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MATH 1513, College Algebra


Calculators: A graphing calculator is required . If you have not purchased one, the TI-83 Plus is
recommended, but a calculator such as the TI-85 or TI-86 will suffice. NOTE: The TI-Nspire CAS
calculator is not allowed in any math course . It is your responsibility to know how to use your
calculator. You will not be allowed to use a calculator on many of the tests & quizzes.


The primary objective of the course is solving algebraic equations and graphing algebraic functions.
In the process, you should develop critical thinking skills and problem solving techniques that will be
valuable in future courses and in life in general.

Mathematical objectives of the course include developing a working understanding of functions, the
graphs of functions , and the application of functions to problems you will see again in your field of
study. In addition ,

 • Students should be able to perform algebraic manipulations and should know the shapes of basic graphs;
 • Students should be able to translate word problems into mathematical notation;
 • Students should be familiar with inequalities, compositions of functions, inverse functions, exponential functions and logarithmic functions;
 • Students should be able to identify and work with conic sections;
 • Students should be able to solve systems of linear and nonlinear equations.

More specific content objectives are listed in your text at the beginning of each assigned section.

Class Procedures:

This class is conducted using both lecture and class participation. Regular attendance and
participation are essential for you to get the maximum benefit from class. You should expect to spend at least
6 hours per week
outside of class reading the textbook, doing homework, and studying for quizzes & exams.

An atmosphere conducive to learning will be maintained. You are expected to exhibit maturity, responsibility,
and integrity. Students failing to conduct themselves appropriately will be asked to leave the class and will be
disciplined as outlined in the University’s Code of Student Conduct.

 •Cell phones, pagers, and other electronic devices should be turned off and invisible during class.
 • Remove all ear buds

If school or class is canceled for any reason, assignments, quizzes, or tests that were scheduled for the canceled
day will be due or taken on the next day that the class meets.


Assignments will be given in class and are due at the beginning of the specified class period.
They will be worth 10-20 points. Selected problems will be graded to determine your homework score.
Papers with just answers will receive no credit. See “Homework Guidelines” handout for details on
grading & format.


Quizzes may be announced or unannounced. Instead of collecting homework, an in-class quiz
consisting of several problems from the homework may be given. So, if you have questions on the
homework or material covered in class, please get your questions answered before the next class period
by visiting with me during my office hours or by visiting the Math Lab.

In-class Activities will be conducted to help you master material we discuss. Some activities will be
group activities designed to help you learn the material using your peers as resources. Some activities
will be collected and graded.

Late homework will not be accepted, nor will late quizzes be given. You may not make up any class
activities that you miss. I will drop your two lowest homework/quiz/activity grades. If you know in
advance that you will be absent, you may make arrangements to hand in work early or take an early quiz.
Collectively, your homework/quiz/activity grade will be equivalent to three exams, so this is an excellent
opportunity to improve your course grade.

Exams: There will be four exams each worth 100 points and a final worth 200 points. I will drop one of the four
exam scores (but not the final). If you miss an examination for any reason, that will be your dropped exam. If
a second examination is missed, it will be recorded as a 0. No make-up exams will be given. Cheating on an
exam will result in a failing grade for the course

Homework   (2 lowest dropped)
Exams (1->4)   (lowest dropped)


Course Grade will be college standard: you can calculate your grade at any point in the course by dividing the
total points possible to that point by your total points.

0% ≤ F < 60% ≤ D < 70% ≤ C < 80% ≤ B < 90% ≤ A ≤ 100%

(I reserve the right to lower this scale, but will not raise it)

DO NOT ASK ME WHAT YOUR GRADE IS: I expect you to keep track of your own work and be able to
calculate it yourself. I will confirm your calculations if you request.


Step 1: Don’t miss class or get behind. Algebra is not the type of class that you can cram in the day (or
week!) before the exam.

Step 2: Get a “Study Buddy”-> Cooperative learning works! This is supported by educational
research which confirms that students who study with other students usually perform better on
exams. This is particularly true in math courses where drill and repetition are important.
Interaction with another student is the best way to review material and catch your mistakes.

Step 3: Practice! Practice! Practice! Doing only the assigned homework will not be enough to enable
you to pass exams. I recommend that you schedule algebra study time at least 3 days a week,
rather than trying to do all the work in one long session.

Math anxiety? Defeat this by (1) being prepared and (2) using your resources, such as the Math Lab or
me. For severe cases, use Cameron’s Counseling Center.


Week Topics Section
Jan. 13 Functions
Graph of a Function
Properties of Functions
Section 3.1
Section 3.2
Section 3.3
Jan. 20 Library of Functions; Piecewise-defined Functions
Graphing Techniques
Mathematical Models; Constructing Functions
Section 3.4
Section 3.5
Section 3.6
Jan. 27 Exam 1
Linear Functions
Quadratic Functions

Section 4.1
Section 4.3
Feb. 10 Inequalities involving Quadratic Functions
Polynomial Functions
Section 4.5
Section 5.1
Feb. 17 Rational Functions
Polynomial and Rational Inequalities
Section 5.2, 5.3
Section 5.4
Feb. 24 Exam 2
Real Zeros of a Polynomial Function
Complex Zeros : Fundamental Theorem of Algebra

Section 5.5
Section 5.6
Mar. 3 Composite Functions
Inverse Functions
Exponential Functions
Section 6.1
Section 6.2
Section 6.3
Mar. 10 Logarithmic Functions
Properties of Logarithms
Section 6.4
Section 6.5

Mar. 16-20 Spring Break – No Classes

Mar. 24 Review
Exam 3
Mar. 31 Logarithmic and Exponential Equations
Compound Interest
Exponential Growth and Decay Models;
Newton’ s Law ; Logistic and Decay Model
Section 6.6
Section 6.7

Section 6.8
Apr. 7 Conics; Parabolas
Ellipses ( circles )
Section 7.1, 7.2
Section 7.3
Section 7.4
Apr. 14 Exam 4
Systems of Linear Equations; Substitution and
Systems of Linear Equations; Matrices

Section 8.1

Section 8.2
Apr. 21 Systems of Linear Equations; Determinants
Matrix Algebra
Section 8.3
Section 8.4
Apr. 28 Systems of Nonlinear Equations
Systems of Inequalities
Linear Programming
Section 8.6
Section 8.7
Section 8.8

May 7 Thursday FINAL EXAM 8:00 AM—10:00 PM

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