-699 = D, 0-599 = F

Tentative Exam Schedule:

Test Date Primary Material Covered
1 Wednesday, September 9 1.1, 1.5, 2.1-3, 4.1-3
2 Monday, September 28 3.1-3, 5.1-5, 5.7
3 Wednesday, October 14 6.1-4, 6.6-8
4 Tuesday, November 3 7.1-7
5 Thursday, November 19 8.1-5, 10.1
6 Wednesday, December 9 9.1-6

Final Exam Date and Time (not tentative):
Friday, December 18, 2p-4:45p

Calculator Policy: Only scientific calculators may be used on quizzes, tests, and the final exam. (A scientific calculator is one that can calculate the values of the standard algebraic and transcendental functions, but cannot display graphs of functions or do symbolic manipulation.)

Last Date of Attendance Policy: Students are expected to regularly attend class. Students who decide to stop attending should immediately drop/withdraw from the course. The course drop deadline is August 28, 2009. The course withdrawal deadline is November 27, 2009. Students who fail to officially withdraw from the course will be administratively withdrawn from the course under either of the following circumstances:

• The student is on the class roster but fails to attend during the first week the course meets; or
• The student misses all scheduled meetings of a class within a two week time frame without contacting me.

The student will remain responsible for any financial liability, less applicable refunds they have incurred and for any academic consequences due to this administrative withdrawal.
• If you elect to take this course Pass/Fail, be aware that to receive a “P”, you must earn a letter grade of “C” or better.
• An Incomplete grade will only be considered for students who are passing the course and who have an emergency situation occur late in the semester (after the course withdrawal deadline).
• The use of cell phones is prohibited during quizzes and tests.
• Students are responsible for knowing about college policies regarding cheating, etc., and deadlines for drop/adds, pass/fails, etc. Review the college catalog and student handbook for details.
• An Excel spreadsheet is available via the class web page that will allow you to record your quiz and test scores and track your grade standing in the class. See me if you have questions about the spreadsheet.
• This document can be made available in alternative format or if you need help (such as wheel chair access or a sign language interpreter) to make it possible for you to be in this class, please call the Disability Services Office at (612) 659-6730 (voice) or (612) 659-6731 (TTY).