Math 0144-110-02 - PreCalculus - Fall 2000
TR 12:15-1:30 p.m. - BUS 201 - 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
- Coordinates, Graphs and Inequalities (including rectangular coordinates,
graphs and equations, lines, symmetries, inequality)
- Functions and Graphs (including combining functions, inverse functions,
- Polynomial and Rational Functions (including linear and quadratic
functions, applications, maxima and minima, polynomials and rational
- 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 behavior).
- 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
- Try Grapher3 for practice on graphing. Also
earn extra credit by suggesting ways to improve this partially completed program.
- 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
R 9/7 Introduction, Overview
T 9/12 Chapter 1 - Algebra
Background for PreCalculus
R 9/21 Chapter 2 - Coordinates,
Graphs, and Inequalities
Chapter 3 - Functions
T 11/7 Chapter 4 - Polynomial and Rational Functions. Applications
R 11/23 - THANKSGIVING - NO CLASS
T 11/28 Chapter 5 - Exponential and
R 12/14 -Systems of Two Linear Equations in Two Unknowns (Chapter 10
Section 1), Review
T 12/19 1:00-3:00p.m. - Final Exam (scheduled by
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
Class Average. After the first quiz on a topic you may retest on it, if you
wish, up to two additional times before the end of the semester.
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 following scheme:
- 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
- M 12:00-12:50 pm
- TR 10:50-12:05 pm
- TR 3:05-4:20 pm
Updates of class syllabus at http://www.adelphi.edu/~ahner
Last updated on 7/18/00.
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