College Algebra

College Algebra


Spring 2011
01/18/2011 - 05/15/2011

Course Information

Section 016
MW 10:30 - 11:50
SAC1 1301
Kristina Flores

Section 017
TTh 12:50 - 14:05
SAC1 1301
Kristina Flores

Section 047
TTh 10:30 - 11:50
SAC1 1303
Kristina Flores

Office Hours

  • T Th
    11:55am - 12:45pm
    SAC 1329
    Other hours by appointment. Email

Course Requirements

Course Description: MATH 1314 COLLEGE ALGEBRA: A course designed for students majoring in business, mathematics, science, engineering, or certain engineering-related technical fields. Content includes the rational, real, and complex number systems; the study of functions including polynomial, rational, exponential, and logarithmic functions and related equations; inequalities; and systems of linear equations and determinants.

Course Rationale: This course is designed to teach students the functional approach to mathematical relationships that they will need for a business calculus sequence. Other courses, such as MATH 1332, or MATH 1342 are more appropriate to meet a general mathematics requirement. Check with your degree plan as to what math course your college requires.

Prerequisites: Intermediate Algebra (MATD 0390) or current knowledge of high school algebra as measured by the Assessment Test.  Students who have a great deal of difficulty with the Pretest and/or review and have not had Intermediate Algebra or its equivalent recently should consider withdrawing and taking Intermediate Algebra.

MyMathLab: MML is an interactive online course that accompanies the text. You may purchase access to MyMathLab online from AddisonWesley for $75.00 at:
MyMathLab includes: Online access to all pages of the textbook, multimedia learning aids (videos & animations) for select examples and exercises in the text, practice tests and quizzes linked to sections of the textbook, personalized study guide based on performance on practice tests and quizzes.
To use MyMathLab, you'll need Course ID*:penfoldflores65308
Student access number: provided with purchase of MyMathLab access.

Technology: You will need a calculator that has a log key on the tests. A graphing calculator is recommended. You have to use some kind of graphing technology on the homework; however, you are not required to purchase a graphing calculator. Graphing calculators are available for use in the Learning Resource Center and for loan in the testing center. The Winplot computer graphing program is available on all ACC computers. The are other online graphing utilities, such as Equation Plotter, here:

Course Evaluation/Grading Scheme: Your grade for this course will be determined by your test average, your homework average, and the final exam score.  The weight of each of these will be 40% for tests, 40% for homework, and 20% for the final exam.

Grades will be assigned as follows: A for 90% - 100%, B for 80%-89%, C for 70%-79%, D for 60%-69%, F for 59% or below

Course Policies 

Testing: There will be four tests given in the South Austin Campus Testing Center. The deadlines are shown on the  Tentative Schedule. There is at least one review class day scheduled prior to each test.  All tests will be available over a weekend. Tests will not be available on other campuses.  You may earn up to 50% of the points you lose on Test 1 by correcting your errors.  Corrections must be completed within one week of when Test 1 is returned to the class.  You must include a short write-up with your corrections about the reason for your lost points and your plan to improve on future tests.  Corrections will not be an option for Tests 2, 3, or 4.
The location, hours, and policies of the testing center can be found here:

Homework:  Homework will be assigned each week.  Homeworks will be a combination of problems in MyMathLab and problems to be written out.  In order to keep up with class material, it is  important to turn in your homeowrk on time.  Late homework will not be accepted after one week past the due date.  Late homework will be penalized by 10 points.  I will grade late work when I have time, so late assignments may not be returned immediately.  At the end of the semeseter, your three lowest grades are dropped.  Therefore if you miss an assignment, you may be able to drop the 0%.  Although this is your emergency plan, you will not succeed in this course if you fail to complete any of the homework assignments.  It is in your best interest to aim for perfection on the homework.

Attendance: Attendance is mandatory for this class.  Any student missing four or more classes may be withdrawn from the course.  However, never assume you have been dropped without contacting me first.

Withdrawal Policy: It is the student's responsibility to initiate all withdrawals in this course.  The instructor may withdraw students for excessive absences but makes no commitment to do this for the student. After the withdrawal date, neither the student nor the instructor may initiate a withdrawal. The withdrawal deadline is April 25, 2010.

Reinstatement Policy: Students who withdrew or were withdrawn generally will not be reinstated unless they have completed all course work, projects, and tests necessary to place them at the same level of course completion as the rest of the class.

Incomplete Grade Policy: Incomplete grades (I) will be given only in very rare circumstances.  Generally, to receive a grade of "I", a student must have taken all examinations, be passing, and after the last date to withdraw, have a personal tragedy occur which prevents course completion.



Required Text: College Algebra with Modeling and Visualization by Gary Rockswold, 4th  ed. ISBN# 0-32154230-4
Text bundled with MyMathLab, 0-32-157704-3 Hard copy ISBN  0-32-166511-2 Loose Leaf
You can access the material from the first two weeks online at  password acc1314

Course Subjects

Tentative Course Schedule: This is an outline of the semester.  Dates and testing times are subject to change.  Any changes to the schedule below will be announced in class.

Week 1:  1.1, 1.2, 1.3
Week 2:  1.4, 1.5
Week 3:  2.1, 2.2, 2.3
Week 4:  2.4 – 2.5      Test 1 (Ch 1, 2.1-2.4)
Week 5:  3.1, 3.2, 3.3
Week 6:  3.3, 3.4, 3.5
Week 7:  4.1, 4.2
Week 8:  4.3, 4.4, 4.5 Test 2 (2.5, Ch 3, 4.1, 4.2)
Week  9:   4.6, 4.7, 4.8
Week 10:  5.1, 5.2
Week 11:  5.3, 5.4
Week 12:  5.5, 5.6 Test 3 (4.3-5.4)
Week 13:  6.1, 6.3
Week 14:  6.4, 6.5
Week 15: 6.6 or 6.7 (choose one), Test 4 (5.5-6.?)
Week 16:  Review, Final Exam

Student Learning Outcomes/Learning Objectives

Course Objectives: The goal of College Algebra is to provide students with the algebraic foundation for calculus. While this course is not as mathematically sophisticated as Precalculus, it is significantly more sophisticated than Intermediate Algebra. This is a college level math course. Students need to be mentally prepared to work a lot harder than in Intermediate or high school algebra. The guideline is a minimum of 20 quality hours per week outside of class! Students also need to be mathematically prepared with current knowlege of Intermediate Algebra or high school Algebra II.
If you are not taking Calculus, you should consider an alternative course, such as College Math (Math 1332), Elementary Statistics (Math 1342), or Math for Business and Economics (Math 1324).

1. Functions:
    •    Use and interpret functional notation.
    •    Find the domain of polynomial, rational, radical, exponential, and logarithmic functions.
    •    Find a symbolic representation of the sum, difference, product, quotient, and composition of two functions.
    •    Evaluate the sum, difference, product, quotient, and composition of two functions at a given value of the respective domain for functions represented symbolically, graphically, and numerically.
    •    Find the inverse of a function represented symbolically, graphically, or numerically.
    •    Interpret the graphs of functions.

2. Graphing functions:
    •    Sketch the graphs of the following functions: Lines, x2, x3, x1/2, 1/x, 1/x2, |x|, factored polynomials of degree 3 or more, ax, logax, and rigid transformations of these functions.
    •    Describe the end behavior of polynomial functions.
    •    Approximate the zeros of a function from its graph.
    •    Solve an inequality involving a function from its graph.
    •    Graph a piece-wise defined function.

3. Symbolic Adeptness:
    •    Solve polynomial, rational, exponential, and logarithmic equations symbolically.
    •    Solve equations involving radicals symbolically.
    •    Solve equations with rational exponents symbolically.
    •    Solve equations with negative exponents symbolically.
    •    Solve polynomial and rational inequalities symbolically.
    •    Use the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra and the Conjugate Zeros Theorem to find zeros of polynomials of degree three or greater.
    •    Find the vertex of a parabola and the center and radius of a circle by completing the square.
    •    Find the vertex of a parabola written in standard form by using the formula          h = -b/2a.
    •    Convert an exponential equation to logarithmic form, and a logarithmic equation to exponential form.
    •    Evaluate exponential and logarithmic functions using the change of base formula and a calculator.
    •    Use the properties of logarithms to expand a logarithmic expression, and to write an expanded logarithmic expression as a single logarithm.
    •    Solve a system of linear equations using Gaussian elimination.
    •    Solve a system of linear equations using matrix inversion or Cramer’s Rule.

4. Applications
    •    Recognize and use applications of linear functions.
    •    Recognize and use applications of quadratic functions, including falling object problems and extremum problems.
    •    Recognize and use applications of exponential and logarithmic functions, including exponential growth and decay, doubling time, and half-life problems.
    •    Recognize and use applications of systems of linear equations.

ACC Policies

Statement on Students with Disabilities: Each ACC campus offers support services for students with documented physical or psychological disabilities. Students with disabilities must request reasonable accommodations through the Office of Students with Disabilities on the campus where they expect to take the majority of their classes. Students are encouraged to do this three weeks before the start of the semester.  Students who are requesting accommodation must provide the instructor with a letter of accommodation from the Office of Students with Disabilities (OSD). Accommodations can only be made after the instructor receives the letter of accommodation from OSD.

Statement on Scholastic Dishonesty: Acts prohibited by the college for which discipline may be administered include scholastic dishonesty, including but not limited to, cheating on an exam or quiz, plagiarizing, and unauthorized collaboration with another in preparing outside work. Academic work submitted by students shall be the result of their thought, work, research or self-expression. Academic work is defined as, but not limited to, tests, quizzes, whether taken electronically or on paper; projects, either individual or group; classroom presentations; and homework.

Statement on Scholastic Dishonesty Penalty: Students who violate the rules concerning scholastic dishonesty will be assessed an academic penalty which the instructor determines is in keeping with the seriousness of the offense. This academic penalty may range from a grade penalty on the particular assignment to an overall grade penalty in the course, including possibly an F in the course. ACC's policy can be found in the Student Handbook page 33 or on the web at:  under “Policy and Procedures”.

Statement on Academic Freedom: Institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good. The common good depends upon a search for truth and upon free expression. In this course the professor and students shall strive to protect free inquiry and the open exchange of facts, ideas, and opinions. Students are free to take exception to views offered in this course and to reserve judgment about debatable issues. Grades will not be affected by personal views. With this freedom comes the responsibility of civility and a respect for a diversity of ideas and opinions.   This means that students must take turns speaking, listen to others speak without interruption, and refrain from name-calling or other personal attacks.

Student Discipline Policy: Classroom behavior should support and enhance learning. Behavior that disrupts the learning process will be dealt with appropriately, which may include having the student leave class for the rest of that day. In serious cases, disruptive behavior may lead to a student being withdrawn from the class. ACC's policy on student discipline can be found in the Student Handbook or on the web at

student success

How to Succeed in this Course:
1.  Come to class and be an active learner!  This is an intense course and you will not succeed by missing class.  It is better to come to class late then to not come at all.  If you miss a class, you can expect to have to spend even more time catching up in office hours or with a tutor.  The number one indicator of success in my classes is attendance.

2.  Study the book and your class notes before you attempt the homework.  It will seem like a big help to use the homework aids on MML, but you must know how to do the problems without prompts for the quizzes and tests.  Do not become reliant on the MML aids, instead become reliant on improving your problem solving skills.

3.  If you can not do the homeworko or need help studying, contact me as soon as possible.  Below are some support options:
   - Office Hours:   Please do not hesitate to come and see me with any problems you may experience during this course.  I am always willing to work with you during office hours, but I can’t help you if you don’t ask.

   - Sections of MATH 0153(1-0-2) are sometimes offered.  This lab class is designed for students currently registered in COLLEGE Algebra, MATH 1314.  It offers individualized and group setting to provide additional practice and explanation. This course is not for college-level credit. Repeatable up to two credit hours. Students should check the course schedule for possible offerings of the lab class.

   - Learning Lab: ACC main campuses have Learning Labs that offer free tutoring (first-come first-serve) in mathematics courses. The locations, contact information, and hours of availability of the Learning Labs are available from . Software and videotapes to support this particular text are available in the Learning Labs. Students who need regular tutoring are encouraged to use the Learning Labs before they get very far behind.

   - Pearson tutoring: Pearson has a tutoring center that is available by phone for students using any of their texts. Information about the service can be found at Hours of operation are Sun-Thur: 4 PM - 11 PM Central time.

   - Videos on DVD:  There is a set of video DVDs keyed to the text by section in the Learning Resource Center of each campus.  Students who miss class or who need extra review may find these useful.  Also, with the bundled text with MyMathLab is a set of video tutorials.

   - Information about locations of Instructional Services at each campus can be found by going to

   - The web address for student services is

   - The ACC student handbook can be found at