MATH 121 FALL 2011

Instructor:  Dr. R. P. Webber

Office and hoursRuffner 332.  Hours MF, 2 - 3:00; T 1:30 - 3:00; and by appointment or coincidence

Telephone:  395-2192

Course description:  Graphical, numerical, and algebraic study of functions. Functions will include linear, polynomial, radical, and exponential as well as their applications in sequences and series. Linear and quadratic equations and inequalities will also be studied.

Course objectives
The student will understand the concept of a mathematical model and how a model can be used in applications.  The student will understand the limitations of mathematical modeling.  The student will be able to use linear, polynomial, exponential, and radical functions to find a model.  The student will be able to use a graphing calculator to explore the characteristics of a function. The student will be able to solve linear and quadratic equations and inequalities.

TextKalman, Elementary Mathematical Models. Mathematical Association of America, 1997. ISBN 978-0-88385-707-6.

Course requirements and grading:  There will be three tests and one composite quiz grade, of which you may drop one.  The resulting three marks, counted equally, will comprise 48% of your course grade.  Your project will count 15% of your course grade, your class participation grade will count 15%, and the final exam will count the remaining 22%.  The grading scale goes by tens:  90 - 100, A; 80 - 90, B; 70 - 80, C; 60 - 70, D; below 60, F. Plus and minus grades will ordinarily be given for grades in the upper 2 and lower 2 points, respectively, of each range.


Homework:  Problems will be assigned regularly, and everyone is expected to do them.  They will not be collected without warning, and it is your responsibility to do all of the assigned problems.  Feel free to work with others on the homework problems, and ask me about problems that you cannot solve.

Quizzes:  Given frequently (but not every day), quizzes are given at the start of the period.  They are intended to see if you have read the material and done the simple exercises.  Quizzes are always short, and they are open  book and notes.  Often they are taken directly from the homework.  Quizzes that are missed for any reason cannot be made up.  You may miss one quiz without penalty, but you will be assigned a grade of 0 for any additional quizzes that you miss.

Class participation:  Often you will be asked to work in groups in class.  Working in small groups of three or four, you will be asked to solve a problem and present your results to the class.  Missed class participation sessions cannot be made up, but you will be allowed one absence from a class participation session without penalty.  You will receive a grade of 0 for each additional missed session.

Project:  There will be a written project near the end of the course.  It is to be typed and proofread.  The topic and a grading rubric will be given.

Attendance:  Your attendance is expected at all classes.  Makeup tests will be given reluctantly, and then only upon presentation of a doctor's excuse.  Makeup tests are always more difficult than  regular tests, regardless of the reason for absence.  You may not make up missed class participation sessions nor quizzes.

Honor code:  I subscribe to the Longwood University honor system, which, among other things, assumes you do not cheat and that you take responsibility to see that others do not.  Infractions will be dealt with harshly.  A student who is convicted of an Honor Code offense involving this class will receive a course grade of F, in addition to any penalties imposed by the Honor Board.

Calculator:  You will need a graphing calculator for this course.  It must (at least) be able to graph and trace functions and create at least four regression models (linear, power, exponential, and logarithmic).  I strongly recommend the TI83 or TI84.

Learn how to use your calculator, and bring it to class.  You will need to use it on quizzes, in group work, and on tests.

Course schedule:

Week 1  Aug 22 26

Chapters 1, 2: Mathematical models; difference equations

Week 2  Aug 29 Sep 2

Chapter 3: Arithmetic growth

Labor Day September 5 no classes

Week 3  Sep 7 - 9

Chapter 4: Linear functions

Week 4  Sep 12 - 16

Chapter 5: Linear and quadratic models

Week 5  Sep 19 23

Chapter 5: Quadratic models; review; TEST

Week 6  Sep 26 30

Chapter 6: Quadratic functions

Week 7  Oct 3 - 7

Chapter 7: Polynomial and rational functions

Fall break October 10 11

Week 8  Oct 12 14

Chapter 9: Geometric growth

Week 9  Oct 17 21

Chapter 9: Geometric models; review; TEST

Week 10  Oct 24 28

Chapter 10: Exponential models

Week 11  Oct 31 Nov 4

Chapter 12: Mixed models

Week 12  Nov 7 11

Chapter 13: Logistic growth

Week 13  Nov 14 18

Chapter 14: Chaos in models

Week 14  Nov 21

Writing assignment


 Thanksgiving break November 23 - 25

Week 15 Nov 28 Dec 2

Review; TEST; review

EXAM Tuesday, December 6

11:30 2:00 p.m.