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Math 210: Precalculus

Course description: This course is intended to prepare the student for
the study of calculus. Topics include: properties of the real number sys-
tems; absolute values, inequalities; detailed study of linear and quadratic
equations; polynomial and rational functions and their graphs; exponential,
logarithmic, and trigonometric functions .

Course goals:
1. To provide students with a solid understanding of the concept of func-
2. To develop students' dexterity in the use of basic tools that are rou-
tinely applied in calculus courses.
3. To familiarize students with elementary functions, their graphs and

Learning objectives: A student who passes this course should be able to:
1. Recognize the properties that real numbers have.
2. Use the coordinate plane to represent equational relations and func-
tions, and systems of inequalities .
3. Compute the distance between points on the plane.
4. Find the solution sets of systems of inequalities of limited complexity.
5. Understand the concept of function.
6. Expertly identify linear functions with their associated linear equa-
7. Expertly identify quadratic functions with their associated quadratic
8. Become well acquainted with all elementary functions that show up
frequently in calculus problems, including polynomial functions, ra-
tional functions, trigonometric functions, logarithmic and exponential
functions, absolute value function , etc.
9. Become adept at the graphic display of the qualitative behavior of
arithmetic combinations of functions.
10. Understand the notion of composition of functions, and become adept
at the graphic display of the qualitative behavior of the composition
of a function with simple linear functions.
11. Understand the concept of an inverse function, and correctly graph
the inverse function of a given invertible function.
12. Understand thoroughly exponential and logarithmic functions and their
13. Understand thoroughly trigonometric functions and their uses.
14. Understand the rudiments of polar coordinates, parametric equations ,
and conic sections .

Attendance policy: An advance notice for an absence to class is typically
an e-mail sent to me 12 hours or more in advance of the class meeting the
student will not attend. Permission for absence is typically an e-mail from
me to the student to acknowledge receipt of an advance notice. Excused
absences are absences for which I have advance notice, and for which the
student has a permission for absence. Excused absences, if not excessive in
number, will not negatively affect a student's grade. An unexcused absence
during a day when an assignment, quiz, or exam is due will result in a grade
of zero for the assignment, quiz, or exam. I reserve the right to penalize
students with more than three unexcused absences by reducing their final
grade by one letter grade. In the event that I wish to exercise this right,
notice will be given to students in advance. The student is responsible
for completing all course requirements and for keeping up with
all that goes on in the course (whether or not the student is in

Textbook: Faires and DeFranza, Precalculus, Thomson, 4th ed., ISBN
9780495188384 (Required)

Class format: This will be a standard lecture/discussion class. Often
the instructor will spend some class time explaining the basic concepts of
the course, and occasionally students will gather in groups assigned by the
instructor and discussions of the material will take place.

Quizzes: There will be weekly quizzes. Doing your homework will prepare
you very well for the quizzes.


Exam I Tentatively Friday, October 5
Exam II Tentatively Friday, November 2
Exam III Tentatively Wednesday, December 5
Final Friday, December 14, 11:00 - 1:00

Grading scheme: I reserve the right to change the following grading
scheme, but it will very likely stand :

Quizzes 10%
Homework 10%
Exam I 20 %
Exam II 20 %
Exam III 20 %
Final 20 %

Statement on equality of access: Salem State College is committed to
providing equal access to educational experience for all students in compli-
ance with Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act and The Americans with
Disabilities Act and to providing all reasonable academic accommodations,
aids and adjustments. Any student who has a documented disability should
speak with the instructor immediately. Students with disabilities who have
not previously done so should provide documentation to and schedule an
appointment with the Office for Students with Disabilities and obtain ap-
propriate services.

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