MA125 Intermediate Algebra

for S2Q 2013

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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


S2Q 2013 FE


Marcum, James Daniel ("Dan")


Adjunct Mathematics Instructor


M.S.T. Mathematics
B.S. Mathematics
B.S. Mathematics Education


Semester Dates

March 18 – May 12, 2013

Class Days

Thursdays on March 21 & 28 + April 4, 11, 18, 25 + May 2 & 9 (Final Exam on May 9)

Class Time

5:00 - 10:00 PM

Credit Hours


Intermediate Algebra (11th Ed.) by Lial, Hornsby, McGinnis (Addison-Wesley, ISBN 978-0-321-71541-8)

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

Calculator You will need a basic scientific calculator (such as a TI-30) for this course.  A graphics calculator is acceptable but not required.  Please be sure that you are familiar with the basic workings of your calculator as I cannot take class time to “teach” basic calculator competency.  You should bring your calculator to every class.  Students who do not have a calculator with them on test days must do the test without it!
In addition the required textbook and calculator, it is to your advantage to keep an organized notebook throughout the semester that should contain all of the work you produce in this course.  I suggest that your notebook be a 1½ inch (4 cm) 3-ringed binder with 5 dividers labeled and ordered as follows:  COURSE INFO    NOTES & OUTLINES    HOMEWORK    QUIZZES    PAPER
Note: If during the class you suspect that your grade is incorrect, you will need to produce your graded homework and quizzes to prove an error on my part; an organized notebook will help resolve any grading issues!

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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

Educational Philosophy:

Mathematics is a "do"'s not a spectator sport!  It is imperative that you not assume that watching me in class, taking notes and completing outlines, or watching on-line videos and reading the textbook will be enough.  You must practice daily, throwing yourself into the homwork assignments...this will be the only way to build your confidence and competence in math!
With that said, success in this course will depend on your individual commitment to it.  My experience over the years as a student and teacher has led me to the following observation which I call the
123 Rule: for every 1 hour in class, you should spend 2-3 hours out of class. Given that we meet for 5 hours each class, be sure that you are spending between 10-15 hours between our Thursday classes! 

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:

Concerning Course Grades - Your course grade will consist of the following three components:
Homework 15% (4 pts per HW) + Quizzes 30% (10 pts per Quiz) + Mid-Term/Final Exams 55% (100 pts per Exam)

The Mid-Term Exam takes place on Thursday, April 11th and the Final Exam takes place on Thursday, May 9th.


Concerning Homework  Two Homework Assignments will be assigned every class meeting. Unless prior arrangements have been made with me, each homework assignment is due at the place and time indicated in class and through the on-line classroom.

Individual homework assignment grades will not be based on correct answers, but on your process and your ability to organize your work following FEA:

FEA – follow this on each homework assignment for full credit!

Each HW assignment is worth 4 points, graded on the FEA scale: Format, Effort, and Appearance and must be done on 3-holed, college-ruled paper.

 Format – 1 point: Name, MATH 125, Date Assigned, Date Due in the upper right corner in descending order

   Questions indicated in the upper left corner (no questions - indicate this by writing NONE there)

   Assignment Name on the first line right after the left margin

 Effort – 2 points for excellent effort; all exercises attempted, appropriate work shown.

 1 points for average effort; missing exercises and/or insufficient work shown.

 0 points for poor effort; lists of answers receive no credit!

 Appearance – 1 point: Exercises are neatly organized, easy to follow, and done on 3-holed, college-ruled paper.

Concerning Quizzes  Two Quizzes will be given each class except on the class days when an exam is given (when that happens, only one quiz will be given). What to prepare for on upcoming quizzes will be announced ahead of time in class and through the on-line classroom.

Each quiz will be worth 10 points and they will usually be given at the beginning and end of each class, lasting 10 - 15 minutes. Quizzes will assess your understanding of past homework and are based on process and correct answers. Unless an answer is “obvious,” some work or explanation is usually required to receive full credit on quiz exercises.

Grading of quizzes will also be tied to the Learning Rubric at the end of this syllabus.

Concerning Exams  The Mid-Term and Final Exams are “closed notes” and “closed book” assessments. Each exam will be 90 minutes in length and are cumulative.

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Late Homework  A homework assignment not turned in on time is considered “late." You may turn in four “late” homework assignments without penalty. A "late" homework is due no later than the beginning of the next class or it becomes a “0.”

After four “late” homework assignments, subsequent late or missing homework will not be accepted and will receive a “0” grade for the remainder of the semester unless I have given you instructions to the contrary.

Homework and Absences  If a homework assignment is due on a day that you are absent from class (for any reason), then that homework must be turned in at the beginning of the next class or it is considered late.

If you are absent from a class when homework is assigned, then that homework is due no later than the second class following the absence or it is considered late.

Quizzes and Absences  If you miss a class, or arrive late, you may make up two “missed” quizzes without penalty. Two subsequent “missed” quizzes may be made up, but only receive a maximum of 8 points. More than four “missed” quizzes without a valid reason earns a “0” on those quizzes.

Arrangements to take “missed” quizzes must be made with me before the next class meeting. Failure to do so will turn the grades for “missed” quizzes to “0.”

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

My goal in this course is to provide you with a superior mathematical education!
I cannot be successful in this goal without your full cooperation. I will make every effort to make every class session, and I expect the same commitment from you.
While I may be able to understand why you must miss a class, I cannot excuse you from the material covered or from turning in homework or making up quizzes in a timely fashion.  Absences lead to low scores, confusion, miscommunication, frustration, low grades, and being dropped from the course.
I will be glad to provide additional help to students who are attending class regularly and applying themselves to homework, quizzes, and exams.
Time for extra help can be obtained by making an appointment with me through the emails listed above.


Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
Week 1 (Mar 21):  Introduction       – Chapters 1 & 2 – Quizzes 01 & 02    – HW 01 &0 2

Week 2 (Mar 28):  Week 1 Review – Chapters 2 & 3 – Quizzes 03 & 04     – HW 03 & 04
Week 3 (Apr 04):   Week 2 Review – Chapter 3         – Quizzes 05 & 06    – HW 05 & 06
Week 4 (Apr 11):   Week 3 Review – Chapter 4         – Quiz 07                 – HW 07 & 08    – Mid-Term Exam
Week 5 (Apr 18):   Week 4 Review – Chapter 5         – Quizzes 08 & 09    – HW 09 & 10
Week 6 (Apr 25):   Week 5 Review – Chapters 6 & 7 – Quizzes 10 & 11     – HW 11 & 12
Week 7 (May 02):  Week 6 Review – Chapters 8 & 9 – Quizzes 12 & 13     – HW 13 & 14
Week 8 (May 09):  Week 7 Review –                          – Quiz 14               – HW 15 & 16    – Final Exam
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.

Chapter 2 Begins the 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 chapter by learning how to solve absolute value equations and inequalities.

Chapter 3 The Rectangular Coordinate System is introduced. 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 chapter learning how to graph linear inequalities in two variables.

Chapter 4 The techniques used to solve systems of equations are presented. First we will graphically find the solution of two intersecting lines, followed by procedures to solve a system algebraically.

Chapter 5 The properties of exponents along with the properties of polynomial expressions are covered. 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.

Chapter 6 Methods of factor polynomials are presented.  These methods include: factoring by grouping, factoring trinomials, factoring perfect squares and perfect cubes. We finish the chapter by focusing on a fundamental approach to factoring, and how to apply problem-solving skills when a polynomial is part of the equation.

Chapter 7 Rational expressions are introduced by examining their properties. From there we will begin the task of learning how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide rational expressions. We will also learn two methods for simplifying complex fractions and conclude the chapter by solving equations involving rational expressions.

Chapter 8 The properties of radical expressions are initially discussed before 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.
Chapter 9 This chapter illustrates how to transform a polynomial equation into a particular form using the technique known as “completing the square.” Using that technique the important “quadratic formula” is derived which is used to solve non-factorable quadratic equations with irrational and complex number solutions.

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 2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog Page 97

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 2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

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 2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog Page 98

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:
Pencil & Eraser Policy: I require you to do all homework, quizzes, and exams using a pencil and eraser. You will lose 25% on any homework, quiz, or exam that wasn’t done in pencil, or that has messy scratched-out work. NOTE: It is O.K. to use a pen to head your papers and a pen/highlighter to circle final answers.


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:3/10/2013 1:54:51 PM