Fall 2009

Instructor:  Dr. R. P. Webber

Office and hours:  Ruffner 332.  MF, 2:00 - 3:30; T, 2:00 - 3:00; and by appointment or coincidence.

Telephone and email:  395-2192;

Course description:  A study of functions with an emphasis on exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions in order to prepare the student for calculus.  3 credits.

Course objectives:  By the end of this course, the student will:

        Be able to solve linear, quadratic, and rational inequalities;

        Graph polynomials, rational functions, trig functions, log, and exponential functions, and the conic sections;

        Understand the definitions of the trig functions as circular angles;

        Evaluate the trig functions at standard values without use of a calculator;

        Understand the role of logarithms and exponential functions in manipulating and solving equations;

        Recognize the basic conic sections.

TextDugopolski, Fundamentals of Precalculus, 2nd editionPearson Addison Wesley, 2009. ISBN 0-321-50697-9. 

Calculator:  A calculator is not required in this course, but a graphing calculator such as the TI-83 will certainly help.  It is easy to become too dependent on a calculator.  You should think of the calculator as a tool to be used in computationally challenging problems, in approximating solutions, and in verifying results, not as a primary tool for problem solving.  I will give specific rules for using or not using calculators on tests.

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 composite class participation grade will count 15%, your writing assignment(s) 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.

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:  There will be frequent daily quizzes.  Quizzes are always at the beginning of the period, take about ten minutes, and are open book and notes.  Often they consist of a homework problem or two.  No excuses will be accepted for missing quizzes, and there will be no makeups.  You will receive a grade of 0 for missed quizzes, regardless of the reason for absence.  However, you may drop one quiz grade.  The remaining quiz grades will be counted equally to compute your composite quiz grade.

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.  Each group will receive a grade on that day's work.  Each member of the group will receive the same grade, except a member who is absent, who will receive a grade of 0.  Missed class participation sessions cannot be made up, but you will be allowed one absence from a class participation session without penalty.  All remaining group grades will be counted equally to determine your composite group grade.

Writing assignment: As a general education course, MATH 164 will require more writing than some non-general education mathematics courses. There will be at least one writing assignment in this course. It will be graded both for factual correctness and for writing style. More details and a grading rubric will be provided with the assignment.

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 or quizzes.

You need to be on time for each class.  Coming into class late is disruptive to other students and to the teacher.  In addition, quizzes are given at the start of the period, and no extension is given for tardiness.  Similarly, you should not leave during class, even temporarily.  Get your drink of water before class starts.  Leaving briefly and then returning is rude and disconcerting to others in the class and to the teacher.

Honor code:  I subscribe to the Longwood 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.

Course schedule:

Week 1  Aug 24 28

1.1:  Properties of real numbers; absolute value

Week 2  Aug 31 Sep 4

1.2, 2.1: Linear and absolute value inequalities; quadratic functions

Week 3  Sep 9 11

2.1, 2.6: Quadratic inequalities; polynomials

Week 4  Sep 14 18

2.7: Rational functions and inequalities; review

Week 5  Sep 21 25

TEST; 3.1, 3.2: Introduction to trig

Week 6  Sep 28 Oct 2

3.2 3.4: The trigonometric functions

Week 7  Oct 5 9

3.5, 3.6: Inverse trig functions; right angle trig


Fall break

Week 8  Oct 14 16

3.7, 3.8: Trig identities and trig equations

Week 9  Oct 19 23

3.9: Laws of sines and cosines; review

Week 10  Oct 26 30

TEST, 4.1; Exponential functions

Week 11  Nov 2 6

4.2, 4.3:  Logarithmic functions

Week 12  Nov 9 13

4.4:  Applications, review

Week 13  Nov 16 20

TEST; 5.1, 5.2:  Parabolas and ellipses

Week 14 Nov 23

5.2: Circles


Thanksgiving break

Week 15 Nov 30 Dec 4

5.3, 5.4:  Hyperbolas, polar coordinates; review

Wed Dec 9 3:00 5:30