Department of Mathematical and Digital Sciences
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
Section 31: 9:50-11:30 in Bakeless 105
Professor: Drue Coles
Office: 235 Ben Franklin Hall
Office Hours: Mo-Th, 9:00-9:45 and 1:30-2:00
Text: Precalculus: A Right Triangle Approach, 6th edition, Lial et al., Pearson, 2017. Students are responsible for acquiring the course textbook by the first day of class.
Prerequisite: College Algebra (MATH 109) or BU Math Placement Test result for Precalculus
Course Description. Nationally, failure to learn calculus is the most common reason for not completing an undergraduate program in engineering or the sciences. The purpose of this course is to prepare you for success in the study of calculus. Topics include linear and quadratic relations, trigonometric functions and their graphs, trigonometric identities and equations, polynomial and rational functions, and exponential and logarithmic functions. In particular, we will cover the first seven chapters of the book in the following order: 1-2, 5-7, 3-4.
Grading. Course grades are determined by homework, two exams, and a comprehensive final exam:
Your weighted total will be converted to a letter grade using the following scale:
Exams. No electronic devices of any kind may be used for any reason during an exam. If you must miss class on the day of a quiz or exam in order to participate in a university-sponsored event, attend a job interview, or fulfill some other serious commitment, let me know in advance. I will be happy to accommodate reasonable requests for alternative testing arrangements in such cases. If a medical emergency or other serious dilemma makes it impossible for you to inform me in advance, notify me by email prior to class upon your return.
The final exam will be on Thursday, August 10, our last scheduled class meeting. Please note that the exam will not given on other dates to accommodate individual vacation plans, so be sure not to book a flight until classes are officially over.
Homework. I will assign homework on a regular basis to prepare you for the exams. All of the assigned problems will come from the end-of-section exercises in our textbook. The even-numbered problems are required and the odd-numbered problems are recommended. You will turn in your solutions to the required problems only, and these will be due at the beginning of our next meeting. Late work is not accepted, but your lowest homework score will be dropped. I will provide rapid feedback on the clarity, correctness, and completeness of your work so that you will understand what I am looking for when grading exams. We will review solutions to some of the homework problems in class and I will be glad to discuss any of them with you during office hours.
Requirements. I hope that you will take pride in your work and prepare it with care. Clarity is just as important as technical correctness in mathematical writing, so take the time that you need in order to make your work as neat and easy to understand as possible. If that means rewriting it, then rewrite it. Here are a few specific requirements:
Feel free to annotate your work with comments, footnotes, pictures, and/or anything else that you think might improve the clarity of the mathematical ideas you are expressing.
Attendance. I do not require you to come to class. It is your education and I will let you manage it as you see fit. But please do keep in mind that students who miss more than a couple of classes almost always fall behind and need to work extra hard to catch up. Historically, those who miss more than three or four classes end up needing to withdraw from the course in order to avoid a failing grade. If you do miss class, I will be glad to let you know what was covered and suggest how you might best try to catch up.
Academic Honesty. You are permitted to discuss assigned problems with your classmates or anyone else, but you must write the solutions completely on your own. Simply copying what someone else said or wrote is a form of plagiarism. Allowing a classmate to copy your work is also cheating and will be treated in the same way. Academic dishonesty of any kind will result in a failing grade for the course and a formal filing of the incident with the University's Director of Student Standards. Claiming to have forgotten or misunderstood course policies will not be accepted as an excuse for violating them.