MATH 118 - Math for the Natural Sciences - Fall 2015

Department of Mathematics and Information Technology

Dr. Angela Berardinelli

Important Dates for Fall 2015

  • Wednesday, August 26: First day of class
  • Wednesday, September 2: Add/drop deadline
  • Monday, September 7: No class (Labor Day)
  • Wednesday, September 23: Exam 1
  • Monday, October 12: Exam 2
  • Friday, October 16: No class (Fall Break)
  • Monday, November 2: Exam 3
  • Friday, November 20: Exam 4
  • Monday, November 23 - Friday, November 27: No class (Thanksgiving Break)
  • Friday, December 4: Last day to withdraw from class
  • Friday, December 11: Final Exam (1-3PM)

Course Description

This course has been designed for students who wish to take calculus, but who are not prepared for college calculus based on our mathematics placement exam and department recommendation. Topics will include fundamental concepts of college algebra, pre-calculus, and a preparation for calculus. More specifically, the topics will include factoring, integer and rational exponents, simplifying algebraic expressions, function notation, polynomial and rational functions. While many of the topics covered are similar to those in a typical college pre-calculus course, there is more theoretical coverage and emphasis, a much faster pace is maintained, a greater depth of understanding is required, and additional material on applications is taught. 4 credits.

Prerequisites: MATH 112 or equivalent.

As stated above, this course is designed to help students fill in knowledge gaps/holes before enrolling in college calculus. It will move at a fast pace and assume students have taken one or more classes covering intermediate algebra and trigonometry prior to this course.


Textbook: Precalculus Essentials, 4th Edition, by Robert Blitzer.

Calculator: Not required. Calculator usage will be prohibited for all in-class quizzes, Exam 1, Exam 2, and Exam 3. Non-graphing (scientific) calculators will be permitted for sections of Exam 4 and the Final Exam. Graphing calculators will not be permitted on any exams or quizzes.

Office Hours: The perfect opportunity to ask general questions about course material, specific questions about homework problems or in-class examples, questions about your grade, questions about majoring in math or information technology, etc. My office location and office hour schedule are on my home page. You can also e-mail me to set up an appointment outside of office hours if that suits your schedule better.

(FREE) Tutoring: Free tutoring sessions sponsored by the math department are held several nights per week. Tutors will be able to help you with questions about course content and approaching homework problems. Check out the website for schedule, location, and other pertinent information.

Grading Information

Your final grade in the course is the weighted average of three components: Quiz Grade, In-Class Exam Grades and the Final Exam.

If you have a weighted average of at least... You will earn a(n):
94% A
90% B+
84% B
78% C+
70% C
65% D+
60% D

Quizzes are held every Friday in class, beginning September 4. There will be 12 quizzes. Your lowest two quiz scores will be "dropped." The average of your non-dropped quiz grades is 20% of your final course grade. Eight of the 12 quizzes will be focused on reinforcing algebra topics. The four exceptions are noted in the syllabus.

Each in-class exam is 15% of your final course grade.

The final exam is 20% of your final course grade. If your final exam score is higher than your lowest in-class exam score, it will replace that exam.