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SYLLABUS FOR INTERMEDIATE ALGEBRA
Textbook: Larson and Hostetler, Intermediate Algebra, 4th ed., Houghton-Mifflin, 2005. We will cover Ch. 1-9.
The Mathematics Tutoring Center is in the basement between LCB and JWB. It is open 8:00am-
8:00pm on Monday through Thursday, and 8:00am-4:00pm on Fridays. There is also inexpensive
private tutoring available through the ASUU Tutoring Center, in 330SSB, and a list of private tutors is
availabe in the math department offices.
The goal of Intermediate Algebra is to give you a solid foundation for future math classes. For most of you, this means
either Math 1030, or a precalculus and calculus sequence. As a result, the most important tools to come away with are
comfort with the use of variables, proficiency at algebraic manipulation, an ability to understand and apply algebraic
identities, proficiency at solving linear , quadratic, and exponential equations , and comfort with solving word problems.
The class will consist of sixteen three hour classes, one review session, and a two hour final. Note that the normal,
semester-long class consists of nearly forty lectures, which should give you some idea of how compressed the course is.
Even for a professional mathematician, it is very difficult to pay attention to a three hour long lecture. As a result, I am
going to experiment with a new format. Each class will consist of one hour of lecture, followed by an hour of group work
on worksheets I will provide, followed by another hour of lecture. These worksheets will give you the opportunity to apply
the material immediately after seeing the lectures. On exam days, we will simply take the exam instead of doing a
A rough course schedule follows. Each line represents about a week of material. The exam dates are fixed, but the material
that they will include may change depending on how fast the course moves.
Exam 1 Material
Systems of Linear Equations (Ch. 4)/Polynomials (Ch. 5)
Rational Expressions /Rational Functions (Ch. 6)
Powers /Radicals/Complex Numbers (Ch. 7)
EXAM 2 – JULY 15TH
Exam 3 Material Quadratic Equations /Completing the Square/ Quadratic Formula (Ch. 8)
Exponential Functions/ Logarithms /Solving Exponential Equations (Ch. 9)
FINAL EXAM – AUGUST 6TH
Practice is critical to the mastery of algebra. As a result,
there will be one homework assignment per
week, for the entire duration of the class. The assignments will be graded purely based on
completeness in general. However, I expect you to show all work on your homework, and reserve the
right to take off points if you don't.
The worksheets will be one of the most important elements of
the class. They will be done in groups,
but I expect each student to turn in his own copy by the next class period. Anything you fail to
complete in class you should complete on your own. The worksheets will be graded on correctness as
well as completeness, and if you miss a class, you should get a copy from the website and turn it in on
There will be two exams. Calculators will NOT be allowed on any
exam. The exams will be held in
the normal room, at the normal time. There will be no make-ups.
The final exam will be on August 6th, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. It
will be cumulative.
The grade cutoffs will be based on the standard scale of 90%-A, 80%-B, and so forth.
In general, make-up exams will not be offered. If you miss an
exam for a university approved reason
and have documentation, I will replace the exam grade with your final exam grade.
Late homework will not be accepted under any circumstances. The
class will move so quickly that if
you fail to do a homework assignment on time, you will fall seriously behind in the class. Don't miss
Calculators will not be allowed on any in-class work, including
exams and quizzes. Many of you may
find this frustrating, but practice is the only way to learn algebra. In fact, I highly encourage you to
avoid using a calculator on your homework, too, except for checking your work.
I don't mess around with academic dishonesty. It will be handled
exactly as detailed in the student
handbook. I can promise you that it is not worth the risk.
The University of Utah seeks to provide equal access to its
programs, services and activities for people
with disabilities. If you will need accommodations in the class, reasonable prior notice needs to be
given to the Center for Disability Services, 162 Olpin Union Building, 581-5020 (V/TDD). CDS will
work with you and the instructor to make arrangements for accommodations.
All written information in this course can be made available in alternative format with prior
notification to the Center for Disability Services.