Syllabus for Precalculus I

Catalog Description:

Fundamentals of algebra; polynomial, rational, exponential, and logarithmic functions , their
graphs, and applications; complex numbers; absolute value and quadratic inequalities ;
systems of equations , matrices, determinants.

(This course DOES NOT satisfy the University’s core mathematics requirement . Credit may not
be received for both Math 126R and Math 128.)


Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

• Recognize real numbers and use their properties
• Perform operations on algebraic expressions and simplify algebraic expressions involving
exponents and radicals
Solve linear , quadratic, polynomial, rational, and absolute value equations and inequalities
• Understand the concepts of and be able to identify the domain, the range, intercepts, zeros,
and asymptotes
• Perform basic operations on functions including addition, subtraction , multiplication,
division, and composition
• Define and determine the inverse of a function
• Recognize and graph linear , quadratic, and absolute value functions
• Describe the symmetries of graphs
• Use the division algorithm , the remainder theorem, and the factor theorem for polynomials
• Use long division and synthetic division to find the quotient, remainder, and zeros of a
• Sketch the graph of polynomial functions of degree greater than two, rational functions,
exponential and logarithmic functions
• Recognize and define exponential and logarithmic functions
Solve word problems involving exponential and logarithmic functions, including problems
about compounding interest and exponential growth and decay
• Students solve systems of two and three variables by substitution and Gaussian elimination ;
use systems to solve word problems
• Perform basic operations like addition , subtraction, and multiplication on matrices and
determine the inverse of a square matrix

Required Textbooks/Materials:

Sullivan, Michael. Precalculus, 8th ed. Prentice Hall, 2007. (There is an online edition available for

First Week’s Assignments/Readings:

December 28: Syllabus, Section 1.1, Section 1.2, Section 1.3

December 29: Section 1.4, Section 2.1, Section 2.2, Section 2.3

December 30: Section 2.3, Section 2.4, Section 2.5

December 31: Review, Test 1

January 1: Holiday (no class)

Course Details:


All homework is to be completed on MyMathLab software. All students must register for this course
by going to the Web page and following the instructions. You
will need a valid e-mail address, course ID, and student access code (this should come with the
textbook and must be entered in capital letters) to register.

The course ID for this class will be available on the first day of class.

In addition to assigned homework, I also expect every student to read ahead in the book.


There will be three in-class tests. The tests will assess your understanding of the material covered
in class. All tests will be 100 percent multiple choice. You must have your UNR ID with you for all
tests. You will not be able to take the tests without showing me your valid UNR ID. Students must
have a scantron (form # 882-E) for all tests.


Attendance is not required but is strongly recommended. You are responsible for all of the material
presented in class. If you do have to miss a class, please get any notes and assignments you missed from
another student in the class. If this is not possible, please see me.


The percentage distribution for the course is:

Homework 25%
Tests (three worth 25 percent each) 75%
Total 100%

The grade scale is:

Grade Minimum % Required
A 90
B 80
C 70
D 60
F below 60%
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