MATH120 College Algebra

Department of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics: Mathematics

I. Course Number and Title
MATH120 College Algebra
II. Number of Credits
4 credits
III. Number of Instructional Minutes
IV. Prerequisites
Math Placement Test score of 7 or better or MATH103 (C or better)
V. Other Pertinent Information

A comprehensive departmental final is included in the course.

This course meets the General Education requirement for Quantitative Literacy.

VI. Catalog Course Description
This course is designed to strengthen and increase the understanding of basic algebraic concepts before a student undertakes advanced study in mathematics. Topics include algebra of the real numbers, algebraic, exponential, and logarithmic functions and their graphs, systems of equations, inequalities, and absolute value.
VII. Required Course Content and Direction
  1. Course Learning Goals

    The student will be able to:

    1. develop an understanding and apply the concepts and procedures for solving and graphing equation, solving inequalities, and for simplifying expressions;
    2. demonstrate the techniques of solving a variety of applications of equations;
    3. develop skill in using a graphing calculator;
    4. perform operations of functions, find composition of functions, and describe increasing, decreasing, constant intervals, domain, range, and points of discontinuity;
    5. find equations of lines, given two points, a point and the slope, parallel or perpendicular lines and a point, and find the distance between and midpoint of two points; and
    6. develop the ability to analyze, interpret, and apply quantitative information [Quantitative Literacy].
  2. Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities

    1. Review Topics (12 lessons)
      1. The Real Numbers
      2. The Field Axioms
      3. Operations on Polynomials (+, -, x, /)
      4. Factoring
      5. Algebraic Fractions (reduction, +, -, x, /)
      6. Exponents (integer, rational)
      7. Radicals and Radical Expressions
      8. Complex Numbers
    2. Solution of Equations and Inequalities (12 lessons)
      1. First Degree Equations
      2. Formula Manipulation
      3. First Degree Inequalities (visualize solution set)
      4. Absolute Value Equations
      5. Absolute Value Inequalities
      6. Quadratic Equations (factoring, completing the square, quadratic formula)
      7. Quadratic Inequalities
      8. Radical Equations
      9. Applications (1st and 2nd degree)
      10. Rational Inequalities
    3. Relations and Functions (10 lessons)
      1. Cartesian Coordinate System and the Distance Formula
      2. Relations (domain, range, rule, graph)
      3. Functions (domain, range, rule, graph)
      4. Functional Notation
      5. Algebra of Functions (+, -, x, /)
      6. Composition of Functions
      7. Linear Functions (slope-intercept form, graphs)
      8. Quadratic Functions
      9. System of Equations (2x2, 3x3)
    4. Polynomial Functions (5 lessons)
      1. Division of Polynomials
      2. Synthetic Division
      3. Remainder and Factor Theorem
      4. Rational Root Theorem
      5. Graphs of Polynomial Functions
      6. Rational Functions
    5. Exponential and Logarithmic Functions (10 lessons)
      1. Inverse Functions (existence, rule, domain, range)
      2. Exponential Functions (rule, domain, range)
      3. Logarithmic Functions (rule, domain, range)
      4. Laws of Logarithms
      5. Logarithmic and Exponential Equations
      6. Applications of Logs
  3. Assessment Methods for Course Learning Goals

    The student will apply mathematical concepts and principles to identify and solve problems presented through informal assessment, such as oral communication among students and between teacher and students and, for the core, formal assessment using open-ended questions reflecting theoretical and applied situations.
  4. Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Student:

    There is a departmentally-selected textbook and calculator. The instructor will provide specific details for each section. See course syllabus.

Review/Approval Date - 3/06; Core Goals/Objectives added 4/04; New Core