Course Information

Meeting Time and Location

Meeting Times:
      Section 02: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 12:00 - 12:50
      Section 03: Monday and Wednesday 5:30 - 6:45
Location: Hirt 209 (both sections)
Office Hours: Mon 4:30-5:15, Tues 1:15-2:30, Wed 10-11, Thurs 2-4, Fri 10-11:45
Prerequisite: Minimum math placement score of 46 (first year students only)

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

Textbook
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.
Calculators
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, with the exception of problems that specifically state a calculator is required. If you'd like to use a calculator to check your work, there are many free (and often better) alternatives to graphing calculators, such as Wolfram Alpha.

Quizzes

You will be given quizzes on the material regularly. Keeping up with the homework will ensure that you are prepared for the quizzes, which will feature problems very similar to those in the homework. Quizzes dates will be announced in class; there will be no unannounced (pop) quizzes given.

Quiz grades will not be based strictly on whether or not you found the correct answer. Your work must also be written clearly, and with proper notation, to receive full credit. Your lowest quiz grade will be dropped from your average, including any missed quizzes. Make up quizzes will only be given for excused absences. All make ups must be completed before the graded quiz is returned to the class; this will typically be the next class meeting.

Exams

There will be four midterm exams given throughout the semester, in addition to the final exam. The material on the exams will be similar to topics covered on quizzes and homework. You will be given review guides for each exam. All exams are cumulative; each exam will include some material from the previous exams. Mathematics is a cumulative effort, and mastering each topic is only possible if you have mastered earlier concepts. Use of notes, textbooks, calculators, electronic devices, or other materials will not be permitted during an exam.

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

Your lowest exam grade (including a missed exam) will be replaced by your final exam grade, if your final exam grade is better. A second missed exam will receive a grade of 0, so please check your schedules carefully and ensure that you can attend all exams.

Exam Dates
The four midterm exams are scheduled as shown below.

MWF 12-12:50MW 5:30-6:45
Exam IWednesday, February 8Monday, February 6
Exam IIWednesday, March 1Wednesday, March 1
Exam IIIWednesday, April 5Monday, April 3
Exam IVWednesday, May 3Monday, May 1
Final ExamThursday, May 11, 10:30-12:30Wednesday, May 10, 6-8

Grades

Basis of Final Grade
  • 60%: Average of exam grades
  • 15%: Average of quiz grades (lowest quiz grade dropped)
  • 25%: Final Exam
Grading Scale
FDD+CC+BB+A
0-5960-6465-6970-7778-8384-8990-9394-100

Tutoring

The Department of Mathematics offers free tutoring for Math 111 students in Zurn 213. No appointments are needed, just drop by according to the schedule here.

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.

Schedule

The exact topic covered on a particular date is subject to change. Exams and quizzes will be given on the day they are scheduled, though the sections appearing on a quiz may differ. Announcements will be made in class regarding any schedule changes.

Choose your section:      

DateTopic
Week 1
January 181.1 Algebraic Expressions, Real Numbers, and Interval Notation
January 201.2 Operations with Real Numbers
Week 2
January 231.3 Graphing Equations
January 251.4 Solving Linear Equations
January 271.5 Problem Solving and Using Formulas
Week 3
January 301.6 Properties of Integral Exponents
February 12.1 Introduction to Functions
2.2 Graphs of Functions
February 32.3 The Algebra of Functions
Week 4
February 6Make Up/Review
February 8Exam
February 102.4 Linear Functions and Slope
2.5 Point Slope Form of the Equation of a Line
Week 5
February 133.1 Systems of Linear Equations in Two Variables
February 154.1 Solving Linear Inequalities
February 174.2 Compound Inequalities
Week 6
February 204.3 Equations and Inequalities Involving Absolute Value
February 225.1 Introduction to Polynomials and Polynomial Functions
February 245.2 Multiplication of Polynomials
Week 7
February 27Make Up/Review
March 1Exam
March 35.3 Greatest Common Factors and Factoring By Grouping
Spring Break March 4 - 12
Week 8
March 135.4 Factoring Trinomials
March 155.5 Factoring Special Forms
March 175.6 A General Factoring Strategy
Week 9
March 205.7 Polynomial Equations and Their Applications
March 226.1 Rational Expressions and Functions
March 246.2 Adding and Subtracting Rational Expressions
Week 10
March 276.3 Complex Rational Expressions
March 296.4 Division of Polynomials
March 316.6 Rational Equations
Week 11
April 3Make Up/Review
April 5Exam
April 7NO CLASS (MAA Meeting)
Week 12
April 107.1 Radical Expressions and Functions
April 127.2 Rational Exponents
Easter Break April 14 - 17
Week 13
April 197.3 Multiplying and Simplifying Radical Expressions
April 217.4 Adding, Subtracting, and Dividing Radical Expressions
Week 14
April 247.5 Multiplying with More than One Term
April 267.6 Radical Equations
April 287.7 Complex Numbers
Week 15
May 1Make Up/Review
May 3Exam
May 5Review
DateTopic
Week 1
January 161.1 Algebraic Expressions, Real Numbers, and Interval Notation
1.2 Operations with Real Numbers
January 181.2 Operations with Real Numbers
1.3 Graphing Equations
Week 2
January 231.4 Solving Linear Equations
1.5 Problem Solving and Using Formulas
January 251.5 Problem Solving and Using Formulas
1.6 Properties of Integral Exponents
Week 3
January 302.1 Introduction to Functions
2.2 Graphs of Functions
February 12.3 The Algebra of Functions
Review
Week 4
February 6Exam
February 82.4 Linear Functions and Slope
2.5 Point Slope Form of the Equation of a Line
Week 5
February 132.5 Point Slope Form of a the Equation of a Line
3.1 Systems of Linear Equations in Two Variables
February 154.1 Solving Linear Inequalities
4.2 Compound Inequalities
Week 6
February 204.2 Compound Inequalities
4.3 Equations and Inequalities Involving Absolute Value
February 225.1 Introduction to Polynomials and Polynomial Functions
5.2 Multiplication of Polynomials
Week 7
February 275.2 Multiplication of Polynomials
Review
March 1Exam
Spring Break March 4 - 12
Week 8
March 135.3 Greatest Common Factors and Factoring By Grouping
5.4 Factoring Trinomials
March 155.4 Factoring Trinomials
5.5 Factoring Special Forms
Week 9
March 205.6 A General Factoring Strategy
5.7 Polynomial Equations and Their Applications
March 225.7 Polynomial Equations and Their Applications
6.1 Rational Expressions and Functions
Week 10
March 276.2 Adding and Subtracting Rational Expressions
6.3 Complex Rational Expressions
March 296.3 Complex Rational Expressions
6.4 Division of Polynomials
Week 11
April 36.6 Rational Equations
Review
April 5Exam
Week 12
April 107.1 Radical Expressions and Functions
7.2 Rational Exponents<
Easter Break April 14 - 17
Week 13
April 197.2 Rational Exponents
7.3 Multiplying and Simplifying Radical Expressions
Week 14
April 247.4 Adding, Subtracting, and Dividing Radical Expressions
7.5 Multiplying with More than One Term
April 267.5 Multiplying with More than One Term
7.6 Radical Equations
Week 15
May 1Exam
May 37.7 Complex Numbers
Review

Homework

When we finish a section in the book, you should immediately begin working on the homework problems below.

Your work will not be collected. However, actually working through these problems is the key to your success in this class. Attending every class is not enough; mathematics can only be learned through practice. You should plan to spend a significant amount of time on the homework. It is expected that you spend at least 9 hours per week studying the material outside our class meetings, according to the common 3-4 hour per credit rule of thumb.

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. Our class is focused on the foundations of mathematics that you will need in this course and in Calculus. A weak spot in this foundation will lead to a bigger problem in the future.

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 go to the department tutors for assistance. 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.

SectionProblems

Resources

Software, Videos, and Apps


Free Online Algebra Courses


Free Textbooks