COLLEGE ALGEBRA SYLLABUS
MTH 160.005 for Spring 1997
4 CREDIT HOUR
Instructor: William V. Thayer
St. Louis Community College at Meramec
MTH 160.005 meeting on Mon., Tue., Wed., & Fri. from 9 to 9:50 PM in CN 128
Campus Hours and Office Telephone 314 984 7866
Office hours Mon., Tue., Wed., & Fri. from 10 to 10:50 AM in SW 218
Office hours Mon., Wed., & Fri. from 1 to 1:50 PM in SW 218
Check with the math secretary if I am not in my office when you are free.
Other times by appointment via phone or in class arrangements.
PREQUISITE: MTH 140 with C, B or A or a satisfactory score on the placement
test. Students from other institutions must provide appropriate documentation
for enrollment to the instructor on or before Jan. 17, 1997.
COLLEGE ALGEBRA COURSE INTENT: This course is intended for students whose
choice of academic field requires a college level algebra course in
preparation for mathematics used in such fields.
ALTERNATIVE COURSE: EARTH ALGEBRA - College Algebra with Applications to
Environmental Issues" by Schaufele and Zumoff taught in MTH 155 Survey of
Col. Math. if you do not wish to major in science areas. Please confer with
the Mathematics Deptartment Chairperson.
MTH 160 TEXTBOOK: COLLEGE ALGEBRA by Linda Exley and Vincent Smith
ADDITIONAL MATERIALS: graph paper and a scientific calculator with trig and
log, ln, and exp keys (also, combination and permutation keys). Only a
scientific calculator may be used on tests, programmable or programmed ones
including graphics calculators may not be used during tests.
ADDITIONAL STUDY AIDS: The student answer key has more than the answers.
Computer software such as X(PLOR) may be used in SW 109 and I will help you
with this mathematics software once we get to Chapter Five if not used in
Chapter Three. After the first week our mathematics department tutors can
help you and some library materials are available. Please consider
HAVING TROUBLE WITH MATHEMATICS ideas on page 20 and read SUGGESTIONS ON HOW
TO STUDY MATH on page 21 of the Mathematics Department's Syllabus. Please
see me as soon as possible for any personal accommodations you require.
TYPICAL CLASS PERIOD: The first part of class time is open for answering
student questions about the previous assignment including exercises, reading
material, or classroom notes. Add your questions to the class day's START UP
LIST. You are encouraged to help answer other student's questions or show
your solutions by presenting chalk board work. While presenting information
is expected, this communication is not graded. Use this time to experiment
with your ability to understand an exercise and convey your understanding to
others. Subtract your contribution of board work from the START UP LIST as
you put work on the board with your first name next to the section and
problem numbers. Your frequent involvement will help you practice many of
the activities covered in your general and specific goals covered later in
this syllabus and generally aid your understanding of the problems of the
course. Don't worry about mistakes you may make, that's included in this
part. In fact, the first student that finds and reports a given textbook
or answer key mistake on the day's attendance sheet may have extra credit
for that discovery. Another part of class is used to introduce new material
with examples and discussion. I assume that prior to the date listed on the
Course Schedule, you took notes as you read from the new sections.
You may wish to include the textbook examples in your class questions of new
material as your instructor will cover some of these and do other examples.
Some class time is spent with all students working at the chalk board and
some class time is spent in the computer room SW 109.
TEAM ACTIVITIES: Some class time is devoted to team work aimed at a deeper
understanding of some course topics or their applications. Your instructor
will assign you to a team and assign team coordinators. Sometimes a grade
may result from this team work. When working on a team, students are to
think for themselves treating the instructor as a guide, consultant, and
evaluator to the team. Always try to approach your team time with a
knowledgeable position based on your personal studies. During team activity,
you should display a willingness to generate discussion that leads to answers
or more refined questions that converge to solutions to your team assignment.
You may be in the dark on some points but being open to change and willing
to communicate your points even if mistaken at first helps the team toward
the final goals while helping you toward greater clarity. At times we need
team work to derive all the answers or computations in some assignments.
And other times teams provide a natural background for discussion of the
material and presentation of solutions. You are expected to help your team
reach reasonable objectives on time and demonstrate to me that you are
participating on your team in a meaningful way. Also, teams may wish to
work as a study group covering daily assignments. This can be implemented
via your telephone or computer networking.
Individual communication is not permitted in class. Please note that
individual communication is not very productive while another person is
speaking in a group or class room situation.
EXPECTATIONS: This syllabus including its Course Schedule (below), the Mathematics
Department's Syllabus including Assignment Sheets on pages 16-19, College
Algebra Objectives on pages 7-15, and Policies on page 22 combined with the
St. Louis Community College Spring 1997 Fact Finder student handbook gives
you the relevant course, student academic rights and responsibilities, and
study guide information. These items will give you a sense of the quality
that your instructor works to achieve in this course. Please see me as soon
as possible for any personal accommodations you require and please keep in
mind that: The quickest way to resolve any difficulty, no matter how small,
is to let your instructor know about it as soon as possible.
SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS: You are expected to read the textbook and take notes
from the textbook before the class in which the material is covered. Add to
these notes or take separate notes covering the new material and activities
in each class. Then, finish each assigned exercise, see the Department's
Syllabus pages 16-19 or do ALL ODDS, for the following class except perhaps
a few of the more difficult exercises that you should ask about in the next
class and then finish. Put your list of studied but unsolved problems on the
class day's START UP LIST. Definitely ask for individual help when needed
particularly if you can not work large portions of the exercises. Review
processes you used to solve home work exercises each day. Remember that
you want to stay on top of your work and be able to adequately prepare for
the unit test coming in a few days. This generally means you need to
develop a dogged attitude with more than several hours per day spent on
solving exercises, keeping good notes from the text and class, and doing
plenty of daily reviewing likely including some daily memorization. Give
yourself a short test of five problems each day! Use the enclosed course
schedule sheet to keep track of finished work and extra credit points. If
you need help, I am located in the mathematics department during office
hours or you may call my home telephone number before 8:30 PM. This course
takes lots of gumption.
GENERAL GOALS: Learning in this course may be enhanced by frequently using:
1. your ability to define and skill at defining terms, expressions,
processes, and operations;
2. your ability to listen and read with vocabulary skills essential for
progress in mathematics;
3. your understanding of the application of definitions and concepts;
4. your skill in computing accurately and efficiently;
5. your ability to recognize mathematics as a way of thinking and speaking
about quantities, qualities, measures, and qualitative and quantitative
6. your ability to use mathematics to gather data, to present and interpret
this data, to read and understand mathematics reports, charts, graphs, and
7. your ability to use a general problem solving technique;
8. your understanding of the logical structure of a mathematical proof (both
formal and informal), the logical structure of subject areas within
mathematics, and the logical structure of mathematics as a philosophy;
9. your ability to demonstrate mental traits such as visualization,
curiosity, imagination, and creativity related to each concept;
10. your ability to develop attitudes that lead to appreciation, confidence,
respect, initiative, and independence.
Apply these skills and abilities in specific ways during this course.
Review the above list and put a circle around the activities you do most
often. Add more activities by experimenting with new ones that may help you
increase learning or make learning faster or easier. Reorganize your methods
for deeper understanding and interest. Use the criterion of - when time seems
to flow with a sense of accomplishment, complexity can change as well
- as your gauge. Don't get or stay stuck!
SPECIFIC GOALS: Know and apply these algebra properties and new ones to
everything. Assume that p is any real number, q is any real number and r is
any real number.
PROPERTY // ADDITION // MULTIPLICATION
p+q is a real number and pq is a real number.
p+q = q+p // pq = qp
p+(q+r) = (p+q)+r // p(qr) = (pq)r
p+0 = p = 0+p // p1 = p = 1p
INVERSE (0 is not equal to 1)
p+(-p) = 0 // p(1/p) = 1
// p(q+r) = pq+pr //
PROPERTY // EQUALITY p = q // INEQUALITY p is less than q
p = p // p is not less than p
If p = q then q = p. // If p is less than q, then q is not less than p.
If p = q and q = r then p = r. //
If p is less than q and q is less than r, then p is less than r.
Any number, letter or algebra combination of numbers or letters
may be substituted for p, q, or r in the properties listed above
unless stated otherwise.
also: If a = b, then b may be substituted for a in any statement.
NUMBERS AND GEOMETRY
The numbers p and q may locate points on one line so: p and q locate
the same point when p = q. p and q locate different points when
not equal to each other.
If p and q locate points on a horizontal line then the
absolute value of ( p - q ) gives the distance between p and q.
Absolute value is written | p - q |.
Also, if p and q locate points on a horizontal line and p is less than q,
then we generally consider p on the left of q. In fact, p is less than 0
is another way to say p is negative.
Geometry: distance between p and q corresponds to this absolute value,
| p - q |, in algebra.
ASSIGNMENTS and NOTES: Your problem assignments, text notes and class notes
are checked during regular test times. Turn in your notebook as you enter the
test time and take it with you when you leave the test. All material should
be in sequential textbook order. Eight extra credit points = 3 for completely
worked homework exercises + 3 points for textbook notes + 2 points for class
notes are given via a quick review of the thoroughness and spot checked for
accuracy of your work.
TESTS: A regular test is given as shown on the Course Schedule and no make
up tests may be taken. Regular tests are composed from the odd exercises in
your textbook for 85 to 95% of the test and the rest from material
highlighted during class. These tests are graded and returned as soon as
possible but certainly less than a week. Ask for help if you need to develop
better test taking skills. The final exam counts as two regular tests and is not
REPORTS: A few team assignments are required and count as a regular test or
a part of a regular test. Additionally, some extra credit exercises and
reports are suggested during the course and carry the amount of points
assigned with the given work.
GRADES AND THE GRADE SCALE: The final grade is based on the average of these
regular tests and team assignments. Any extra credit points are added to
the regular test points at the end of the course. The following scale is
used on each unit:
A for 90 points or above,
B for 80 to 89 points,
C for 70 to 79 points,
D for 50 to 69 points, and
F for under 50 points.
Test grades correspond to percentages of highest raw scores. I recommend an
average of 75 or better from the tests scores (without the extra credit
points) before you take any courses for which college algebra is a
prerequisite. You may ask about PR or I grades for your individual
combination of circumstances.
You may give yourself one point extra credit on the day's attendance for
each problem put on the board. You may give yourself one point extra credit
for each error you find in the textbook or in the answer key as long as you
are the first to identify and indicate what the error is and showing the
page number next to your one point on that day's attendance sheet.
ATTENDANCE IS REQUIRED: more than five days of absences or eight times of
tardiness gives you a course grade of F.
CHANGES: Some additions, substitutions and/or corrections to this syllabus
will be made during the course.
©1995 wvt for any of the above material not belonging to NCTM
COLLEGE ALGEBRA COURSE SCHEDULE
Week // Textbook Sections // Schedule comments
01 JAN. 13 // 1.7, 2.1 //
02 JAN. 20 // 2.2, 2.3, 2.4 // . . . . . . no classes Jan. 20
03 JAN. 27 // 2.5, 2.6, Test #1, 3.1 //
04 FEB. 03 // 3.2, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6 //
05 FEB. 10 // Test #2, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 //
06 FEB. 17 // 4.4, 4.5, Test #3 // . . . no classes FEB. 17
07 FEB. 24 // 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3 //
08 MAR. 03 // 5.4, 5.5, Test #4, 6.1 //
09 MAR. 17 // 6.2, 6.3, 6.5 //
10 MAR. 24 // 6.6, Test #5, 7.1 // . . no classes MAR. 26 and 27
11 MAR. 31 // 7.2, 7.3 7.4 //
12 APR. 07 // 8.1, 8.2, 8.3 //
13 APR. 14 // 8.4, 8.5, 8.6 //
14 APR. 21 // 8.7, 8.8, Test #6, 9.1 //
15 APR. 28 // 9.1, 9.2, 9.3 //
16 MAY 005 // 9.4, 9.5, Test #7 //
FINAL EXAM FOR 140.005 is Monday, May 12, from 9 to 10:50 AM
Copyright © 1982 through © 1997 with all rights reserved by William
V. Thayer, Mathematics Department, St. Louis Community College at Meramec,
11333 Big Bend Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63122-5977, Telephone: 314 984 7866,
Home Page URLs http://www.stlcc.cc.mo.us/mc/users/thayer