Math 0144-110-02 - PreCalculus - Fall 1999
TR 12:15-1:30 p.m., BUS 217 - Dr H.F. Ahner
- Syllabus -
Text:Precalculus, 5th Edition, David Cohen, West
Goals for student learning:
- Ability to solve problems involving all five topics listed below.
Topics of the course:
- Algebraic background (including real number line, absolute value, polynomials,
fractions, exponents and radicals, linear and quadratic equations)
- Coordinates, Graphs and Inequalities (including rectangular coordinates, graphs and
equations, lines, symmetries, inequality)
- Functions and Graphs (including combining functions, inverse functions, zeros, iteration)
- Polynomial and Rational Functions (including linear and quadratic functions,
applications, maxima and minima, polynomials and rational functions, asymptotes)
- Exponential and Logarithmic Functions (including laws of exponents and logarithms, graphs
of exponential and logarithmic functions, applications)
- Ability to sketch and/or graph functions (i.e., to possess an intuitive understanding of a functions
- Appreciation of a practical use of each topic in addition to a conceptual understanding of it.
Suggested Learning Behaviors:
- Be an active class participant: Read the material in the text
before we talk about it in class so that you
are aware of any challenging areas. Ask an appropriate probing question as a difficult subject is covered.
In this way you will focus the lecture time where it will help you the most.
- Be an active practitioner: Do the odd numbered problems (or as close to a representative sampling of
them as you can - the situation is simple - the more you do, the more you will learn and the better you will do
in this class). If your answer does not agree with the answer in the back of the textbook, arrive at class
three minutes early. Put the problem up on the board, as far as you can go (i.e., list what is given, what
is requested, do as much as you can, sketch roughly, if appropriate, etc. At the start of the class we will
talk about how to take the next step and your efforts will insure that I will be talking directly to your
concerns instead of rehashing the stuff you already know. Of course, if you prefer, get help with that
problem somehow: go to the Learning Center, use my office hours, talk to a friend, or develop your
stick-to-itiveness and solve it by trial and error yourself).
- Don't make the same mistake twice: If you do not get an exam problem correct, find out how to do it
in case that type of problem shows up again later in the semester. (Hint: It will!) Everything in this course
is cumulative and each concept and procedure builds on earlier work. (The good news is that after you
master the material, early difficulties will be forgotten as far as final grades are concerned.)
- Work alone, then share your solutions with a classmate: You will find you will solidify and clarify
your own understanding of the concepts when you explain them to someone else. If you form a
learning/study team with a classmate, you will benefit not only from the teaching experience but also from
your colleague's efforts and explanations on problems you did not tackle. Agree to a joint study plan, divide
up the problems between you, and arrange a regular time to pool your solo efforts. Working both
separately and together is usually a more efficient use of your study time than the same amount of time
always working alone or always working together.
Expect "surprise" quizzes
Tentative Schedule (we will go faster or slower based on average student comprehension):
R 9/2 Introduction, Overview
T 9/7 Chapter 1 - Algebra Background for PreCalculus
R 9/16 Chapter 2 - Coordinates, Graphs, and Inequalities
T 10/5 Chapter 3 - Functions
R 10/28 Chapter 4 - Polynomial and Rational Functions. Applications
T 11/23 Chapter 5 - Exponential and logarithmic Functions
R 11/25 NO CLASS - THANKSGIVING
R 12/9 Systems of Two Linear Equations in Two Unknowns (Chapter 10 Section 1)
T 12/14 1:00-3:00p.m. - Final Exam (scheduled by Registrar)
Note: Grading system is set up to
1) reward students who make a sustained effort, over the entire course, to
master PreCalculus topics, and
2) encourage mastery of all topics of the course.
If your grades on a Topic increase over time, the latest grade will be used as your "Topic
Average" in computing your "Adjusted Numerical Class Average." Otherwise, the average of all your
grades on that Topic (dropping the lowest one) will be used as your Topic Average in computing your Adjusted Numerical
Adjusted Numerical Class Average =
=Average of Topic Averages, if all Topic averages are 70 or higher,
=Average of Topic Averages - 5, if one (or more) Topic Average is below 70.
Adjusted Numerical Class Average will be assigned a final letter grade according to the
- A-= 90,91; A=92-95; A+= 96,or higher
- B- =80,81; B=82-87; B+=88,89
- C-=70,71; C=72-77; C+=78,79
- D-=60,61; D=62-67; D+=68,69
- F = 59 and lower.
Office: Blodgett 8C, in Physics Department Suite
- W 2:00- 5:00 pm
- TR 10:50-12:00 noon
- TR 1:40-2:00 pm
Updates of class syllabus at http://www.adelphi.edu/~ahner
Last updated on 8/6/99.
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