Math 8A - First Half of Precalculus - Course Information Sheet - Spring 2016

Instructor: Russell Lee Office: PS 103 408-848-4881
Office Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.; Tuesday, Thursday: 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.; and by appointment made in person.
Textbook: Precalculus, Concepts Through Functions, A Unit Circle Approach to Trigonometry, 3rd ed., 2015. Sullivan & Sullivan, authors. Pearson, publisher. The second edition of the book (or any Precalculus book) will work just fine although you're on your own to recognize the differences and make the association between the two editions. The important thing is to have a book, read it, do homework problems every day, ask questions, and learn how to do the problems!
Prerequisite: Math 233, Math 233B, Math 240, or equivalent with a grade of C or better is required.
Calculators: Calculators are NOT allowed on quizzes and exams. This course is an excellent opportunity to learn the usefulness and capabilities of a graphing calculator and it is expected that you will learn those capabilities when doing your homework. Calculators are valuable tools and the successful completion of this course will require a conceptual understanding of the course material and the ability to accurately set up and solve problems.
Attendance: Regular attendance is highly recommended. When in class, please turn off your phone and put it away. It is the student's responsibility to initiate and complete the process if they choose to drop the course.
Honor Code: Students are expected to exercise academic honesty and integrity by always turning in work that is entirely their own. Violations will result in disciplinary action that may include recommendation for dismissal.
Special Needs: Students requiring special arrangements because of a disability should contact their instructor, counselor, or the Disability Resource Center.
Course Objectives
and Goals:
Upon the successful completion of this class, students will master important skills in algebraic manipulation and problem solving at the college level. Topics will include the interpretation and manipulation of polynomial, exponential and logarithmic functions and their graphs; solving college-level problems including equations with real and imaginary solutions, inequalities, and systems of equations and inequalities; using angular measure in degrees and radians; definitions of sine, cosine, and tangent; and solving triangles using right-triangle trigonometry.

We will cover Chapters F through 4, and sections from Chapters 5, 7, and 10, at the approximate rate of two sections per class meeting. Class will move quickly so doing homework every day is essential!
Grades: You will earn a letter grade with your performance on the following, weighted as shown:
  1. Quizzes. 15% of grade.
  2. Three one-hour exams. 60% of grade.
  3. Comprehensive two-hour final exam. 25% of grade.
90% of the total possible points will be required for an A, 80% of the total possible points for a B, 70% for a C, and 60% for a D.
Homework: Doing homework is the most important part of the class. The goal is to learn how to solve problems. When you're doing your homework, be honest with yourself about when you're looking up answers instead of learning how to solve problems. Success in this class requires doing problems on your own, getting stuck, asking informed questions, and learning how to solve problems. Homework problems will be reviewed briefly at the beginning of each class period. Occasionally, a homework assignment may be collected and graded for correctness, completeness, neatness, and presentation.
Quizzes: Make-up quizzes will not be given. There will be quizzes, announced and unannounced (pop), based upon the homework. Quiz grades will be based upon your problem solving methodology, correctness, completeness, and neatness. Partial credit is minimal. All quizzes are closed book, closed notes, and calculators are NOT allowed.
Exams: The three midterm exams will be given on the following dates:
February 26 March 25 April 29
Make-up exams will not be given. Mark these dates in your calendar. The exams will be straightforward for those who complete and understand the homework. Exam problems may require synthesis of more than one concept. All exams are closed book and closed notes, no calculators. Partial credit will be given on some problems. No partial credit will be given on some problems. To pass this class you must be able to solve problems and get the right answer.
Final Exam: Wednesday, May 25, 2016. 8:00 - 10:00 a.m. Room PS 102. Without exception!
"My performance was a product of my preparation." Matthew Mitchum, Olympic Gold Medalist.
Last update on January 16, 2015.