Math 114 Intermediate Algebra Level 3

This is the third of a 3-course sequence in Algebra. You should have already completed Math 212 before taking this course.
Make sure you have read the General Information page as well as this entire introductory page; this may take a bit of time, but it is important to you, and worth it.
Of the potential hurdles that students face in the early stages of math is the ability to dedicate time to your learning effort. Time on Task is an essential ingredient to student success. Do make sure you can dedicate an appropriate amount of time (2-3 hours) each day, including weekends, for review, homework, and study for this course.
As students in Algebra, you should be aware of several important points; so please read ALL of the following, it is to your advantage to do so.
Student Learning Outcomes (What you should be able to do at the end of the quarter)

1. Evaluate real-world situations and distinguish between and apply exponential. logarithmic, rational, and discrete function models appropriately.

2. Analyze. interpret. and communicate results of exponential, logarithmic. rational. and discrete models in a logical manner from four points of view- visual. formula. numerical. and written.

One of the roles of this class is that of analyzing function models from three different perspectives:
• numerical - charting data and finding exact models or best fitting models (easily determined with a TI-83, or similar graphing calculator)
• algebraic - here the necessary formulas and corresponding skills are introduced and developed
• graphical - providing a strong background of graphing techniques to analyze the functions and to solve various equations
Because of the more extensive development of models from a numerical and graphical point of view, students will be exploring areas that you probably did not cover well in a previous algebra class taught either in high school or in college. Thus, students may voice the opinion that the course is more difficult. Students are being challenged to understand the concepts of algebra rather than just be able to master individual (mechanical) skills. The strong all-around presentation of functions from different points of view creates a higher level of understanding in the diligent student.
• • • But, really, the main issues impeding student learning revolve around how students approach the course rather than the material itself.

To do well students should follow these steps:

• attend every class --- ON TIME, staying the full period
• take GOOD, SENSIBLE, LOGICAL notes that can be understood the next day or several weeks later
• read the textbook, not like a novel, but by working through every step of every example with paper and pencil to gain the experience and understanding BEFORE you turn to the 'homework' problems
• as an additional source of knowledge, read through the chapter review found at the end of each chapter. This will give you the highlights of all the important concepts of the chapter that you should know
• work through problems with an orderly approach that spells out what you know and what you are trying to solve for. Don't take short-cuts in order to finish a problem without really establishing a complete methodology in your mind
• skim the relevant text material before coming to the class lecture
• try to understand what to do rather than just try to get through the problem (the understanding part is really the tough part that creates lots of sweat!)
• do not memorize specific problems, but rather learn the solution methods. Some problems on exams and mini-tests are designed to see if you can apply what you have learned to a similar or perhaps even a new situation.
• form study groups with others in the class; take advantage of the Math Tutorial Center S-43; stop by during either your instructor's or another instructor's office hours.
I urge you not to take more than 3 courses this quarter, especially if one of them is this math course.

Too often, students are used to sitting in class and waiting until the instructor or another student answers a question rather than trying to figure it out for one's self. You need to become proactive rather than passive in this class/course.

Spend some time completing the Weekly Schedule to make sure you know how you are using your time. Account for virtually every activity: eating, sleeping, driving to school, classes, study times, fun times, etc. Make sure every time slot is accounted for. This process will help you manage your time during this term.

To download the syllabus for this class, click on the link
Math 114 Syllabus You can then either print it or save it to your desktop.
And just for your reading pleasure, here is an opinion/editorial piece that appeared in the NY Times a few years ago; I think you'll get a kick out of it.

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