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SMTH 120A - COLLEGE MATHEMATICS Tentative - Fall 2000

Catalog Description (partial): (3) Basic concepts of elementary algebra, subsets of the Cartesian plane; rational, exponential, and logarithmic functions; arithmetic and geometric series; simple and compound interest; annuities; fundamentals of probability and statistics. Only one of Mathematics 120, 121 or 126 may be used to satisfy a mathematics requirement for general education or major credit. [ Those scoring 10 -15 on the placement test are accepted in this lab assisted section.]

Upon successful completion of this course, the student

* should be a more intelligent consumer of numerical and graphical information, better prepared to read and understand the research and literature in his/her areas of study and interest,

* will have gained experience in collecting and processing data, and in presenting numerical information, both orally and in writing,

* will see the need for mathematical thinking and the applications of mathematical concepts in his/her areas of study and interest.

Required Calculator: TI-83 or -83 plus (Texas Instruments). The calculator may be purchased locally at discount stores and at the USCS Bookstore. The TI-82 is acceptable, but the -83 is preferred. The TI-80,-81,-85,-86,-89 and other brands are not acceptable.

Suggested Reference: Mathematics with Applications by Lial, Miller and Hungerford, Sixth Edition. Any similar text may be used.

Also Required: Ring binder (and perhaps a set of index dividers)

One or two virus-free 3.5" computer disks, formatted for IBM

College Mathematics booklet and handouts, available from the bookstore.

PLEASE NOTE: This section uses calculators and computers to obviate much of the calculation required in traditional math courses. Students often will work in groups. The groups will need to arrange some meetings outside of regularly scheduled class/lab hours. If your work schedule is too inflexible to meet occasionally outside of regular hours with a group, you should choose another course. HAVING TO WORK is no excuse for failing to complete tasks - including group work - assigned in this course. The other lab assisted course acceptable for general education credit is SMTH 121A.

Course Strategy and Objectives: Topics described in the catalog (see description above) will be learned through individual and group projects. The projects concern problems encountered in the disciplines served by this course: nursing, the social sciences, arts, languages and communications, etc. Project reports will be produced using calculators and computers. Hand-written reports will not be accepted unless otherwise instructed. Specifically we will use the TI-83 or -82, , and Word.

You need not be knowledgeable of any of these to enroll. Basic instruction on rudimentary calculator and computer use is part of the course. (Don't drop your computer literacy course! You won't learn that much about computing in SMTH 120A!) By the end of the course you should know the characteristics of the functions listed in the catalog description, and you should know how they can be used. You'll be exposed to some elementary statistical concepts as you work on your projects. Your grade will come from your performance in group and individual projects and from regularly scheduled tests as detailed below.

Makeup Tests are given only for good reasons, and at the instructor's convenience. Athletes and others who miss class for University sponsored events should notify the instructor in advance.

Attendance and attentiveness: A maximum of five classes may be missed regardless of the reason. There are no "excused" absences. The class experience itself is as important as the end result. You are responsible for all material covered and work assigned during any absence. Excessive tardiness is disruptive to the class, and detrimental in the same way as absence, and so, excessive tardiness will be considered absence. Absences affect your daily grade.

Grading: There will be two or three in-class tests. Another test grade will come from the portfolio of writing assignments and project reports, including a term project. The portfolio will be taken up and graded at some point in the semester (date to be announced at least one class in advance). Portfolios will not be accepted later than the announced take-up dates. The grade for the course will be determined as follows:

in-class test grades and portfolio . . . 45%

group and individual projects . . . 20%(Group project grades will not count if test and individual project grades average less than the grade of C.)

attendance and participation . . . . 10%

cumulative final exam grade . . . . 25%

As part of the assessment of the mathematics program at USCS, there will be a department constructed problem section on the final exam. This will consist of 10 multiple-choice questions.

Grading Scale: 100-90% = A; 89-80% = B; 79-70% = C; 69-60%=D; Below 60% = F. "Plus" grades may be awarded for high B, C, or D final grades if work is judged meritorious by some measure not anticipated by the above specifications.

Instructor: Dr. M.B. Ulmer e-mail:mbulmer@vm.sc.edu or mulmer@uscs.edu

Office: Smith 215 Phone: 503-5224 (office); 472-6071 (Home)

Office Hours: Mon. and Fri. 9:30-10:20 (tentative)

or by appointment or by "heyyougottaminute?"

Last day to withdraw without penalty; Thursday, 2 November

Notes: 1. Any student having a physical or learning disability requiring modifications of the instructional or testing environment, methods, or format, must inform the instructor of such disability the first week of class.

2. This is a tentative syllabus. Modifications may be necessary as we progress.