Course Syllabus for Intermediate Algebra

Course Description: This course is designed to prepare the student for college algebra. It
covers first-degree equations and inequalities , linear functions, systems of linear equations,
polynomials, factorization, rational expressions, negative and rational exponents, radicals,
quadratic equations, graphing functions, logarithms, and application problems.

Prerequisite: MATH 025/010 with C grade or higher, or Math Placement Test (COMPASS
Algebra score of 41 or higher).

Textbook and Supplies:
• Intermediate Algebra , 4th edition (Student Support Edition), by Larson/Hostetler,
published by Houghton/Mifflin.
• Scientific calculator (Graphing calculators are acceptable , but not required.)

Course Objective:
Students who complete Math 108, Intermediate Algebra, will have a strong
understanding of the topics listed in the course description and in the detailed list of course
outcomes. This course will prepare students for Math 130, Math 143, Math 147 and other
courses which have an Intermediate Algebra pre-requisite.

Outcomes Assessment:
Daily assignments, exams, and a comprehensive final exam will be
used to assess how well students achieve the expected course outcomes. Exams as well as
student evaluations will be analyzed to help improve curriculum and instruction for the course.
Also, regular informal feedback will be solicited in an effort to improve the class as it progresses.

The course content includes:
a. Rational numbers (addition, subtraction, multiplication , and division)
b. Variable expressions (simplify, translate, evaluate)
c. Operations on sets of numbers (union, intersection)
d. Set-builder notation and interval notation
e. First degree equations in one variable (solve, translate from application problems such as percent
problems, mixture problems, business related problems, uniform motion problems, investment
f. First degree inequalities (solve and graph simple, compound )
g. Linear functions (evaluate, graph, find slope)
h. Find length and midpoint of a segment
i. Write the equations for lines (including parallel lines and perpendicular lines)
j. Solve systems of linear equations (use graphs, substitution method , addition method)
k. Polynomials (add, subtract, multiply, divide using long division and synthetic division, evaluate, factor)
l. Solve polynomial equations by factoring
m. Simplify exponential expressions having integer and variable exponents
n. Scientific notation
o. Expressions with rational exponents (simplify, change to radical form)
p. Radical expressions (simplify, add, subtract, multiply, divide)
q. Complex numbers (simplify, add, subtract, multiply, divide)
r. Solve equations containing radicals
s. Functions (domain, range, graph, use vertical line test, add, subtract, multiply, divide, find inverse, do
composition of functions)
t. Rational expressions (find the domain, simplify, multiply, divide, add, subtract, simplify complex
u. Solve rational equations (including application problems like work problems, uniform motion
problems, proportions, variations, and literal equations )
v. Solve quadratic equations (use factoring, completing the square, and quadratic formula)
w. Solve equations that are quadratic in form
x. Solve quadratic and rational inequalities
y. Parabolas (find axis of symmetry, vertex , x-intercepts, graph)
z. Exponential functions (evaluate, graph)
aa. Logarithms ( log notation , properties of logarithms, evaluate logs with and without a calculator, solve
log equations, graph log functions using ordered pairs)

These additional , optional topics may be covered by some instructors:
a. Absolute value equations
b. Absolute value inequalities
c. Evaluate determinants (2 x 2 and 3 x 3)
d. Solve a system of equations using Cramer’s Rule
e. Solve a system of equations using Gaussian elimination with matrices
f. Application problems with systems of equations
g. Application problems with quadratic equations and functions
h. Application problems with exponential equations and functions
i. Application problems with logarithmic equations and functions

As part of departmental analysis of outcomes in this course and its place in the Mathematics
program, student completion of the pre-requisite, success in the current course, success in
subsequent courses and student satisfaction will be reviewed by the instructor and the department
chair. A report containing this information will be submitted by department faculty to determine
what, if any, changes can be made to improve the course in terms of content , focus, and

Course Outline
(Tentative and subject to change at any time)

Date Section Topic
August 24-28 1.1 – 1.5, 2.1 Fundamentals of Algebra, Linear Equations
Aug 31, September 1-4 2.4, Review, 3.1 Inequalities, Review Chapters 1 and 2, Graphs
  Sept. 2: Exam 1  
September 7-11 3.2 – 3.4 Graphs and Functions
September 14-18 3.6, 4.1 – 4.3 Systems of Equations
September 21-25 September 21-25 Review Chapters 3 and 4, Polynomials
  Sept. 22: Exam 2  
September 28-30, October 1-2 5.3 – 5.6 Polynomials, Factoring
October 5-9 Review, 6.1 - 6.2 Review Chapter 5, Rational Expressions
  Oct. 6: Exam 3  
October 12-16 6.3 – 6.5 Rational Expressions
October 19-23 6.6 - 6.7, Review Rational Equations and Functions, Review Chapter 6
  Oct. 23: Exam 4  
October 26-30 7.1-7.4 Radicals
November 2-6 7.5 – 7.6, Review Radicals and Complex Numbers
  Nov. 6: Exam 5  
November 9-13 8.1-8.3 Quadratic Equations
November 16-20 8.4, 8.6 Quadratic Equations, Functions, and Inequalites,
November 23-24 9.1, 9.2 Exponential Functions, Composite and Inverse Functions
November 30, December 1-4 Review, 9.3 Review for Exam 6, Logarithmic Functions
  Dec. 1: Exam 6  
December 7-11 9.4, 9.5, Review Exponential and Logarithmic Functions, Review for Final Exam

Final Exam –
Tuesday, December 15, 8:00 am to 9:50 am (Math 108-C11)
Tuesday, December 15, 10:00 am to 11:50 am (Math 108-C02)

Homework Assignment Format
Math 108
Fall 2009

1. Use loose leaf paper.
2. Write name, course title (ex Math 108-C05), and homework section in top right corner of
first page.
3. Circle or highlight final answer when possible.
4. Show the work necessary to complete each problem. If little, no, or incorrect work is
shown, you will not receive credit for that problem even if you have the correct answer.
5. Write legibly. If I cannot decipher your work, you will not receive credit.
6. Staple pages together in top left corner.
7. Fold assignment lengthwise with first page on inside of fold.
8. Write name, course title, and homework section on outside of folded assignment.

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