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Introduction to Math 112

Pep Talk

The aim of a liberal education is education, not training. We want you to learn
how to listen to a lecture, ask questions, read a book, and express yourself clearly so
that throughout your life you can learn new skills as you need them. In Math 112
you will learn to use mathematical formulas, interpret graphs, and relate formulas
to graphs. These are skills are important for any kind of intellectual activity. Math
112 won’t kill you; mastering it will make you stronger.

We will try to teach you to think mathematically. This means not just memorizing
the formulas and theorems but understanding what they say and mean. When
working a problem we want you to focus on what is true not what to do to get the
answer. When you submit written material we want to see “complete sentences” not
nouns without verbs. In a mathematical formula a complete sentence will usually
have an equality (or inequality) sign. Writing complete sentences is a prerequisite
to clear thinking: if you arrange you work as a sequence of complete sentences you
can check its correctness by seeing how each step follows from the earlier steps. It
also makes it possible for us to grade your work accurately and award partial credit
as appropriate.


Cohen, College Algebra, 5th ed. West Publishing


You received a syllabus on the first day of class. It’s your road map for the
semester, showing the path we’ll take through the book during the semester. We’ll
read sections of the text and work problems found there. We’ll have quizzes and
exams. You may be surprised at the depth to which we expect you to know the
material and the extent to which we expect you to know principles rather than just
how to do problems. We suggest that you choose to experience this surprise before
the first exam.

Your instructor will hit the high spots of the course in class but will NOT go
over everything you need to know for exams. This course assumes that you’ll learn
much of the material by reading the text and doing problems on your own. The
ability to learn from a book is a skill which we intend for you to develop.


You have all passed a placement test which shows you have the requisite skills.
You are expected to understand the basic rules of algebra as explained in Appendix
B of the text. I You should read this on your own and work the problems.
If you do not remember some of this material, try to ask your instructor about it
during the first several weeks.

The Math Tutorial Program presents a series of workshops entitled What are
you expected to know in your math class? The relevant workshops for Math 112 are

Wednesday Jan. 21 : Formulas, Fractions, and Factoring
Thursday Jan. 22 : Rational Exponents and Inequalities

Both are at 4:30-5:30 p.m. in Room 5106 Social Sciences.


It is guaranteed that 80% of the exam problems are slight
modifications of the ones that appear there, and that a
grade of 80% on any exam is at least a B. However, remember
that on an exam we expect more than just the correct
answer: we want you to show your reasoning clearly.

You can do these problems online using a web based homework delivery system
called WeBWorK. Visit the website above to use WeBWork. You need a WeBWorK
Username and a WeBWorK Password. The WeBWorK Username should be the
same a your netid1 (the same one you use to sign on to MyUW) but use your
10 digit university id number as the WeBWork password. (You can change your
password later.) If this fails, you can temporarily sign on with the user id stu and
the password dent, but be sure to have your instructor fix the problem so that
you will get credit for doing the homework. Your instructor may have you hand in
written problems in lieu of using WeBWorK and will tell you how many problems
s/he wants you to do on WeBWorK.

The first WeBWorK homework set is entitled Orientation. This is a tutorial
which will show you how to use WeBWorK. The next WeBWorK homework set(s)
will test your knowledge of elementary algebra. Then there will be WeBWorK
homework set corresponding to classwork. Some WeBWorK homework sets will
be marked “Additional” indicating that the repeat the ideas in another WeBWorK
homework set.


There will be three evening exams each worth 15% of your grade. The final exam
is worth 30% of your grade. The remaining 25% is assigned by your instructor who
may base it on homework, quizzes, and class participation.


These are scheduled for:

MIDTERM 1, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2008, 5:30-7:00 P.M.
MIDTERM 2, TUESDAY, MARCH 24, 2008, 5:30-7:00 P.M.
MIDTERM 3, TUESDAY, APRIL 14, 2008, 5:30-7:00 P.M.
FINAL EXAM, SUNDAY, MAY 10, 2008, 10:05 A.M.

Exam dates are firm! There will be a conflict exam for the three midterm exams
for those students with a valid conflict such as being registered for a class or having
another exam at the same time. This is your responsibility and late requests are
generally denied.

Under no circumstances will the Final Exam be given on an earlier date.

Exam Rooms will be announced by your instructor before each exam. They will
also be posted on the 112 bulletin board (in the stairwell outside the second floor
of Van Vleck) It is your responsibility to take the exam in the assigned room.
Use of calculators, personal digital assistants or cell phones, etc. will not be allowed
during the exams.


Spend some time every week reviewing what has been covered in the course so
far. Don’t put this off until studying for exams. At the end of each chapter are a
“Summary of Principal Terms”, Review Exercises and a Chapter Test. Much of the
point of reviewing is to practice recognizing how the problems apply the concepts
being reviewed. The best way to prepare for exams is to review the concepts,
examples and problems you have been working on.

Test your answers

If you solve a word problem ask if your answer is reasonable. If you solve an
equation plug your answer(s) back in and see if they satisfy the equation. If you
use WeBWorK, do not simply guess answers till WeBWorK tells you your answer
is right: test your answer first.

Getting Help

There is not enough class time for your instructor to answer all questions or
work all homework problems. The first place to get help outside class is during
your instructor’s office hours. Quite often they are sitting around during these
times hoping that someone will come by. Do them a favor and stop in and ask a
question. You’ll be glad you did. Other resources include:

• MATH LAB- Free drop-in help from math TAs is available in B-227 Van
Vleck, Monday through Thursday 3:30–8:10 pm.

• MATH TUTORIAL PROGRAM- This is to help people through the course
who are in danger of receiving a D or F. At the start of the semester those
who have been away from math for several years or who are repeating 112 can
check with David Camacho in 321 Van Vleck. Later you will need a reference
from your instructor.

• GUTS- Greater University Tutoring Service is a volunteer peer tutoring service
located in the Student Activity Center at 333 E. Campus Mall. Visit
#4413 or call 263-5666 for information.

• MATH BOARD- This bulletin board across from B-207 Van Vleck provides
information that will help you form a study group with other students in Math


It is up to your instructor whether or not attendance is taken. In any case, you
are always responsible for everything that is mentioned in class whether you are
there or not.

Comments or Concerns

If you wish to make a comment on the teaching or content of this course, whether
to express a concern or complaint or to transmit a compliment, contact one of the
course coordinators: