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Information and Policies

M. Randall Holmes.

Office number:
Office telephone:
Office hours:
7:40-9:30 am TTh, 9:40-10:30 MWF, and see ``open office policy'' below.
Home telephone:
345-2899 (please do not use after 8:30 pm or between 6 pm Friday and noon Sunday).

Web page
This syllabus and other course information will be accessible from my web page.

Title of Course:
Math 143: College Algebra.

Section 2 meets MWF 7:40-8:30 am in MG121. Section 3 meets MWF 8:40-9:30 am in MG121.

Final exam dates and times:
section 2 (7:40): Thurs., Dec. 14, 8-10 am. section 3 (8:40): Mon., Dec. 18, 8-10 am.

Precalculus: Mathematics for Calculus (third edition), Stewart, Redlin, and Watson. This is the same book used in earlier years, and there should be some used copies in the bookstore.

Sufficient score on COMPASS placement exam; or math analysis/precalculus from high school with strong grades; or an 85th percentile score on the ACT or SAT. The department document says that students are expected to have a certain amount of ``mathematical maturity'' as well as a certain amount of background knowledge. Students who do not meet the prerequisites will be administratively withdrawn if this comes to my attention.

You are expected to have a graphing calculator in this class. You will sometimes be permitted to use a graphing calculator on exams and sometimes not, so you also need to have a plain scientific calculator without graphing or symbolic calculation capabilities.

Getting into the Class:
If you are trying to get into the class, you should be aware that I will have the capacity set to 0 on Friday (the day we first meet) so that I control admission to the class. Students will be admitted on a first-come first-served basis, with preference for those who have been attending regularly. Under no circumstances will I admit students over the capacity of the room. If you intend to drop, please do so promptly so that someone else who is waiting can get in!

Attendance will not be formally taken, except for the first two meetings of the class. Students who do not attend at least one of the first two meetings are subject to administrative withdrawal. In general, you are expected to attend this class every day (MWF 7:40-8:30 am (for section 2) or 8:40-9:30 am (for section 3)). There may occasionally be unannounced quizzes, which will count as homework assignments; there will be no make-ups for these, though I may excuse missed quizzes if appropriate.

Homework will be assigned every day, and will generally be due two class sessions later (with opportunity for discussion, so exam dates do not count as intervening days). A complete schedule of homework is attached to this syllabus, though it may be subject to change.

There will be three hour exams and a final exam in this course. There will be a review day before each exam and before the final (though this may be lost if we get behind!).

Late Work and Makeups:
Makeups for exams will be possible, and should if possible be arranged in advance of your absence. On late homework I do not admit having any consistent policy at all: if you hand in your homework late you may get graded normally, graded with a penalty, or receive a minimal grade merely for handing it in, at my entire discretion. There will be no make-ups for quizzes, as noted above.

Computation of Grades:
Exams will usually be scaled linearly so that the median class grade is 75%, then graded with 90's = A, 80's = B, 70's = C, 60's = D, etc. I may change the scaling if I am displeased with the class performance (though this seldom happens); I will never scale grades downward.

Your total homework grade has the same weight as an hour exam; your final exam will have the weight of two hour exams. Your lowest hour exam grade (or your homework grade if it is lowest) may be replaced by your grade on the final exam if this helps you. Your course grade will be the sum of your hour exam grades and your homework grade (the lowest of these four grades being replaced by the final exam grade if this helps) plus twice the final exam grade, divided by six.

Each homework assignment will be marked in the following way: you get 30% for handing it in, then you get a percentage of the remaining 70% determined by your performance on the assignment. I (or a grader) will mark 3-5 randomly selected problems from each assignment; you can always request that I look at your solutions to other problems. Your homework grade will not be scaled or adjusted in any other way. It is seldom the case that a student's lowest grade is his homework grade, if they do their homework regularly.

Open Office Policy:
My office hours for these classes are 7:40-9:30 am TTh (the same hours as these classes on the days when they don't meet) plus 9:40-10:30 MWF (the hour after class). I will almost always be in my office at these times, and I will try to warn you when I will not be. If I am in my office during a posted office hour, I am available to help you.

Don't assume that these are the only times when you can get help! I am generally in my office the entire working day (I take either the 4:40 or the 5:10 bus home) and I am never offended by a student asking me for help if I am in the office (though I may help only briefly if I am very busy).

Academic Honesty:
Collaboration on homework is expected and even encouraged in this class. This does not mean copying of homework. Collaboration on exams is of course not allowed. The penalty for cheating (defined as looking at another student's paper or unauthorized use of books or notes during an exam) will be a grade of zero (0) on the relevant exam. A repeat offense will mean an F in the course.

The word ``yesterday'' is defined to mean the previous class session; the word ``tomorrow'' is defined to mean the next class session, unless I specifically say otherwise :-)

next up previous
Next: List of Homework Assignments Up: Math 143 Syllabus (sections Previous: Math 143 Syllabus (sections
Randall Holmes