Elementary Algebra

Elementary Algebra


Fall 2011
08/22/2011 - 12/11/2011

Course Information

Section 025
TTh 10:55 - 12:40
RGC1 335
David Woods

Section 062
MW 15:00 - 16:45
RGC1 335
David Woods

Office Hours

No office hours have been entered for this term

Course Requirements

COURSE RATIONALE:  Welcome to Elementary Algebra.  As with all developmental math courses, Elementary Algebra is designed to provide you with the mathematical foundation and personal confidence to enable you to use mathematics in your future life.  This course is designed to prepare you for MATD 0390 (Intermediate Algebra) and the algebra-based courses which follow it.  It also offers you one way to prepare for MATH 1332 (College Mathematics, formerly Topics in Mathematics) and MATH 1342 (Elementary Statistics)

Course Description:   A course designed to develop the skills and understanding contained in the first year of secondary school algebra. Topics include review of operations on real numbers, graphing linear equations, solving linear and quadratic equations, solving systems of linear equations, polynomials, factoring, and applications.


Test 1                                      Sections: 1.1-1.8, 2.1-2.6
Test 2                                      Sections: 3.1-3.7, 4.1-4.4 
Test 3                                      Sections: 4.5-4.8, 5.1-5.7
Test 4                                      Sections: 6.1-6.3, 6.6, 7.1-7.4
Final Exam                             Comprehensive
Quizzes                                  at least one per week based on recent homework
Homework                              see below

* Note that the section covereage of each exam is subject to change based on the pace of the course.  The material from a given section of the text will not be put on an exam unless and until it has been covered in class.

Homework:    Homework problems are provided on a separate handout. These problems should be compiled in a notebook or folder as the material is presented. The problems are to be turned in at the end of the  semester. A complete and well done homework folder will be worth up to three points added on to your final grade. Tip: Do not wait until the last week to do all of the homework!
Students who perform poorly on exams and/or quizzes will be required to turn in their homework for periodic evaluation in order to remain in the course.


Textbook:         Intermediate Algebra: 2nd Edition, Sullivan & Struve; Pearson. (ISBN 0-321-56752-8)

Sections covered:






6.1-6.4, 6.6,6.7



9.1, 9.2,9.3, 9.4(optional)

Course Subjects

Week/Content by section*

1      1.1-1.6

2      1.7, 1.8, 2.1-2.3

3      2.4-2.6

4      3.1-3.4

5      3.5-3.7

6      4.1 - 4.3, 4.4

7      4.5 - 4.8

8      5.1-5.4

9      5.5-5.7

10      6.1-6.3, 6.4

11      6.6,  6.7, 7.1

12      7.2-7.3

13      7.4, review

14      8.1, 8.2, 9.1

15      9.3, opt 9.4

16      Review, Final Exam

* Please note:  Schedule changes may occur during the semester. Any changes will be announced in class.

Student Learning Outcomes/Learning Objectives

Elementary Algebra Objectives

The following objectives are listed in a sequence ranging from the simple to the more complex. As such, this document should not be viewed as a chronological guide to the course, although some elements naturally will precede others. These elements should be viewed as mastery goals which will be reinforced whenever possible throughout the course.
Overall objectives:

A. Students will feel a sense of accomplishment in their increasing ability to use mathematics to solve problems of interest to them or useful in their chosen fields. Students will attain more positive attitudes based on increasing confidence in their abilities to learn mathematics.
B. Students will learn to understand material using standard mathematical terminology and notation when presented either verbally or in writing.
C. Students will improve their skills in describing what they are doing as they solve problems using standard mathematical terminology and notation.

1. Description and classification of whole numbers, integers, and rational numbers using sets and the operations among them.
a. identify and use properties of real numbers
b. simplify expressions involving real numbers
c. evaluate numerical expressions with integral exponents
d. simplify square roots of perfect square whole numbers

2. Polynomials.
a. distinguish between expressions that are polynomials and expressions that are not
b. classify polynomials in one variable by degree and number of terms
c. simplify polynomials
d. add, subtract, multiply, and divide polynomials (including the use of long division techniques and the distributive law)
e. factor polynomials (including factoring out the greatest common factor, factoring by grouping, factoring trinomials in which the leading coefficient is one, factoring trinomials in which the leading coefficient is not one, factoring the difference of two squares, factoring the sum or difference of two cubes)
f. understand and use the exponent laws involving integer exponents
g. convert numbers into and out of scientific notation and perform multiplication and division with numbers written in scientific notation

3. Solve linear equations in one variable involving integral, decimal, and fractional coefficients and solutions.

4. Solve and graph linear inequalities

5. Application problems.
a. write and evaluate linear expressions from verbal descriptions
b. solve application problems which lead to one of the following types of equations: linear equations in one variable, systems of two linear equations in two variables, quadratic equations
c. solve literal equations for a specified variable using only addition and multiplication principles
d. solve application problems using ratio and proportion
e. use given data to estimate values and to evaluate geometric and other formulas
f. solve problems involving the Pythagorean Theorem

6. Linear equations in two variables.
a. identify the relationship between the solution of a linear equation in two variables and its graph on the cartesian plane
b. understand and use the concepts of slope and intercept
c. graph a line given either two points on the line or one point on the line and the slope of the line
d. identify the equations of the line in the standard, point-slope, or slope-intercept forms and graph their solutions
e. write an equation of a line given its graph or description (including one point on the line and the slope of the line, or two points on the line)
f. solve systems of linear equations

7. Quadratic equations.
a. find solutions to quadratic equations and equations of higher degree using the technique of factoring
b. recognize a need to use the quadratic formula to solve quadratic equations and solve quadratic equations by using the quadratic formula when simplification of square roots other than perfect squares is not needed

8. Description and classification of irrational numbers.
a. simplify perfect square radical expressions
b. use decimal approximations in applications that involve radical expressions

9. Geometry.
a. understand the difference between perimeter and area and be able to use formulas for these appropriately
b. solve problems involving similar figures