College Algebra

Department of Mathematics|College of Science                                      Fall 2007

Dr. Ariyadasa Aluthge (

This course begins on August 20, 2007 and ends on December 11, 2007.

Please note that all times are Eastern.

Please see the University Academic Calendar for course withdrawal dates.



Office Hours:
You can email me with the VISTA
Mail Tool, request a CHAT session, or use the Whos Online tool. Should you ever find yourself on campus this semester, you can also look me up in person. My office is in Morrow Library 106 and my phone is 304.696.3050.   

About me:
I have been teaching at Marshall University since 1990. My credentials include a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University where I studied operator theory and other topics in mathematics.

My interests include camping and traveling, as well as reading mathematics.

Course Materials and Cost

College Algebra Graphs & Models, 3rd Edition by Bittinger, Marvin L., Beecher, Judith A., Ellenbogen, David, Penna, Judith A.

Included with the purchase of a new book from the MU Bookstore is an access code for the publisher’s web site.  There are tutorials, videos, and worked problems available at this site, all of which are optional.  You will need a graphing calculator.

The books can be ordered online at
The Marshall University Bookstore or at any other book seller of your choice for approximately $130.00.

Technical Requirements

·    For minimum hardware/software requirements please see:

·    Be sure to run the free web browser tuneup:

·    You will need to have several plugins (software) installed on your computer. These plugins are all free. You will need Real Player and Flash Player to experience the streaming video and audio clips that are part of the course. You can easily check your computer to see if you have these programs (and if you don't install them for free), by clicking on this link:

·    If you have technical problems, please go to the Help Desk:

(304) 696-3200 (Huntington, WV)
(304) 746-1969 (Charleston, WV)
(877) 689-8638 (Toll free)


Course Details

Prerequisites:  MAT 097 or Math ACT 19 or 20

Course Description:   A brief but careful review of the main techniques of algebra.  Polynomial, rational, exponential, and logarithmic functions.  Graphs, systems of equations and inequalities, sequences.

Objectives of the course:

1. To prepare students for a course in calculus with analytic geometry.   Students should also take trigonometry before attempting calculus.
2. To prepare students for science and engineering courses.
3. To give students a solid understanding of algebra and how it is used.
4. To develop facility in using graphing calculators to solve math problems.
5. To satisfy the mathematics general education requirement.

This course consists of six chapters: a review chapter and five chapters. Each chapter is divided into sections. For each section I suggest that you:

·    Begin by reading the text for each new section.  The content in my lectures is not meant to replace the text, but to supplement it.

·    Look at my lectures for a guided tour through the section. Each lecture contains video clips of selected problems, web sites for more help, definitions and rules, worked out examples and explanations.
Work the suggested homework problems. Many sections have additional material called "Thinking About..." that goes beyond the basics. 

·    If you are having trouble, please contact me through the VISTA e-mail or through Marshall's e-mail. I would be happy to explain to you how to do any of the problems. If you understand the concept being presented, you may be able to skip some of the problems. Only you can be the judge of the work you will have to put in to master the material, but remember that “practice makes perfect.”

·    For the homework grade, please complete the homework quizzes after each section.  These you may do with your books, notes, and other (non-human) resources.

Upon finishing each unit you will need to take a unit examination and a comprehensive final examination will conclude the course.

The following table lists the fifteen weeks and the sections you will need to complete. All work for the Review Chapter and Chapter 1 is due by September 24th at 11:59 p.m. All work for Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 is due by October  29th at 11:59 p.m. All work for Chapter 4 and Chapter 5 is due by December 11th at 11:59 p.m.  The comprehensive final examination must be completed by December 11th at 11:59 p.m. You may work ahead if you want to complete the course work sooner. The following schedule will help you keep up with the work.

Below is a suggested schedule for the work in this course. Students who work at a constant pace tend to make better grades than those who try to hurry through or leave it all to the last minute.

Week of

Chapters and Sections

Unit 1

August 20

Review Chapter                                                             R.1, R.2, R.3

August 27

 R.4, R.5, R.6

September 3


Chapter 1                                                                    1.1, 1.2

September 10

1.3, 1.4, 1.5

September 17

1.6, 1.7  

     Unit 1 quizzes and exam must  be completed by September 24

Unit 2

September 24

Chapter 2                                                                    2.1, 2.2, 2.3

October 1

2.4, 2.5, 2.6

October 8

Chapter 3                                                                    3.1, 3.2, 3.3

October 15

3.4, 3.5

October 22

3.6, 3.7 

Unit 2 quizzes and exam must  becompleted by      October 29 

Unit 3

October 29

Chapter 4                                                                        4.1, 4.2, 4.3

November 5

4.4, 4.5, 4.6

November 12

Chapter 5                                                                    5.1, 5.2, 5.3

November 26

5.4, 5.5

December 3


Unit 3 quizzes and exams must be completed by December 11

December 11

Comprehensive Final Exam must be complete by December 11


Course Grading

Each Unit Examination (three exams) will be worth 20% of the semester grade. Homework quizzes will be worth 20% of the semester grade. The comprehensive final exam will be worth 20% of the semester grade.

90.00 – 100    = A
80.00 – 89.99 = B
70.00 – 79.99 = C
60.00 – 69.99 = D
Below 60.00    = F


All exams will be taken with the Assessments Tool. A proctor will be required for all exams, but not for quizzes.  Exams are closed book/closed notes exams.  Homework quizzes are open book/open notes quizzes. 

Make sure that your proctor includes your name and course when contacting me.  Proctors should write to me at  After you read the syllabus, there is a quiz for you to take.  You may take it up to 5 times.  It counts as a regular quiz grade.

On-Campus Requirements

There is absolutely no requirement that you come to campus. You can communicate with me via the course Mail tool or the Who’s Online tool. All of your assignments are submitted electronically through the course Assignments Tool and all exams are timed and taken online through the Assessments Tool.

Course Policies

There are deadlines for the completion of each exam.  Quizzes and exams will not be available after the deadlines.  The course is divided into 3 units with exams at the end of each unit. For the extent of the course, we will be using a  proctor to administer each unit exam and the final exam.  If you are not familiar with this term, a proctor is a person who is willing and able to administer your exams.  A proctor should be computer literate.  It is up to the student to find a proctor.  Each proctor must be approved by the instructor before any passwords will be released.  Qualified proctors include educators, librarians, ministers, work supervisors, and other reliable non-relatives.  Your proctor should send me an e-mail at telling me his or her qualifications and willingness to serve as your proctor for the duration of the course.  Make sure that your proctor includes your name and course when contacting me.  After you read the syllabus, there is a quiz for you to take.  You may take it up to 5 times.  It counts as a regular quiz grade.


Don’t hesitate to contact me directly with questions or concerns. You can reach me through the VISTA Mail Tool or if necessary by phone at 304.696.3050. Please don't let your questions hang out there and simmer. If you are not sure about something the best thing to do is to ask about it right away! Something that may seem obvious to me may not be obvious to you at all!

Support Services

Marshall University offers a variety of support services to students enrolled in online courses:

·    Tutoring Center Online

·    Writing Center Online

·    Libraries

·    Textbook Service

·    Disabled Student Services

·    Campus Resources

·    Technical Help

·    VISTA Help

Marshall University
College of Science
Department of Mathematics