Math 110 Fall Syllabus

1. Text: No formal textbook will be used but rather a software program called ALEKS

2. Course Description: Definition of function; linear and non-linear functions and graphs including logarithmic and exponential functions; systems of linear equations; theory of polynomial equations and some optional topics. For details see attached topic list.

3. Objectives:

 •Graph a variety of basic equations using intercepts and symmetry where appropriate.

 •Complete the square for graphing circles and parabolas.

 •Graph polynomial and rational functions.

 •Use function transformations.

 •Use function arithmetic and composition.

 •Understand functions and inverse function evaluation.

 •Use the Factor Theorem for polynomials, and the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra.

 •Apply the properties of Logarithms.

 •Solve logarithmic and exponential equations.

 •Solve systems of linear equations.

Grading Scale: The tentative grading scale for course grades is as follows:Solve applied Problems.

For more details see tentative schedule. A grade of C in this course will satisfy the core requirement for the Associate Degree.

4. Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in Mat 105 or placement based on placement test score.

5. Grading Policy: Your grade in Math 110 will be determined by four factors: (a) the number of topics mastered per class or progress check, (b) the number of topics mastered on each of the exams four exams, (c) the number of passed homework quizzes, (d) # of passed attendance quizzes. Each components % worth is below

Exam/Assessment 1 3 X
Exam/Assessment 2 10 Y
Exam/Assessment 3 15 Z
Final Exam/Assessment 35 W
14 Homework Quizzes 14 Q
Progress Check 14 P
Attendance Quizzes 9 T
Total 100  

 •Grading Scale: The tentative grading scale for course grades is as follows:

Grade % Grade % Grade % Grade %
A ≥93 B 83 – 85 C 73 – 75 D 63 – 65
A- 90 – 92 B- 80 – 82 C- 70 – 72 D- 60 – 62
B+ 86 - 89 C+ 76 - 79 D+ 66 – 69 F ≤59

To compute your grade, I will plug into the following formula:
Total % = .03(X) + .10(Y) + .15 (Z) +.35 (W) +.14 (Q) + .14 (P) + .09 (T), where X = Exam 1 %, Y= Exam 2 %, Z= Exam 3, W= Final Exam %, Q = % of Quizzes passed, T = % Attendance quizzes, P = % Progress check.

Example: A student earns 150%, 105%, 75%, 83% on the exams, passes 10 of the 14 quizzes, or 71% of the quizzes, earned 22 out of 25 on the attendance quizzes, and earned a 10% on the progress check. The student’s overall percentage is given by: 0.03*150+0.10*105+0.15*75+0.35*83+0.14*71+0.09*88 + 10 = 83.16 %, which would result in grade of a B for the course.

 •Exams/ Assessments: Students will take in-class exams (ALEKS calls them assessments) about every three to four weeks along with a final exam.

 o Percentage of each of your exam/assessment will be determined by the number of topics you retain after an exam divided by the target number of topics for that exam. These exams will count for the above mentioned % of your grade. See tentative schedule for the target number of topics for each exam.

 o Bonus %: You can score more than 100% on each of the three in-class assessments or exams. That means if you go ahead (which is easier to do in the beginning than later) you can create a little cushion of extra points which can be used at a later time in the semester.

 o All in-class assessments are cumulative (essentially you will take a final exam every time and just retain what you have learned up until that point which may be different for every student), but only the final exam is “equivalent” for all students.

 o Depending on how you answer the first question on an exam determines what question you will get next. This is one reason you cannot go back to a previous question you already answered.

 o Cumulative nature of assessments means every exam is a final exam. Answer only questions you recognize. If you make mistakes on a particular question, you will loose the topic that the question came from and anything related or connected to it. Exams may cause you to sometimes loose pie pieces (especially if you have not reviewed past materials). On the other hand sometimes students gain pie pieces by taking exams if they know material from class but have not yet mastered it on ALEKS.

o If you loose pie pieces on an exam the easiest way to gain most of what you lost (other than working on each pie piece all over again) is to request a practice test from your instructor, use notes and get help, and then answer the questions on the practice test.


 o A homework-quiz will be assigned almost weekly during the semester. These quizzes are directly linked to the content covered in each class. A score of 80% or more on a quiz constitutes passing that quiz. Quizzes are worth 14% of your grade which will roughly be 1% per quiz.

 o The number of questions on each quiz will vary.

 o All quizzes are open notes and you can get help on it from your instructor.

 o You have until midnight of the due date to pass the quiz.

 o You can take a quiz unlimited number of times before it expires as you want to get a passing score.

 o Attending class lectures will help you in passing the quizzes with little or no trouble.

 •Attendance Quizzes: On randomly chosen days, a 1 to 3 question quiz (time allocated about 3-5 minutes) will be given to you during the regular class time. Each quiz will be worth either 1 or 0 depending on whether you can answer the questions correct or not. No make up attendance quizzes will be given. At the end of the semester total number of points you earned divided by the number of quizzes given in the semester is your score and will count for 9% of your grade. Some classes could have more than one attendance quizzes.

 •Progress Check: On every Friday starting the first week and ending second last week you can earn 1% for a specified % of mastery of the target pie pieces up to that day (see schedule below). For example after the first week of classes you should have mastered 6 pie pieces and therefore on the Friday of the first week if you mastered greater than or equal to 6 pie pieces or more, you will receive a 1% for that progress check. You can earn another 1% if you attain 13 pie pieces by the Friday of the second week and so on. Remember the total number of % you can earn in this manner by simply doing your homework is 14%. That means if you earned all of these % points it will raise your grade by a whole one and half letter grade. See the chart below to see the minimum target # of pie pieces for each progress check.

Progress Check 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Target # of pie 6 13 20 29 35 44 52 59 61 66 71 77 80 84
minimum # of pie pieces 6 13 20 29 31 40 46 53 54 59 62 66 68 73

 •Early Finish: After the second exam, students who are finishing the course early can see the instructor for more details.

 •Special Notes:

 o I encourage everyone to try to master more than the recommended topics per week, especially in the first three to four weeks in which the material may be a little easier for most students.

 o To accomplish the recommended target rate, I anticipate that the average student will need to spend about 2 hours per 50 minutes of class period on ALEKS if not more (not counting assessment time). However, you are required to spend as much time as needed to master the required number of topics/class.

 •Makeup Exam Policy

Under extenuating circumstances a makeup exam will be considered only if

o you are passing 90% of the homework quizzes and the attendance quizzes at the time of the request


o you have contacted the instructor prior to, the day of, or the day after the exam.

The instructor will reserve the rights to decide which circumstances are extenuating case by case.

6. Record Keeping:

 •Since there is no text book it is important to write down all problems that you answer along with your work in a separate notebook. This written work will: (a) allow you to review for in-class assessments (you can also use the built in review mode of ALEKS for additional review); (b) allow you to ask me informed questions about the problems; and (c) allow me to assess whether how you solved a problem is correct even if the solution provided by ALEKS is different than the answer you come up with.

 •It might help if you keep the “Practice” problems and at-home assessment problems separate, as this will allow you to turn in the practice assessment problems to be graded without loosing access to your notes.

 •In all work (especially for practice problems and at-home assessments), the handwriting should be legible to me, and the steps should be easy to follow (I also recommend using a #2 pencil and an eraser) – the general format should conform to sample problems done in class or in ALEKS. Following such guidelines will help your math writing and thinking abilities.

 •On the turn in work, multiple pages to be turned in should be stapled, or at least have your name on each page.

7. Calculator Policy: No graphing calculator is allowed on any in-class assessment or the final exam. No calculator of any kind is needed as there is a calculator available to you on ALEKS for problems that need it. However, if you really want to use your own calculator a scientific calculator would be allowed.

8. Important Dates:

• Tue, September 2: First day of classes
• Mon, Nov 10: Last day to drop
• Thur, Nov 27 – Fir, Nov 28 : Thanksgiving Recess
• Mon, Dec 15: Last day of classes
• Fri, Dec 19 : Final Exam 1:00-3:00pm

9. Office Hours: Remember you can come and get help anytime during my stated office hours. Some of the times if students from my ALEKS Mat courses come for help, my office hours will be held in N220 or some computer lab where I do not have access to telephone. I do have access to e-mail in these rooms. If the hours stated above are not convenient for you, please use e-mail, telephone or make an appointment as other options for getting hold of me. However, I have open door policy for office hours. That means if you are in school and come to my office even though it is not one of my stated office hours and my office door is open, you are welcome to stop by. You do not have to worry if you are bothering me or if I have time. The only times my office door will be shut if I am busy, in a meeting, in a class, or out of office.

10. UW Colleges Assessment
A UW Colleges-wide assessment program has been put into place to enhance the quality and effectiveness of the curriculum, programs, and services of the institution. The following areas of proficiency will be assessed because they are of primary importance in the education of our students: Analytical Skills, Quantitative Skills, Communication Skills, and Aesthetic Engagement. During the 2008-2009 school year, we will focus on the Quantitative Skills proficiency. The Mathematics Department has also determined a number of core proficiencies for students enrolled in mathematics classes, including solving equations, setting up and solving applied problems, simplifying and evaluating expressions, and graphing-related questions. Some or all of these skill areas may be incorporated into the department assessment exercises this year.

11. Final Notes:

 •know the material is sometimes difficult and some students have trouble following what I'm doing at the board at times. Please let me know when this occurs so that I can address it. Please do not get vocally upset about it during class time. Pouting or venting is usually a healthy reaction to stress, but it is not appropriate in class and can be disruptive to other student's learning.

 •If you are a student with a disability or special needs, feel free to come and talk to me.

 •If you need help on anything, I am readily available. DO NOT HESITATE TO GET HELP.

 •This is a relatively new program and it is frequently updated. The updates can make new features available to you and the instructor in the middle of the semester. Delivering classes using this product is relatively new at UW-Waukesha. Largely for this reason, keep the following in mind: (a) changes to the topic list and grading policy (and other aspects of this course related to ALEKS) may occur; and (b) in-class or at-home work may not always go smoothly – please be patient with me and the software and try to be flexible as the school, you, and I all adjust to ALEKS

You have the option of finishing the course early. You would need to demonstrate mastery of all 84 topics on two consecutive in-class assessments. Ask me for details.

12. Final Warnings:

 •Regarding the “cumulative” nature of assessments, please keep in mind that you may master a topic in one assessment and fail it in the next, so that it then counts as “not mastered” and affects the second assessment score. Thus, regular reviewing will be necessary

 •Please take special note of the third in-class assessment which will test you on 76 topics (which is about 91% of the course). This assessment is almost the same size as the final exam and may require extra preparation time.


General Information regarding ALEKS in Mat 110:

 •The software is not intended to take the place of classroom instruction or office help: There will be regular class meetings and office hours. Regular class attendance is mandatory. In class, I will answer questions and provide explanations of some topics, and you will take daily homework quizzes in ALEKS for points.

 •ALEKS essentially provides two modes: “learning” and “assessment.”

 •In the learning mode you choose a topic that you are ready to learn and must correctly answer four or five problems to demonstrate mastery of that topic. That topic is then included in an ALEKS pie chart that shows your current knowledge state with regard to the course topics. ALEKS then makes subsequent topics available for you to work on in this mode.

 •Assessment mode provides feedback to you and me regarding accumulated knowledge/skills. “Assessments” are exams of 15-25 open-ended questions (not multiple choice). Assessments are scheduled about every three weeks and are cumulative and individualized to determine which of the 68 topics in the syllabus you have mastery of at that time. Your may gain or lose topics from your ALEKS pie chart during an assessment. In addition to scheduled assessments, ALEKS will automatically give you practice assessments after spending a certain amount of time or earning a certain number of pie pieces in the learning mode.

 •As an instructor, I have access to all of your activity on ALEKS including the number of hours spent on ALEKS, the number of topics you have mastered, your assessment results and more.

 •There are a total of 84 topics/items in the ALEKS College Algebra curriculum.

The Pre-Test (or Initial Assessment):

 •In the first class and after the tutorial on using ALEKS, you will be given an initial assessment that will determine your current state of knowledge in College Algebra. Please take this assessment seriously; that is, try your best to answer each question correctly and by yourself, in order to accurately determine for ALEKS where your new learning should begin.

 •If you are completely unfamiliar with a question, then click on the “I don't know” button and ALEKS will continue asking questions on other topics. If you pass on problems that are solvable with some effort, then ALEKS will conclude that you know less than you actually do and make you study topics you already know. This will leave you less time for later course material. Alternatively, if you get help from a text or others, ALEKS will conclude that you know more than you actually do and will give you problems that are too difficult. This can be frustrating and may actually cost you more time when the next in-class assessment sends you back to repeat topics.

 •Once you complete the initial-test, you will begin work in the learning mode on your course material for College Algebra.

Classroom Etiquettes

 •Most students do not need this section. However, there have been some exceptions over the years that have disrupted class and students' understanding of the material. So please follow the following guidelines:

 •All cellular phones, beepers, and electronic gadgets that could disrupt class should be in sleep mode or off while class is in session. If one is accidentally turned on or must be kept on for emergencies, please leave the classroom to respond or turn it off immediately.

 •Do not talk to a classmate during class while I am trying to explain something. This is mainly for non-math talk, but even math talk should not occur while I am talking. Other students who have paid to learn in the course may be distracted by your conversation, and at times I also can become distracted. I am also concerned that you yourself might be missing some important information at the board. At any point if you do not understand the material or have questions, don't hesitate to ask questions. Raise your hand and I can address your question.

 •I know the material is sometimes difficult and some students have trouble following what I'm doing at the board at times. Please let me know when this occurs so that I can address it. Please do not get vocally upset about it during class time. Pouting or venting is usually a healthy reaction to stress, but it is not appropriate in class and can be disruptive to other student's learning.

 •Please recycle all the plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and paper. I respectfully ask that you do not throw these items in the classroom garbage. There are several places on campus where the recycle bins are located. If you do not have the time to find such a bin, I will recycle it for you. This is something we can do to try to help the environment we live in.

Tentative Schedule

The coverage of topics in the course will be in the order below for the most part unless the average class progress requires us to make changes. After each ALEKS assessment, you may have to go back and re-earn earlier topics (in the learning mode) that you might lose in order to access the topics as scheduled below. If we run out of time the boldfaced items will be treated as optional.

Week   Topics to be covered in each week
1 Q1 (topics 1 – 7), due Sep 10 YELLOW PIE PIECES 1. Set builder and interval notation
2. Union and intersection of sets
3. Introduction to functions: Notation and graphs
4. Domain and range: Problem type 1
5. Domain and range: Problem type 2
6. The vertical line test
2 Assign a practice assessment Q2 (topics 8-13), due Sep 17 YELLOW PIE PIECES 7. Even and odd functions
8. Sum, difference, and product of two functions
9. Quotient of two functions
10. Vertical translation of a graph of a function
11. Vertical and horizontal translations of the graph of a function
12. Piecewise-defined functions
13. Composition of two functions: Domain and range
3 Q3 (topics 12-16) due Sep 24 Q4 (topics 17-22) due Oct 1 YELLOW and BLUE PIE PIECES Repeat #13
14. Composition of two functions: Basic
15. Composition of two functions: Advanced
16. Horizontal line test
17. Finding the inverse of a linear function
18. Finding the inverse of a rational function
19. Finding the roots of a quadratic equation with leading coefficient 1
20. Finding the roots of a quadratic equation with leading coefficient greater than 1
4 In-class Test I based on ~ 25 topics (or 30% of the course). Q5 (topics 23-30) due Oct 8 BLUE PIE PIECES 21. Completing the squares
22. Solving a quadratic equation using the quadratic formula
23. Discriminant of a quadratic equation
24. Word problems on quadratic equations with rational roots
25. Word problem on quadratic equations with irrational roots
26. Solving a quadratic equation needing simplification
27. Graphing a parabola: Problem type 1
28. Graphing a parabola: Problem type 2
29. Graphing a parabola: Problem type 3
5 Q6 (topics 31-36) due Oct 15 BLUE PIE PIECES 30. Solving a quadratic inequality
31. Graphing a quadratic inequality
32. Polynomial long division: Linear divisor
33. Polynomial long division: Quadratic divisor
34. Synthetic division
35. Remainder theorem
6 Q7 (topics 37-41) due Oct 22 BLUE PIE PIECES 36. Solving equations written in factored form
37. Finding a polynomial of a given degree with given zeros
38. Using a given zero to write a polynomial as a product of linear terms
39. Finding all potential zeros of a polynomial given by the rational zeros theorem
40. Using the rational zeros theorem to find zeros of a polynomial
41. Solving a word problem involving a polynomial of degree 3
42. Addition and Subtraction of Complex Numbers
43. Multiplication of Complex Numbers
44. Division of complex numbers
7 Assign practice assessment for In-class exam II.
Q8 (topics 42-49) Due Oct 29 BLUE PIE PIECES
45. Powers of i
46. Complex solutions of a quadratic equation
47. N-Zeros theorem and conjugate zeros theorem
48. Using the conjugate zeros theorem to find all zeros of a polynomial
49. Solving a word problem by finding a local extrema of a polynomial function
50. Inferring properties of a polynomial function from its graph
51. Sketching a rational function: Problem type 1
52. Sketching the graph of a rational function: Problem type 2
8 In-Class Assessment II based on ~55 goal topics (or 67% of the course in non-readiness items).. Q9 (topics 50-55) due Nov 5 BLUE and PURPLE PIE PIECES 53. Choosing the form of a rational function given its graph
54. Exponential and logarithmic equations
55. Evaluating a logarithmic expression
56. Basic properties of logarithms
57. Change of base for logarithms
58. Solving a logarithmic equation: Problem type 1
59. Solving a logarithmic equation: Problem type 2
9 Q10 (topics 56-60) Due Nov 12 PURPLE PIE PIECES Review for exam
60. Solving an exponential equation: Problem type 1
61. Solving an exponential equation: Problem type 2
10 Q11(topics 61-65) Due Nov 19 PURPLE PIE PIECES 62. Solving a word problem with exponential equation: Problem type 1
63. Solving a word problem with exponential equation: Problem type 2
64. Solving a word problem using an exponential equation: Problem type 3
65. Sketching the graph of an exponential function: Basic
66. Sketching the graph of an exponential function: Advanced
11 Q12(topics 66-72) due Nov 26 Assign practice assessment for in-class exam III and review for this assessment
67. Sketching the graph of a logarithmic function
68. Translating the graph of a logarithmic or exponential function
69. Graph of a parabola
70. Finding focus of a parabola
71. Writing equation of parabola given vertex and focus.
12 Q13 (topics 73-79) Due Dec 3 RED PIE PIECES In-Class Assessment III based on ~76 goal topics (or 91% of the course in non-readiness items). 72. Graphing a circle given its equation in standard form
73. Graph of a circle
74. Writing the equation of a circle given the center and an arbitrary point
75. Writing the equation of a circle given the endpoints of a diameter
 76. Graph of an ellipse written in standard form
77. Graph of an ellipse with an arbitrary center
13 Q14 (topics 80-84) due Dec 9 RED and ORANGE PIE PIECES 78. Graph of a hyperbola written in standard form
79. Graph of a hyperbola with an arbitrary center
80. Classifying Conics given their equations
14   81. Classifying a system of linear equations
82. Solving a system of linear equations
83. Consistency and independence of a system of linear equations
84. Solving system of non-linear equations
15 First Attempt on final exam Review for final
16 Final Exam