Josh Thompson
Assistant Professor: Northern Michigan University
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Math 104 :: College Algebra :: Winter 2014

This is the syllabus for Math 104-03. See the links to the right for updated information. Here you'll find information on prerequisites, grading policy, homework, study resources and a tentative course calender.


The (required) textbooks we will use for this course are Algebra for College Students, Ninth Edition by Kaufmann & Schwitters, which is available at the University Bookstore, and Trigonometry, by Michael Corral, available for free online. They are pictured below.

Precalculs Textbook

Other editions will be very similar, but the exercises will occasionally differ. If you have a different edition, find a friend with the ninth edition to make sure the exercises you work match your friend's. This is an excellent text, it is carefully written with clear explanations, it motivate the subject and has lots of examples. The Trigonometry book is in pdf format and is free.

Course Description

We will cover most of chapters 1-10 of the Algebra text and most of chapters 1-2 of the Trigonometry text. First, we will develop a strong foundation of numbers and their properties by focusing on the terminology and basic concepts of real numbers and the common functions on them. We will study carefully the behavior of linear, polynomial, exponential logarithmic and trigonometric functions and use this knowledge to solve some interesting real-world problems.


Class will be held in West Science 2911, unless otherwise noted on the followining days & times.

  • Math 104-03: 11:00-11:50 a.m., Mon-Wed-Thur-Fri
  • Office Hours

    I am often in my office NSF 1115, you are free to stop by and see if I am available. My official office hours are

  • Monday: 10am - 11am
  • Tuesday: 1pm - 3pm
  • Thursday: 1pm - 2pm
  • Attendance

    Regular attendance is expected. Important dates can be found here.


  • Homework 25%
  • Team Quizzes 10%
  • Exams 40% (4 @ 10% each)
  • Final 25%
  • WeBWork

    Homework will be adminstered via WeBWork, and is due each Monday at 8am. Any additional written homework will turned in on Monday. Help can be found here.


    Unannounced quizzes will be given on occasion. Some quizzes will be group/team quizzes.


  • Exam 1 - February 5
  • Exam 2 - February 28
  • Exam 3 - April 2
  • Exam 4 - April 25
  • Final - Tuesday, April 29 :: 10 am - 11:50 am
  • Make sure that you are able to attend the exams at the given dates/times. Exceptions can only be accepted in case of time conflicts with other courses, or serious illness with a physician's certification. [Final Exam Schedule]
  • You need a C- or better in MA 100 or satisfactory score on the Math Placement Exam. You should be familiar with the ideas on page one of this sheet.

    Calculators & Graphing Software

    Calculators and graphing software will often be used in class and will be allowed on Some exams and quizzes. Unless otherwise notificed, you are not allowed to have any information saved in your calculators during quizzes and exams. You are not required to have a calculator, since there are many free online graphing calculators available. [,]


    In order to promote a focused learning enviroment, Do not use your laptop in class unless instructed to do so.

    Other Resources

    The link on the right College Algebra Resources contains links to mostly free sites & documents that will help you get off on the right foot. Both free and paid tutoring is available, in the tutoring lab in NSF 3810.

    Outcomes & Assesment

    Upon successful completion of this course:

  • Students will select and apply appropriate mathematical models to describe real-world problems.
  • Students will manipulate algebraic expressions and functions including linear, exponential, logarithmic, trigonometric, quadratic, power functions).
  • Students will distinguish functions from another in terms of the way in which they change.
  • Students will use calculators and computer software to set up and solve problems using graphs, tables, and formulas.
  • Evaluation of these learning outcomes will be done through a mix of assignments, class exercises, projects, research papers, group work, written & oral quizzes and tests.

    Foundations Requirement

    This course satisfies the Foundation of Natural sciences/Mathematics requirement. Students who complete this course should be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of mathematical logic; use mathematics to solve scientific or mathematical problems in college classes; express relationships in the symbolic language of mathematics; and appreciate the role of mathematics in analyzing natural phenomena.

    University Policies

    Academic Honesty: Cheating is not only unethical and pathetic, but is a violation of the Northern Michigan University Student Code and University Policy and grounds for your dismissal from the University.

    Discrimination & Harassment: Northern Michigan University does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, height, weight, martial status, handicap/disability, sexual orientation or veteran status. If you have a civil rights inquiry, contact the Affirmative Action Office at 906-227-2420.

    Americans with Disabilities Act Statement: The University seeks to provide equal access to its programs, services and activities for people with disabilities. If you have a need for disability-related accommodations or services, please inform the Coordinator of Disability Services in the Dean of Students Office at 2001 C. B. Hedgcock Building (227-1700). at 906-227-1700 as soon as possible. Reasonable and effective accommodations and services will be provided to students if requests are made in a timely manner, with appropriate documentation, in accordance with federal, state, and University guidelines.

    The Registrar: Withdrawing from any course or any matters relating to registration are the responsibility of the student. For more information regarding this topic, check out the Registrars Website.