MTH 140.017 for Spring 1998


Instructor: William V. Thayer

St. Louis Community College at Meramec

Section information:
MTH 140.017 meeting on Tue. and Thurs. from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. in SW 207

Campus Hours and Office Telephone 314 984 7866
Office hours Mon., Wed., & Fri. from 10 to 11:50 a.m. in SW 218
Office hours Tue. & Thur. from 10:45 to 11:50 a.m. in SW 218
Office hours Tuesday from 1:00 to 1:50 p.m. in SW 218
or by appointment with the exception of department meetings, campus meetings or:

MAJOR - MerAmec Juggling ORganization - on Thursday from 11 to 11:50 a.m.
meeting in the Student Center Quadrangle or Student Center. Juggling Club Web
Page URL
Check with the math secretary if I am not in my office when you are free.

PREREQUISITE: MTH 007 with C 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. 16, 1998.


ADDITIONAL MATERIALS: graph paper and a scientific calculator with trig and log, ln, and exp keys. A scientific calculator may be used on tests.

TYPICAL CLASS PERIOD: The first part, about twenty minutes, of class is open for answering questions about the previous assignment including exercises, reading material, or classroom notes. You are encouraged to answer other students assignment exercise questions for extra credit points by presenting chalk board work. For each exercises presented and noted as one point on the attendance sheet, one point will be added to your unit test. While presenting exercises is expected, this communication beyond the one point is not graded. Use this time to experiment with your ability to understand an exercise and convey your understanding to others. Don't worry about any mistakes you may make, that's part of learning. In fact, the first student that finds and reports a given textbook or answer key mistake may also report a point on the attendance sheet for that discovery.

The second part of class is used to introduce new material with examples and discussion. It is generally assumed that prior to the date listed on the Course Schedule, you took notes as you read from the new section(s). You may wish to include the textbook examples in your class discussion of new material and your instructor will cover these and other examples.

Some class time is spent with all students working at the chalk board.

Individual communication is not permitted in class when attention is directed to one individual. Some class time is devoted to group problem solving.

EXPECTATIONS: This syllabus including the Course Schedule (below), Math Department Assignment Sheet(s), Department Course Objectives, Department Suggestions On How To Study - Having Trouble - Beginning Skills Test and Mathematics Department Policies, combined with the SLCC Spring 1998 Fact Finder Student Handbook give you the relevant course, student academic rights and responsibilities, and study guide information. Please see me as soon as possible for any personal accommodations 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.

You are expected to read the textbook and take notes from the textbook and from each class. You are expected to finish each assignment on time except perhaps a few of the more difficult exercises that you should ask about in class (and then finish). Definitely ask for individual help when needed particularly if you can not work large portions of the exercises. Review the 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. You are expected to contribute to your group's positive progress at all times. Use the enclosed course schedule sheet to keep a record of finished work. Your instructor is located in the math department or you may call the office or home telephone number for extra help. Please call before 8:30 PM if you can.

SOME GENERAL GOALS: Learning in this course may be enhanced by your frequent willingness to use:
1. your ability to define and skill at defining terms, expressions, processes, operations, and stratigies during small group or class activities;
2. your ability to listen, read, speak and write with vocabulary skills essential for progress in mathematics throughout small group or class activities;
3. your understanding of the application of definitions and concepts in the course of small group or class activities;
4. your skill in computing accurately and efficiently with and without calculators or computers individually or in small group or class activities;
5. your ability to recognize mathematics as a way of thinking and speaking about quantities, qualities, measures, and qualitative and quantitative relationships while working in small group or class activities;
6. your ability to use mathematics to gather data, to present and interpret this data, to read and understand mathematics reports, charts, graphs, and accounts with and without modern technology for yourself and as a contribution to small group or class activities;
7. your ability to use a general problem solving technique and incorporate computer and graphing calaulator to facilitate problem solving for yourself and as a contribution to small group or class problem solving activities;
8. your understanding of the logical structure of a mathematical proof: both formal and informal and both deductive and inductive. Also your understanding of the logical structure of subject areas within mathematics, and the logical structure of mathematics as usefull part of an individual's philosophy. Make both types of your logical structures meaningful to small group or class learning;
9. your ability to demonstrate mental traits such as visualization, curiosity, imagination, and creativity related to each concept and strategy during small group or class activities that promote problem solving;
10. your ability to develop attitudes that lead to appreciation, confidence, respect, initiative, and independence within small group or class activities for yourself and foster the same for other individuals.

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, personal complexity can change as well" as your gauge for individual development. Don't get stuck or stay stuck!

SOME INITIAL SPECIFIC ALGEBRA 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.



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

0p = p0 =0

pq = 0 implies p = 0 or q = 0


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.

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: If you wish, your assignments and notes may be checked for thoroughness at the end of each unit of material. Without exception all exercises worked, some notes from each section, and notes from lectures are strongly recommended. Seven extra credit points = 3 for completely worked homework exercises + 2 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. All material should be in sequential textbook order.

TESTS: A test is given after each unit of work as shown on the Course Schedule and no make up tests may be taken. The tests are composed of the same type of exercises you found in the assignments (80 to 90%) and from material highlighted during class (20 to 10%). Unit tests are graded and returned as soon as possible certainly less than a week. Ask for help if you need to develop better test taking skills. The final exam will count as two units but not returned for a semester.

GRADES AND THE GRADE SCALE: The final grade is based on the average of test units. Any extra credit points are added to the regular test points at the end of the course. The following scale 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 a TEST AVERAGE of 80 or better from this course before you take MATH 160 College Algebra, the course for which intermediate algebra is a prerequisite.

ATTENDANCE IS REQUIRED and over three absences will result in a course grade of F. Three times tardy is counted as an absence. Call me before hand if you have a problem with missing a class. Phone 984 7866

Changes: Some additions, substitutions and/or corrections to this syllabus will be made during the course.

And this syllabus may change due to math department needs or time and activity adjustments.

Intermediate Algebra Course Schedule

Jan 13 // Intro., 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, and 1.7 //
Jan 20 // 2.1, 2.2, 2.3 // . . . No classes Jan. 19
Jan 27 // 2.4, 2.5, TEST #1 //
Feb 03 // 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4 //
Feb 10 // 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5 //
Feb 17 // 4.6, 4.7, TEST #2, 5.1 // . . . . . No classes Feb. 17
Feb 24 // 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.6 //
Mar 03 // 5.7, TEST #3, 6.1, 6.2 //
Mar 17 // 6.3, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6 //
Mar 24 // TEST #4, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3//
Mar 30 // 7.4, 7.5 // . . . No classes Mar 31
Apr 02 // 7.6, 7.7, TEST #5 //
Apr 07 // 8.1 & 8.2 //
Apr 14 // 8.3, 8.4, 9.1 //
Apr 21 // 9.2, 9.3, TEST #6 //
Apr 28 // 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 10.4 //
May 05 // 10.5, 10.6 //
FINAL Tue., May 12, 9 - 10:50 PM

Copyright © 1982 through © 1998 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,
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