Course Information

Meeting Time and Location

Meeting Times: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 10:30 - 12:10
Location: Hirt 209
Office Hours: Mon 9:30 - 10:15, Thurs 12:30 - 1:30, Fri 9:30 - 10:15, and by appointment

Course Description

This is a course in algebra, similar to high school courses in algebra except that the pace will be faster. We will begin with some review of real-number concepts, and proceed into linear equations in one variable, mathematical modeling, polynomials, rational expressions, functions, lines, exponents, and radicals, equations, inequalities, and polynomial and rational functions.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, you will have acquired many mathematical tools which include the ability to:
  • identify, distinguish, perform algebraic operations and find solutions to equations using the integer, rational, real and complex number systems.
  • use common algebraic methods to solve linear, quadratic, polynomial, radical, and absolute value equations and inequalities.
  • translate the written problem and create algebraic models to solve real-life problems.
  • use and create algebraic functions.
  • demonstrate your understanding of introductory language of mathematics through the use of proper mathematics notation.

Required Materials

Intermediate Algebra for College Students, 7 Edition, by Robert Blitzer. Be sure to check the edition when purchasing your textbook; other editions have similar material, but the assigned problems may be different. No other materials are required for this class. You do NOT need to purchase a subscription to MyMathLab or pay to access any other online resources. You will not be expected to bring your textbook to class. If you prefer to purchase an electronic version of the text, you're welcome to do so.
You are not required to purchase a calculator for this course, and you will not be permitted to use a calculator or other electronic device on any quizzes or exams. You are strongly encouraged to avoid using a calculator while working on homework.

Quizzes and Exams

Every Friday, we will have either a quiz or an exam. Both will be based on the suggested homework problems. All exams are cumulative; each exam will include some material from the previous exams. Use of notes, textbooks, calculators, electronic devices, or other materials will not be permitted during an exam. The exact topics on each quiz and exam will be announced in class.

If you need to miss class during a scheduled exam for a documented, excused reason (illness, family emergency, athletics), you must schedule a time to retake any exam within one week of the day the exam was given in class.


Basis of Final Grade
  • 75%: Average of exam grades
  • 25%: Average of quiz grades
Grading Scale

Learning Differences

In keeping with college policy, any student with a disability who needs academic accommodations must call Learning Differences Program secretary at 824-3017, to arrange a confidential appointment with the director of the Learning Differences Program during the first week of classes.

Mercy Mission

This course supports the mission of Mercyhurst University by creating students who are intellectually creative. Students will foster this creativity by: applying critical thinking and qualitative reasoning techniques to new disciplines; developing, analyzing, and synthesizing scientific ideas; and engaging in innovative problem solving strategies.


The exact topic covered on a particular date is subject to change. Exams and quizzes will be given on the day they are scheduled.

Week 1
May 221.1 Algebraic Expressions, Real Numbers, and Interval Notation
1.2 Operations with Real Numbers
May 231.3 Graphing Equations
1.4 Solving Linear Equations
May 251.6 Properties of Integral Exponents
May 262.1 Introduction to Functions
Quiz 1
Week 2
May 29No Class - Memorial Day
May 302.2 Graphs of Functions
2.3 The Algebra of Functions
June 12.4 Linear Functions and Slope
June 2Exam I
Week 3
June 52.5 Point Slope Form of the Equation of a Line
3.1 Systems of Linear Equations in Two Variables
June 64.1 Solving Linear Inequalities
4.2 Compound Inequalities
June 84.3 Equations and Inequalities Involving Absolute Value
5.1 Introduction to Polynomials and Polynomial Functions
June 95.2 Multiplication of Polynomials
Quiz 2
Week 4
June 125.3 Greatest Common Factors and Factoring By Grouping
5.4 Factoring Trinomials
June 135.5 Factoring Special Forms
5.6 A General Factoring Strategy
June 155.7 Polynomial Equations and Their Applications
June 16Exam II
Week 5
June 196.1 Rational Expressions and Functions
6.2 Adding and Subtracting Rational Expressions
June 206.3 Complex Rational Expressions
6.4 Division of Polynomials
June 226.6 Rational Equations
7.1 Radical Expressions and Functions
June 237.2 Rational Exponents
Quiz 3
Week 6
June 267.3 Multiplying and Simplifying Radical Expressions
7.4 Adding, Subtracting, and Dividing Radical Expressions
June 277.5 Multiplying with More than One Term
7.6 Radical Equations
June 287.7 Complex Numbers
June 29Exam III


When we finish a section in the book, you should immediately begin working on the homework problems, listed in this syllabus. Stay up to date with homework, and get help if you cannot understand a problem after trying it on your own. Do not ignore a problem that you are struggling with. A weak spot in this foundation will lead to a bigger problem in the future.

Your work will not be collected. However, actually working through these problems is the key to your success in this class. Mathematics can only be learned through practice.

If you are having trouble with a topic, please come talk to me during office hours, ask questions in class, seek help from a classmate, or request a tutor. You are expected to try to work on all problems on your own first; when coming to my office, be prepared to show me what you’ve already tried.



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