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MA 125 Intermediate Algebra
Spring, David K.

Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


MA 125 Intermediate Algebra


F2Q 2011 FEW


Spring, David K.


Mathematics Adjunct Instructor


M.S. Statistics
B.S. Mathematics


Semester Dates

October 17, 2011 through December 11, 2011

Class Days


Class Time

5:00 - 10:15 PM

Credit Hours


Required Text: Intermediate Algebra, 11th Ed., 2010
Authors: Lial, Hornsby, McGinnis
Publisher: Addison-Wesley
ISBN: 0-321-71514-1

Additional Resources:
A scientific calculator, such as a TI-30, (not a graphing calculator) is recommended for this class.

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
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Course Description:
MA 125 Intermediate Algebra Fundamentals of algebra. Topics include the real number system, basic operations of algebra, linear and quadratic equations, inequalities, functions and graphs, systems of equations. Additional considerations include radicals, rational functions, and basic analytic geometry. 3:0:3

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. State and use basic terminology and symbols of the discipline appropriately
  2. Solve linear equations and inequalities in one variable and verify solution(s)
  3. Manipulate and simplify exponential expressions
  4. Perform arithmetic on and factor polynomials and solve polynomial equations
  5. Solve “word” problems
  6. Manipulate and simplify rational expressions
  7. Manipulate and simplify radical expressions and translate into/ from exponential form
  8. Solve equations involving radicals
  9. Apply the method of completing the square
  10. Apply the quadratic formula
  11. Graph algebraic equations and inequalities of one and two variables.

Core Assessment:

  1. Manipulate, simplify, and evaluate algebraic expressions

  2. Solve and check algebraic equations and inequalities

  3. Apply algebraic techniques to solve practical applications

  4. Graph algebraic equations and inequalities


Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:

1) Each quiz or exam can be taken with scratch paper and a calculator. 
2) All quizzes will be submitted through the classroom dropbox.
1) All homework may be completed in groups of 2-3 students.  
2) Please turn in completed work with all group names at the top of the first page. 
3) All work should be shown or full credit may not be earned.  
4) All homework will be submitted in the classroom dropbox. 
Course assessment will be based on the instructor's evaluation of all completed assignments including homework, weekly quizzes and the final exam



% of Grade


Homework #1



Homework #2



Homework #3



Homework #4



Homework #5



Homework #6



Homework #7



Quiz #1



Quiz #2



Quiz #3



Quiz #4



Quiz #5



Quiz #6



Comprehensive Final Examination 



Class Participation




Total 100%



  • The final is 2hrs and is closed book, closed notes. The use of a calculator is allowed.

  • You will be able to track your average throughout the course. The grading scale is as follows:

    A = 90-100
    B = 80-89
    C = 70-79
    D = 60-69
    F = 0-59

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Work received within one week of the due date will be evaluated for at most 90% credit.   Work delayed more than one week will not be accepted.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week 1 - Chapters 1 & 2 / October 19 (Wednesday)/ Class Participation

Week 2 - Chapter 2/ October 26 (Wednesday)/ Class Participation, Quiz 1, Homework 1

Week 3 - Chapter 3/ November 2 (Wednesday)/ Class Participation, Quiz 2, Homework 2

Week 4 - Chapter 4/ November 9 (Wednesday)/ Class Participation, Quiz 3, Homework 3

Week 5 - Chapter 5/ November 16 (Wednesday)/ Class Participation, Quiz 4, Homework 4
Week 6 - Chapters 6 & 7/ November 23 (Wednesday)/ Class Participation, Quiz 5, Homework 5

Week 7 - Chapters 8 & 9/ November 30 (Wednesday)/ Class Participation, Quiz 6, Homework 6

Week 8 - Review and Final examination/ December 7 (Wednesday)/ Class Participation, Final Exam, Homework 7

Chapter 1 provides an introduction to the properties and operations of Real Numbers. We'll also examine properties of exponents and roots, and then discuss the order in which mathematical operations are to be applied as we simplify algebraic expressions.

In Chapter 2 we'll begin learning techniques to solve linear equations in one variable followed by a discussion of formulas and how to solve problems using them. Next we will apply those skills to real-life situations as we develop a general plan for solving application problems, and specific plans for certain types of problems. We will also learn the processes of solving linear and compound inequalities and finish up the unit by learning how to solve absolute value equations and inequalities.

In Chapter 3 we'll be introduced to the Rectangular Coordinate System. We will learn how to graph lines of equations in two variables. We'll discuss how to determine slope and how to use it to graph lines and find equations of lines. We will also become acquainted with functions, and we'll finish the unit learning how to graph linear inequalities in two variables.

In Chapter 4 we'll start by determining how to graphically find a solution set of two intersecting equations in two variables, known as a system of linear equations, followed by the procedure to solve a system algebraically.

In Chapter 5 we will discover some new properties of exponents along with the properties of polynomial expressions. We will learn how to use scientific notation as a tool for expressing very large and very small numbers. We will exam methods for adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing polynomials. We will expand our understanding of functions to include polynomial functions.

In Chapter 6 we will learn how to factor polynomials. Methods to be learned include: factoring by grouping, factoring trinomials, factoring perfect squares and perfect cubes. We finish the unit by focusing on a fundamental approach to factoring, and we will learn problem solving skills when the polynomial is part of an equation.

In Chapter 7 we start learning about rational expressions by examining their properties. From there we will begin the task of learning how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide rational expressions. We will learn two methods for simplifying complex fractions before we tackle solving equations involving rational expressions.

In Chapters 8 & 9 the properties of radical expressions are initially discussed before we take on the task of learning the procedures for simplifying, including the conversion from a radical expression to a rational exponential expression. Next we’ll learn how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide radical expressions. This is followed by a presentation of methods we will use for solving equations containing radical expressions. We finish the unit by focusing on manipulating the polynomial equation into a particular format in a process known as completing the square. Once that process is learned we will use it to derive a generalized formula for solving all quadratic equations.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 96
A minimum of six classess must be attended for the full time period or the student will earn an automatic "F" grade.

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .

Additional Information:

Bonus Paper Opportunities

            1)    Each page is worth 2.5 points.

      2)    A total of 30 points or 12 pages can be submitted for bonus.

      3)    Each page must be double spaced.

      4)    All sources must be cited

      5)    Any plagiarism will eliminate your chance to earn bonus work.

Below are algebra topics. Starter ideas are provided, but you can certainly expand upon what is provided.

1)    Egyptian number system and the base and symbols used

a.     Discuss the similarities and differences between this system and our (Hindu-Arabic) system of numerations.

2)    Greek number system and the base and symbols used

a.     Discuss the similarities and differences between this system and our (Hindu-Arabic) system of numerations.

3)    Where was the symbol for zero invented and by whom?

4)    When were negative numbers introduced, by whom were they introduced, and what were they first called?

5)    Write about the Rhind or Ahmes papyrus

a.     What is the significance of the names?

b.     What is the content of the papyrus and who discovered it?

6)    Find out what gematria is?

7)    What is the significance of 666 and why do many old editions of the Bible substitute the number 99 for amen at the end of a prayer?

8)    Find out about al-Khowarizimi and discuss the following about him:

a.     What academy did he belong to?

b.     What were the titles of the books he wrote?

c.     What types of problems was he working in his books?

9)    The traditional explanation of the word jabr is “the setting of a broken bone.”

a.     Write a paragraph relating how this word reached Spain as algebrista and the context in which it was used.

10) Diophantus of Alexandria wrote a book described as the earliest treatise devoted to algebra.

a.     Write a few paragraphs about Diophantus and, in the particular, the problems contained in his book.

b.     Write a paragraph detailing the types of symbols used in Diophantus’ book.

11) Some historians claim that the official birthday of analytic geometry is November 10, 1619.

a.     Write a report on why this is so and the events that led Descartes to the discovery of analytic geometry.

12) Find out what led Descartes to make his famous pronouncement, “I think therefore I am.”

a.     Also discuss one of his works, La Geometrie.

13) She was 19, a capable ruler, a good classicist, a remarkable athlete, and an expert hunter and horsewoman.

a.     Find out who this queen was and what connections she had with Descartes.


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
Evaluate 4 out of 4 algebraic expressions Evaluate 3 out of 4 algebraic expressions Evaluate 2 out of 4 algebraic expressions Evaluate 0 or 1 out of 4 algebraic expressions 
Simplify and manipulate 4 out of 4 algebraic expressions Simplify and manipulate 3 out of 4 algebraic expressions Simplify and manipulate 2 out of 4 algebraic expressions Simplify and manipulate 0 or 1 algebraic expressions 
Solve and check 4 out of 4 algebraic equations Solve and check 3 out of 4 algebraic equations Solve and check 2 out of 4 algebraic equations Solve and check 0 or 1 out of 4 algebraic equations 
Solve 4 out of 4 practical applications Solve 3 out of 4 practical applications Solve 2 out of 4 practical applications Solve 0 or 1 practical applications 
Content of Communication                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Graph 4 out of 4 linear equations or inequalities Graph 3 out of 4 linear equations or inequalities Graph 2 out of 4 linear equations or inequalities Graph 0 or 1 linear equations or inequalities 
Technical Skill in Communicating                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Find 4 out of 4 slopes of lines Find 3 out of 4 slopes of lines Find 2 out of 4 slopes of lines Find 0 or 1 slopes of lines 
First Literacy                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
(Formulas) 1, 2, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Use and evaluate 4 out

of 4 formulas

Use and evaluate 3 out

of 4 formulas

Use and evaluate 2 out

of 4 formulas

Use and evaluate 0 or 1 out

of 4 formulas

Second Literacy                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
(Order of Operations) 1, 2, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
Apply order of operations to 4 out of  4 algebraic expressions

Apply order of operations to 3 out of  4 algebraic expressions

Apply order of operations to 2 out of  4 algebraic expressions Apply order of operations to 0 or 1 out of  4 algebraic expressions 


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Last Updated:9/15/2011 8:53:28 AM