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Contemporary College Algebra

General Education Component Matrix

Department: Mathematics Proposed Course Prefix/Number: MATH 121

Course Title: Functions and Graphs

What General Education Goal is this course intended to address ? Goal 5

Required Outcomes for this
Components (refer
specifically to syllabus)
Specific Assessment
Method for Outcome
Understand how
mathematical and/or
statistical models can be
used to study real-world
Course objectives 2, 3, 4,
and 6
Common Exam Question
Report number of students
who got problems totally
correct, partially correct,
and incorrect.
Understand the limitations
of and assumptions behind
typical mathematical
Course objectives 1, 3, 4,
and 6
Common Exam Question
Report number of students
who got problems totally
correct, partially correct,
and incorrect.
Use mathematical and
statistical analysis to
interpret such models by
testing hypotheses, making
predictions, drawing
conclusions, checking
results for plausibility, and
finding optimal results
Course Objectives 1, 2, and
Common Exam Question
Report number of students
who got problems totally
correct, partially correct,
and incorrect.
Understand when
technology might be helpful
in mathematical or
statistical analysis and
apply technology when
Course Objectives 1 and 6 Common Exam Question
Report number of students
who got problems totally
correct, partially correct,
and incorrect.
General Education Criteria Relevant Course Components (refer
specifically to course syllabus)
1. Teach a disciplinary mode of inquiry and
provide students with practice in applying
their disciplinary mode of inquiry, critical
thinking, or problem solving strategies.
Students are taught to construct graphical
models for data and then analyze the
graphs mathematically . (weeks 1-15)
2. Provide examples of how disciplinary
knowledge changes through creative
applications of the chosen mode of inquiry.
Applications of models. (weeks 1-10)
3. Consider questions of ethical values. Course material does not lend itself very
well to ethical considerations. We do
examine when models may be
inappropriate or misleading. (weeks 2, 3,
and 7)
4. Explore past, current, and future
implications of disciplinary
Applications throughout the course have
implications. (weeks 1-15)
5. Encourage consideration of course
content from diverse perspectives.
Functions are looked at from graphical,
numerical, and algebraic ( symbolic ) points
of view throughout the course. (weeks 1-
6. Provide opportunities for students to
increase information literacy through
contemporary techniques of gathering,
manipulating, and analyzing information
and data.
Research project involves gathering data
from library/internet sources. Entire course
involves analyzing graphs. (weeks 1-15)
7. Require at least one substantive written
paper, oral report, or course journal and
also require students to articulate
information or ideas in their own words on
tests and exams.
Research project; exam questions
8. Foster awareness of the common
elements among disciplines and the
interconnectedness of disciplines.
Examples and applications are drawn from
the natural sciences, the social
sciences, economics, and business. (weeks
9. Provide a rationale as to why knowledge
of this discipline is important to the
development of an educated citizen.
Students learn to analyze data and solve
problems in areas such as ecology,
business, economics, and the physical
sciences. The ability to interpret and
analyze such data is clearly important for
informed citizens. (weeks 1-15)

Spring 2008

Text: Hungerford, Thomas W. Contemporary College Algebra: A Graphing Approach. Second Edition.
New York: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company, 2005.

Supplies: Graphing calculator.

Course Description: A graphical, numerical, and algebraic study of functions. Functions will include
linear, polynomial, radical, and exponential as well as their applications in sequences and series. Linear and
quadratic equations and linear systems of equations and inequalities will also be studied. 3 credits. *

Course Objectives: Students should be able to
1. Use graphing calculators to graph and analyze functions.
2. Analyze and interpret linear, polynomial, and exponential functions.
3. Solve linear and quadratic equations.
4. Solve a system of linear equations.
5. Distinguish between arithmetic and geometric sequences and determine the next elements in the
6. Apply functions to business, social science, and natural science applications.

This course meets the General Education criteria and the required outcomes for General Education Goal 5
as indicated in the attached matrices.

Course Requirements:

1. There will be three tests. Each test will be worth 18% of your final grade.

2. Attendance is mandatory. Each student is expected to actively participate in all group work and class

3. Daily class assignments will constitute 18% of your final grade.

4. A research project will be due in early April. The project will constitute 8% of your final grade. Details
will be provided in early March.

5. There will be a comprehensive final exam for this course. The exam will be worth 20% of your final

6. Absences are excused only for illness, college sponsored activities, and recognizable emergencies. You
must assume full responsibility for all material covered during your absence. A grade of "0" will be
assigned for all work missed due to unexcused absences.

7. Make-up tests will be given only when the reason for missing the test meets the criteria for an excused
absence. Make-up tests will always be more difficult then regularly scheduled tests.

8. I expect you to conform to the Longwood College Honor Code as contained in the Student Handbook.
All assignments and tests must be pledged.

Grade Scale
A 90 – 100
B 80 – 89
C 70 – 79
D 60 – 69
F 0 - 59

Feel free to come by my office at any time during office hours for help. If you are unable to come during
office hours call and make an appointment for another time period.

Class Schedule

Week 1 January 14 - 18
  Tuesday 0.3, 0.4 Integral Exponents, Roots, Radicals, and Radical Exponents
  Thursday 1.1, 1.2 The Coordinate Plane and Graphing Technology
Week 2 January 21 - 25
  Tuesday 1.3 Lines
  Thursday 1.4 Linear Models
Week 3 January 28 – February 1
  Tuesday 2.1 First Degree Equations and Applications
  Thursday 2.2 Quadratic Equations and Applications
Week 4 February 4 - 8
  Tuesday 2.3 Solving Equations Graphically and Numerically
  Thursday 2.4 Linear Inequalities
Week 5 February 11 - 15
  Tuesday Test Chapters 0 - 2
  Thursday 3.1 Functions
Week 6 February 18 - 22
  Tuesday 3.2 Functional Notation
  Thursday 3.3 Graphs of Functions
Week 7 February 25 - 29
  Tuesday 3.6 Rates of Change
  Thursday 4.1 Quadratic Functions and Models
Week 8 March 3 - 7
  Tuesday 4.3 Graphs of Polynomial Functions
  Thursday Test Chapters 3 and 4
Week 9 March 10 - 14
  Spring Break
Week 10 March 17 - 21
  Tuesday 5.1 Exponential Functions
  Thursday 5.2 Applications of Exponential Functions
Week 11 March 24 - 28
  Tuesday 6.1 Systems of Linear Equations in Two Variables
  Thursday 6.2 Large Systems of Linear Equations
Week 12 March 31 – April 4
  Tuesday 6.5 Systems of Linear Inequalities
  Thursday 6.6 Introduction to Linear Programming
Week 13 April 7 - 11
  Tuesday Test Chapters 5-6
  Thursday 7.1 Sequences and Sums
Week 14 April 14 - 18
  Tuesday 7.2 Arithmetic Sequences
  Thursday 7.3 Geometric Sequences
Week 15 April 21 - 25
  Tuesday 7.4 Introduction to Infinite Series
  Thursday Final Exam Review
Final Exam    
  Wednesday, April 30 8:00 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.

Writing: As a general education course, Mathematics 121 will require more writing than in
some non-general education mathematics courses. Some exam questions will be short essay
questions. The research project will require using library and internet sources to gather data.
You will then analyze the data and write up the results. The result will be graded both for
mathematical accuracy and for writing style. The project will be due in mid November. More
details will be provided later.

Attendance Policy: Students are expected to attend all classes. Work missed because of illness
or other excused absences may be made up. Work missed because of unexcused absences
receives a grade of 0. If you miss an exam or are late with an assignment you may be asked to
provide proof that you had a legitimate reason (such as illness, certain college-sponsored
activities or recognized emergencies). When possible, you should
notify the instructor in advance of assignments you expect to miss because of legitimate

Honor Code: Students are expected to abide by the Longwood College Honor Code.
Assignments should be pledged, but the provisions of the Honor Code are assumed to apply to
all work, pledged or not. Some of the homework, projects, and in-class assignments may be
designated by the instructor as group assignments; all other work that is turned in to be graded
should be the student's own individual work. Students are encouraged to study together and to
seek help from the instructor or tutors when needed, but receiving unauthorized help, copying, or
working together on any non-group assignments that will be graded is a violation of the Honor
Code. For any group assignments, all members of a group are expected to sign the work turned
in, indicating that all members of the group helped prepare and understand the assignment being
turned in.

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