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Syllabus for Intermediate Algebra
Prerequisites: Minimum of C or better in Elementary
Algebra (MATD 370, or equivalent) OR placement test
score (TCompass, TAsset, SAT, TASP, etc). If you have nothing on record, you
must pass the pretest.
Textbook and Other Materials: Intermediate Algebra, Sullivan/Struve, 2nd
Edition. You can access the
chapters from the textbook covered in the first few days before
you buy your text (password acc0390). The MyMathLab course ID is professor09225
(access code included
with new text). You need graph paper (no ragged edges) and a NONgraphing
calculator. ALL electronic
devices (music players, cell phones, pagers, minicomputers, palms, etc) must be
powered off and put away.
Grade: Grade point information is on the schedule page. Your grade is
based on total points earned (including
bonus points) and a “minimum” grade on the final. Your current grade at any time
is total points earned divided
by how many possible to date.
Attendance: Being in class is critical to your success. You can miss a
maximum of 4 classes. Arriving late or
leaving early is a partial absence. Be early and save these for emergencies, not
convenience. They are like sick
days; you don’t get any extra. You are responsible for the sections you missed
and must complete the
assignments (DVD videos are available in the library). Schedule changes will be
announced in class or posted
on the door. Plan on arriving 30 minutes early in case of traffic. Use this time
to review your notes or see me in
the office for questions on the homework. WARNING: Failure to comply with
these guidelines may result in
withdrawal by the instructor. See "Withdrawal" under ACC policies.
Homework: Assignments are listed on the schedule and the problem lists are
on the web page. You earn 3
points if complete and turned in before the quiz (plus 2 bonus points for the
Quiz Review). You can turn in late
assignments (up to the next test) for one point off. Show all the steps for
credit, not just the answer. All
graphing must be on graph paper. You can earn 10 bonus points for the Test/Final
Reviews. There are enough
bonus points for a full letter grade. If you need extra practice on the most
difficult problems, send me the
problem numbers and how many of each you want.
Quiz/Test/Final: Must be on time. Show all the steps for credit, not just
the answer. There are no “makeups”.
If you know you will be absent, see me about taking it early. If you want extra
time, make an appointment to
start early. Quiz and Test problems are from the homework. Quizzes have 3 (2
points each), and tests have 25 (4
points each). The final is written by the math department and consists of 25
problems (6 points each) from the
final review. You can replace your lowest test score with your score on the
final (if it is higher). You must score
a minimum of 60% on the final (plus enough points for a C) to pass the course.
Withdrawal: You must discipline yourself to be on
time and complete your assignments. Any student missing
more classes than allowed (including partial misses) will be withdrawn unless it
is coordinated AHEAD of time.
You MUST save these for real emergencies . TSI WARNING: TSI mandated
students (state requirements not
complete) who have excessive absences, will be withdrawn in accordance with math
department policy, and
may result in automatic withdrawal of ALL college courses. You will have a hold
placed on your registration
for the following semester. The Hold will require that you register for the next
semester in person with an
advisor or counselor and that you work with the Developmental Math Advisor
during that semester. Final
responsibility for withdrawal rests with the student.
Reinstatement: Students who are withdrawn will not be reinstated unless they
have completed all course work,
projects, and tests necessary to place them at the same level of course
completion as the rest of the class.
IP and Incomplete Grade: IP stands for “in progress” and is a benefit for
students who have worked hard but
don’t earn enough points to pass. Your grade is “postponed” until you repeat the
course the following semester
(maximum 2 times per course). To get an IP you must complete the homework, have
good attendance, and seek
outside help if needed (office hours or tutoring, be sure to log in at the lab).
An incomplete is rare, and only
given if a student has taken all exams, is passing, and has a personal tragedy
occur after the last withdraw date.
Classroom Behavior: Direct ALL questions to me so everyone can benefit.
All talking needs to be between the
student and the instructor, one at a time. This allows all students to listen
and learn without distraction. TURN
OFF PAGERS and PHONES or any other electronic devices. Classroom behavior should
support and enhance
learning. Behavior that disrupts the learning process will be dealt with
appropriately, which may include having
the student leave class for the rest of that day. In serious cases, disruptive
behavior may lead to a student being
withdrawn from the class.
Academic Freedom: Institutions of higher education are conducted for the
common good. The common good
depends upon a search for truth and upon free expression. In this course the
professor and students shall strive
to protect free inquiry and the open exchange of facts, ideas, and opinions.
Students are free to take exception
to views offered in this course and to reserve judgment about debatable issues.
Grades will not be affected by
personal views. With this freedom comes the responsibility of civility and a
respect for a diversity of ideas and
opinions. This means that students must take turns speaking, listen to others
speak without interruption, and
refrain from namecalling or other personal attacks.
Scholastic Dishonesty/Penalties: Acts prohibited by the college for which
discipline may be administered
include scholastic dishonesty, including but not limited to, cheating on an exam
or quiz, plagiarizing, and
unauthorized collaboration with another in preparing outside work. Academic work
submitted by students shall
be the result of their thought, work, research or selfexpression. Academic work
is defined as, but not limited
to, tests, quizzes, whether taken electronically or on paper; projects, either
individual or group; classroom
presentations; and homework. Students who violate the rules concerning
scholastic dishonesty will be assessed
an academic penalty that the instructor determines is in keeping with the
seriousness of the offense. This
academic penalty may range from a grade penalty on the particular assignment to
an overall grade penalty in the
course, including possibly an F in the course.
Students with Disabilities: Each ACC campus offers support services for
students with documented physical
or psychological disabilities. Students with disabilities must request
reasonable accommodations through the
Office of Students with Disabilities on the campus where they expect to take the
majority of their classes.
Students are encouraged to do this three weeks before the start of the semester.
Students who are requesting
accommodation must provide the instructor with a letter of accommodation from
the Office of Students with
Disabilities (OSD) at the beginning of the semester. Accommodations can only be
made after the instructor
receives the letter of accommodation from OSD.
Course Purpose/Rationale: This course is designed
to prepare students for various collegelevel science and
mathematics courses. After succeeding in this course, students may enroll in a
number of courses in science,
mathematics, and various technical areas. These include General College Physics,
General Chemistry,
Magnetism and DC Circuits, AC Circuits, Manufacturing Materials and Processes,
Math for Business and
Economics, and College Algebra. This course is taught in the classroom as a
lecture/discussion course.
Instructional Methodology and Description : This course is taught in a classroom
as a lecture/discussion
course. It is designed to develop the skills and understanding contained in the
second year of secondary school
algebra. Topics include review of properties of real numbers, functions, algebra
of functions, inequalities,
polynomials and factoring , rational expressions and equations, radical
expressions and equations, quadratic
functions and their graphs, solving quadratic equations , and exponential
functions.
Objectives
Computational: Evaluate a function using function notation. Find the domain
of a function. Perform
elementary arithmetic operations with functions . Perform division of
polynomials. Perform elementary
arithmetic operations with rational expressions that require factoring up to and
including the sum or difference
of cubes. Simplify a complex fraction, including one with negative exponents .
Simplify an expression with
fractional exponents. Simplify a radical expression, including rationalizing a
monomial or binomial
denominator. Perform elementary arithmetic operations with complex numbers.
Equation and Inequality Solving: Solve an absolute value equation. Solve
a rational equation, including one
with a quadratic expression in the denominator. Solve an equation with one
radical. Recognize an extraneous
root.
Using Forms and Formulas: Graph a function, such as a simple absolute
value or rational function, by
completing a table and plotting points . Solve a quadratic equation with real or
nonreal solutions. Find the
midpoint and the distance between two points . Complete a square to rewrite an
equation for a circle in standard
form and identify its center and radius. Determine if a formula, correspondence,
table or graph represents a
function.
Graphing: Graph a linear inequality on the Cartesian plane. Graph a
system of linear inequalities on the
Cartesian plane. Graph and analyze a linear and quadratic function. Sketch a
quadratic function, written in the
form f(x)=a(xh)^2+k, using transformations. Sketch a circle from its standard
form.
Applications: Represent English descriptions of numerical relationships in
algebraic form. Solve application
problems including, but not limited to, linear and quadratic models, direct and
inverse variation, and those
requiring 2x2 systems of linear equations.
How To Succeed in Math
The Problem  Students who fail are not “bad at taking tests”. They are simply
not well prepared. That bad
feeling you have while cramming the night before is from lack of practice, AND
you know the clock is running
out. You can’t cram math; it takes too many hours. You must master it in small
pieces, one after the other.
Everyone has “anxiety” when they are not prepared. The good news is you can
excel at ANY academic subject
or job skill if you work hard and prepare. This requires dedication, discipline,
and lots of practice. A determined
attitude is over half the battle.
The Solution:
First, show me how to do it the first time. This can be a person,
textbook, video, software, or the web. Most
students need a teacher. However, there is a mountain of free help available.
Don’t just copy the board in class.
Keep up with the discussion and ask questions. Keep asking until you understand
how to solve it. Your notes
must have all these steps on “how to solve the problem”. The steps are listed in
the textbook, plus some of my
own “Lesson Notes”, but you need to rewrite these in your own words. Use the
homework to identify the
specific steps you need. When you need to get help or look something up (notes,
textbook, tutor, etc.) write it
down in detail for future reference. Do not list examples only. Instead, write
some instructions to yourself on
“how to solve”. You are gathering the notes you will need to prepare for the
test. I will show you how to check
your answers without using the key.
Second, prove to yourself you can do it on a test (no notes, no help, no
answer key). This is the step most
students skip. It does you no good to look over all your homework solutions and
expect to remember them all.
You would need a photographic memory to do that. You must be able to look at a
blank problem and solve it
alone, just like on a test. This is what the Reviews are for. When you get
stuck, it tells you what information you
have forgotten. Go ahead and look it up again, BUT this time write it down on a
separate “sheet”. I call this a
memory sheet. You are finding out the very things you will forget. When finished
solving a problem, do not use
the answer key, practice checking it yourself like I showed you in class.
Third, find a way to remember it. You can spend hours and hours repeating
the practice but most students don’t
have the time. It is much more efficient to memorize the notes (assuming you
followed step 1 and 2). If you
completed the Test Review AND wrote down the information you forgot, you are
probably OK if you take time
to memorize. To be sure, find the hardest problems and do them again, especially
the word problems. I can send
you extra; just email me the problem numbers. Don’t stay up all night before a
test. Extreme fatigue will cause
you to forget most of what you stayed up for.
Fourth: how to pass the test.
1. Read the instructions and entire problem carefully, BEFORE starting.
2. Use a strategy like the lesson notes.
3. Write down all steps on the paper, and use your calculator.
4. Use lots of (((parentheses))) especially when “plugging it in” or “canceling”
things.
5. Work vertically down the page.
6. Check your answers like I showed you. If it is wrong, cross it out, then come
back later.
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