Math 121 — College Algebra, Section 7

Fall 2010

Here is a shortcut to the course schedule/homework page.

**Lectures:** MTWF 2-2:50pm in PM 110
**Group Meetings:** MW 3-3:50pm

**Office Hours:** MWF 8-10am in PM 248

**Instructor:** Jonathan
Poritz
**Office:** PM 248
**E-mail:**
jonathan.poritz@gmail.com

**Phone:** 549-2044 (office — any time); 357-MATH
(personal; please use sparingly)

**Prerequisites:** A satisfactory grade on a placement exam and either
Math 099, two years of high school algebra, or the equivalent.

**Text:** *College Algebra Essentials, 8th Edition*, by Michael
Sullivan. You are expected to be reading the textbook sections as we cover them
in class. This is partly so that you can see a different exposition of the
material from what is presented in class. In addition, there may well be a
result or example which we simply don't have time to talk about in class which
is given in the textbook — and it will be assumed you have seen this
material in your reading! To reward careful reading of the textbook, the
weekly class quizzes will (usually) be taken directly from an example worked
out in one of the book's sections covered that week.

**On-line homework:** Students must acquire access to the
**MyMathLab** on-line homework system, which is then accessed through
www.coursecompass.com. To connect
to this course, use **poritz52619** as the *Course ID*.

**Catalog Description:** Solutions of algebraic equations, graphs of
rational functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, systems of
equations, matrices, and determinants.

**Academic integrity:** Mathematics is more effectively and easily
learned — and more fun — when you work in groups.
However, all work you turn in must be your own, and any form of cheating
is grounds for an immediate F in the course for all involved parties.

**Attendance:** Regular attendance is a key to success -- every class
you miss will harm your understanding of the topics we cover no only that
day, but every other day of the term as well. For this reason, attendance
will be taken each class period.

**Calculators:** A Texas Instruments graphing calculator is
**required**. Calculators such as the *TI-89* or *TI-Nspire* that
can do symbolic calculations are **forbidden**. The department has a
calculator rental program: the (non-refundable) fee is $20 per semester, while
an additional $110 is billed if the calculator is damaged or is not returned.
Please contact Mary Sandoval in PM 216 for more information.

**Students with disabilities:** The University abides by the Americans
with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which
stipulate that no student shall be denied the benefits of education "solely by
reason of a handicap." If you have a documented disability that may impact your
work in this class for which you may require accommodations, please see the
Disability Resource Coordinator as soon as possible to arrange accommodations.
In order to receive this assistance, you must be registered with, and provide
documentation of your disability to, the Disability Services Office, which is
located in the Psychology Building, Room 232.

**Homework:** Mathematics at this level is a kind of practical
(although purely mental) **skill**, not unlike a musical or sports
skill — and, like for those other skills, one must **practise**
to build the skill. In short, *doing problems is the only way truly to
master this material* (in fact, the only way to *pass*). To this
end, there will be homework sets assigned for every section we cover, through
the www.coursecompass.com website.
You will need the access code that came with the Student Access Kit you
purchased at the bookstore in order this important (and fun! the system
provides you with instant feedback and help as you do the HW sets!) part of
the course.

Since you can repeat the on-line homework as many times as you like, there is
no reason not to answer every problem correctly. Therefore, in order to
demonstrate mastery of the material, you will be expected to score at least an
80% on every homework set. To enforce this expectation, **you must score at
least 80% on every on-line HW and exam review due before any hour exam
(including the final) to be eligible to take that exam.**

**Quizzes:** Most (probably all) Fridays, during weeks in which there is
no hour exam, there will be a short (10-15 minute) quiz at the end of class.
These will be closed book, but calculators will (usually) be allowed. A missed
quiz will receive a grade of **0** unless a satisfactory explanation
(with documentation) is provided **before** the date of the quiz in
question. The content of the quiz will almost always be identical to an example
from that week's textbook sections — so don't forget to read (carefully!)
the book.

**Exams:** We will have three in-class hour exams: on **Friday, September
17, covering Chapters 1 and 2**; on **Friday, October 15, covering Chapters
3 and 4**; and on **Friday, November 5, covering Chapter 5**. A missed
exam will receive a grade of **0** unless a satisfactory explanation (with
documentation) is provided **before** the date of the exam in question.
There will be a comprehensive final exam on **Thursday, December 9, from
3:30-5:50pm** in a room to be announced (probably PM 110) — please
note, ** this is not the final exam period written in the catalog
corresponding to our class meeting times**.

**Group Learning Program:** The Mathematics Department at CSU-Pueblo
offers the Group Learning Program as a means of supporting student success
in College Algebra. Attendance is mandatory. Students **will not** be
allowed to take their course final ** after 4 unexcused absences**
from the Group Learning Sessions.

There will be worksheets each week in the GLP which will count towards your course grade.

**Grades:** Your total homework points will be scaled to be out of
100. So also will be the total quiz points. Each hour exam during the
term will be graded out of 100, while the final will be out of 200. The
GLP worksheets will count as 50 points. This means that the maximum possible
course points are then 750.
Letter grades will then be calculated in a way no more strict than the
traditional "90-100% is an A, 80-90% a B, *etc.*" system, based on your
total points. (Note that by Math Department policy, there will be no +'s or
-'s on final course grades.)

**Contact outside class:** Over the years I have been teaching, I have
noticed that the students who come to see me outside class are very often the
ones who do well in my classes. Now correlation is not causation, but why not
put yourself in the right statistical group and drop in sometime? I am always
in my office, PM 248, during official office hours. If you want to talk to me
privately and/or cannot make those times, please mention it to me in class or
by e-mail, and we can find another time. Please feel free to contact me for
help also by e-mail at
jonathan.poritz@gmail.com, to
which I will try to respond quite quickly (always within the day, often
much more quickly); be aware, however, that it is hard to do complex
mathematics by e-mail, so if the issue you raise in an e-mail is too hard
for me to answer in that form, it may well be better if we meet before the
next class, or even talk on the telephone (in which case, include in your
e-mail a number where I can reach you).

**A request about e-mail:** E-mail is a great way to keep in touch
with me, but since I tell all my students that, I get *a lot* of e-mail.
So to help me stay organized, please put your full name and the course name
or number in the subject line of all messages to me. Also, if you are writing
me for help on a particular problem, please state the complete problem in your
e-mail.

**The Math Learning Center:** located in PM 132, is a fantastic resource
for CSUP math students. Use it often! (Although during my office hours,
come to my office, preferentially.) It is free and fun, staffed with friendly
and helpful tutors. Hours for the fall of 2010 are:

M | T | W | Θ | F | Sa | Su |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

8:30-5 | 8:30-4 | 8:30-5 | 8:30-4 | 8:30-3 | closed |
11-4 |