MiraCosta College

Math 125 - College Algebra

Fall 2002, Section 2459
Instructor:Steve Schaefer
Class:Oceanside Campus, Room 3201
TuTh 5:15 - 6:30 PM
Required Text: College Algebra, 6th edition
Michael Sullivan
Calculator: A calculator is required for this class. Any calculator that supports exponential and logarithmic functions is acceptable. A graphing calculator is recommended. If you are purchasing a graphing calculator for this class, the Math department recommends the TI-83.
Supplements: The publisher of the textbook makes different companion resources available. None of the supplements are required, but the student solutions manual is recommended.
Course Description: Topics include a review of techniques for solving algebraic equations and inequalities; definitions and properties of functions and inverse functions; graphs of linear, quadratic, and other polynomial functions and of rational functions; translations and combinations of functions; zeros of polynomial functions; definitions, graphs, and properties of exponential and logarithmic functions; techniques for solving exponential and logarithmic equations; and techniques for solving systems of equations.
Prerequisite: Math 101 with a grade of "C" or better, or qualification through the Math Competency Exam.
Grading: Your grade will be determined by the total number of points that you have accumulated throughout the course. The following scale will be used to determine letter grades A = 90–100%, B = 80–89.99%, C = 70–79.99%, D = 60–69.99%, F = 0–59.99%. Points are awarded as follows:
Activity QuantityPoints Each Total Points% of Grade
Homework 12 35 420 25
Quizzes 7 48 336 20
Tests 3 168 504 30
Final Exam 1 420 420 25
Total: 1680 100
Homework: Homework is graded for completeness and correctness. You are expected to do your own work, and you are encouraged to work with others in the class. This is a very important distinction. Here are some guidelines:
  • You are encouraged to discuss the homework problems with each other
  • You are encouraged to compare ideas about how the problems can be solved.
  • You are encouraged to check answers with each other and to compare your completed solutions.
  • You must not copy someone else's solution.
  • If you find that you've worked very closely with someone to solve a problem, you should do the following:
    • Look for another way to solve the problem. Math problems usually have only one answer, but more than one solution.
    • Verify that you can solve a similar problem -- perhaps an odd-numbered problem from the text.
    • Note on your homework that you solved the problem with someone else, who that was, and what you've done to make sure that you can solve similar problems.

Homework will be due approximately once per week, except when we have tests. The exercises will cover the material from the previous lectures and reading assignments. Homework will be graded promptly. Except for the final assignment, at least one exercise will be graded for correctness. You will have an opportunity to correct any mistakes and submit your corrections at the next class. So, for example, you will receive a reading assignment on Thursday. The lectures on that material will be on Tuesday and Thursday of the following week, and homework from that material will be due on the following Tuesday. You will normally receive the graded homework back on Thursday, and you can submit corrections on the next Tuesday.

You may submit your homework up to two class days late, but you will not have the same opportunity to correct mistakes on late assignments. I will also allow each student two "lapses" where late homework may be corrected. To qualify, the student must submit the homework no more than one day late, must provide an e-mail address through the course web site, and must submit the corrections at the same time as the rest of the class, based on the instructor's e-mailed comments.

Every student should strive to get every homework point. The grading may be strict, and I may ask you to justify your solution or even do extra work to get full credit. If you rise to the challenge, you will succeed.

Quizzes: There are nine quizzes planned for the semester. Quizzes cannot be made up, but only your seven highest quiz scores will count toward your final grade.

The quizzes are a quick check that you have committed the concepts (and formulas) to memory. If you have done the homework exercises, and made sure that you know and understand the concepts in the highlighted boxes and the defined terms in the text (without needing to refer to the text), then you should do well on the quizzes.

Tests: There will be three tests, each covering approximately two chapters of the text. For the most part, the test questions will be like the homework exercises, not like the quiz questions. You will be asked to solve problems using the concepts and skills you have practiced.

Calculators may not be allowed on all tests. Tests cannot be made up. In extreme situations, alternate scheduling can be arranged by contacting me in advance.

Accommodations: Any student with a verified disability is entitled to appropriate academic accommodations. Please contact the Disabled Students Programs and Services office.
Attendance: Attendance is required. If you miss more than three classes, you may be dropped from the course. (Do not count on this. It it your responsibility to withdraw from the class to avoid the "F" on your record.) There are no make-up exams. In extreme situations, alternate scheduling may be arranged by contacting your instructor in advance.
Important Dates:
Aug 27 - First class
Sep 7 - Last day to add
Last day to drop without a withdrawal ("W") on your transcript
Sep 27 - Last day to petition for credit/no credit
Nov 21 - Last day to withdraw with a "W" instead of a grade
Dec 12 - Last regular class meeting
Dec 17 - Final exam 5:00–7:00 PM
Valid HTML 4.01! Steve Schaefer
Last modified: Date: 2002/08/26