Course Syllabus for College Algebra

College Algebra, A Graphing Approach , 5th ed. Larson, Hostetler, Edwards. Copyright 2008, Houghton
Mifflin Company. ISBN: 0-618-85188-7 (Required)

The prerequisite is successful completion of Math 098, Intermediate Algebra or sufficient score on a
placement exam.

Course Description
MATH 116 - College Algebra

Hours: 4 lecture - 0 lab - 4 credit
Mathematics 116, College Algebra, is a concentrated study of the topics traditionally found in College
Algebra. The topics include a quick and intense review of the topics from Intermediate Algebra,
including algebraic expressions, polynomials, equations, problem solving, complex numbers, and
graphing. Major topics include functions, exponential and logarithmic functions , matrices, polynomial
equations, inequalities, introduction to analytic geometry, conic sections, systems of equations,
mathematical induction , and the binomial expansion theorem. A graphing calculator is required.
Applicable toward graduation where program structure permits.
• Certificate or degree: All certificates, A.A.S., A.L.S., A.A, A.S.
• Group requirement: Mathematics
• Area of Concentration: Not applicable.

General Course Objectives
While learning the algebra is certainly one of the goals of this course, it is not the only objective. Upon
completion of this course, the student should be able to ...
• demonstrate comprehension and understanding in the topics of the course through symbolic ,
numeric , and graphic methods
• demonstrate the use of proper mathematical notation
• use technology when appropriate and know the limitations of technology
• work with others towards the completion of a common goal
• use deductive reasoning and critical thinking to solve problems

Specific Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, the student should be able to ...
• demonstrate an understanding of the concepts related to functions and their inverses.
• identify and graph quadratic, polynomial, rational, exponential, and logarithmic functions as well as
the conic sections; also, demonstrate knowledge of the properties of these functions and relations
and apply this knowledge to real world situations.
• demonstrate proficiency in solving linear and non-linear systems using various algebraic, matrix,
and graphical methods.
• graphically represent the solutions to inequalities and system of inequalities that involve two
• use appropriate theorems and techniques to locate the roots of second and higher degree polynomial
• use the notation and formulae associated with arithmetic and geometric sequences and series.
• demonstrate knowledge of binomial expansion, Pascal's triangle, and combinatorial formulae.
• use technology appropriately in problem solving and in exploring and developing mathematical

A detailed topical outline of the content covered in this course is at the end of this syllabus.

Type of Instruction
Lecture, discussion, problem solving, and group work will be used. Students are expected to read the
material before coming to class and should come to class with a prepared list of questions.

Method of Evaluation
Could include any of the following: problem solving exams, objective exams, oral presentations, group
projects, individual projects, classroom participation, classroom activities, quizzes, and homework.

Grading Policy
Letter grades will be assigned to final adjusted scores as follows:
• A: 90 - 100%
• B: 80 - 89%
• C: 70 - 79%
• D: 60 - 69%
• F: below 60%

Consideration may be given to such qualities as attendance, class participation, attentiveness, attitude in
class, and cooperation to produce the maximum learning situation for everyone.

Academic Dishonesty
Each student is expected to be honest in his/her class work or in the submission of information to the
College. Richland regards dishonesty in classroom and laboratories, on assignments and examinations,
and the submission of false and misleading information to the College as a serious offense.

A student who cheats, plagiarizes, or furnishes false, misleading information to the College is subject to
disciplinary action up to and including failure of a class or suspension/expulsion from the College.

Non-Discrimination Policy

Richland Community College policy prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex,
marital or parental status, national origin or ancestry, age, mental or physical disability (except where it
is a bonafide occupational qualification), sexual orientation, military status, status as a disabled or
Vietnam-era veteran.

Electronic Communication Devices
The Mathematics and Sciences Division prohibits the use of cell phones, pagers, and other non-learning
electronic communication equipment within the classroom. All equipment must be turned off to avoid
disturbances to the learning environment. If a student uses these devices during an examination, quiz, or
any graded activity, the instructor reserves the right to issue no credit for these assignments. The
instructor needs to approve any exceptions to this policy.

Topical Outline

Hours Topic
8 Functions and Their Graphs
  • Graphs of equations, using the calculator to make graphs
• Lines in the plane
• Functions and graphs of functions; vertical line test
• Transformations of functions - shifting, scaling, reflecting
• Combinations of functions, composition of functions
• Inverses of functions; horizontal line test
7 Solving Equations and Inequalities
  • Modeling with linear equations
• Solving equations graphically
• Complex numbers
• Solving equations algebraically
• Solving quadratic equations by factoring, extraction of roots, completing the square,
and the quadratic formula.
• Solving inequalities algebraically and graphically
11 Polynomial and Rational Functions
  • Quadratic functions
• Polynomial functions of higher degree including right and left-hand behavior, number
of turns, number of intercepts
• Real and complex zeros of polynomial functions; Descartes' rule of signs, upper and
lower bound theorems
• Fundamental theorem of algebra
• Rational functions and their graphs; asymptotes, intercepts
• Creating functions from graphs
6 Exponential and Logarithmic Functions
  • Exponential functions and their graphs
• Logarithmic functions and their graphs
• Properties of logarithms
• Solving exponential and logarithmic functions
• Exponential and logarithmic models
11 Linear Systems & Matrices
  • Solving systems of equations by using graphing, substitution, and elimination
• Systems of linear equations in two variables
• Multivariable linear systems and applications; fitting circles and parabolas to data ,
partial fraction decomposition
• Matrices and Systems of Equations
• Gaussian Elimination with back substitution , Gauss-Jordan elimination
• Operations with matrices
• Inverses of matrices
• Determinants of matrices
• Applications of matrices and determinants
8 Sequences, Series, and Probability
  • Sequences and series
• Arithmetic sequences and partial sums
• Geometric sequences and series; infinite geometric series
• Mathematical induction
• Binomial theorem, Pascal's triangle
7 Conic Sections and Parametric Equations
  • Recognizing the nine possible graphs from a general second degree equation
• Parabolas, Ellipses, Hyperbolas in standard form
• Transformations of the conics
• Parametric equations
Prev Next