MAT 154

Intermediate Algebra

Spring 2004


Instructor: Bruce Armbrust, phone: 541-4660 ext. 314, email:


Office Hours: Room A210, Mon.   10:30 - 11:30 AM

                                              Tues.  3:30 - 4:30 PM

          Thurs. 12:00 Ė 1:00 PM

GMC G4, Mon. & Wed. 9:30 - 10:30 AM

And as always, by appointment.


Class Time and Location: Tues. & Thurs. 1:30 - 3:20 PM, E106


Textbook: Elementary and Intermediate Algebra, Mark Dugopolski 


Calculator:  A scientific calculator is required for this course.  TI-89, TI-92, and other CAS models will not be allowed on quizzes and exams.


Course Description: MAT 154 is a continuation of MAT 152B and covers functions and inverses, exponential and logarithmic functions, sequences and series, and conic sections, quadratic equations, and systems of quadratic equations.


Prerequisite: A grade of C or better in MAT 152B, or appropriate skills demonstrated through the Math assessment process.


Course Objectives:

The successful student will:

1)      exhibit a proficiency in the topics covered in the course;

2)      engage in logical and critical thinking;

3)      read technical information; and

4)      demonstrate the solution to problems by translating written language into mathematical statements, interpreting information, sketching relevant diagrams, analyzing given information, formulating appropriate mathematical statements, and checking and verifying results.


Course Grade: Your final letter grade will be based on the usual grading scale:

A 90-100%, B 80-89%, C 70-79%, D 60-69%, F 0-59%

The following items will make up the course grade:


Homework:                              150 points            Average of HW Scores X 15

Quizzes:                                 200 points            Average of Quiz Scores X 10

Exam1 (April 22)

Exam2 (May 13):                  450 points            Average of Exam Scores X 4.5

Exam3 (June 3)

Final Exam (June 24):                    200 points


You may check your grades at any point in the quarter by going to the following website:


Homework: Homework will be due the class period after it is assigned.  Homework not turned in at this time will be considered late. You may turn in homework up to two days after it is assigned for half credit.  If all homework is turned in, and no more than two are late, the lowest regular exam score will be dropped.  Your homework score will be determined in the following way: up to 5 points for completion and one point each for 5 problems chosen at random to be graded.


Quizzes: There will be seven quizzes given over the quarter.  These quizzes will be designed to help prepare you for the exams, and quiz problems will be taken directly from the homework assignments. Your lowest quiz score will be dropped.  Since your lowest score will be dropped, missed quizzes may not be made up.


Exams:  Students are to bring a pencil and blank scratch paper to each exam.  If you cannot make it to an exam (final not included), you may take it up to 2 school days prior to the scheduled date with proper arrangements.  Otherwise, the exam may be made up after the scheduled date with a penalty of 10% per day.


Registration Information: You must register for this class at the Office of Admissions and Records.  You may drop the class with no penalty or mark on your record on or before April 30.  After April 30, you may drop the class and receive a grade of W until June 4.  After June 4, if still enrolled, you will receive a grade of A, B, C, D, F or I.


How to Succeed in a Math Class: I am often asked how to successfully pass a math class, and here is my advice:


I) Come to every class session.  Be prepared, and plan on participating.

II) Do your homework.  Remember that what I assign is what I consider a bare minimum.  If you need more practice, do it.  Donít make me be a homework enforcer.

III) Read the book.  You paid good money for it, so you might as well use it.

IV) Make use of available tutors and my office hours.  You will find tutors who know the subject matter in this course at the GMC.

V) Do math every day.  Math is just like everything else: if you donít practice, you become rusty.


Learning Disabled Students: It is important that students who are identified as being learning disabled speak to me about their special needs.  I am more than willing to grant you reasonable accommodations.


Academic Dishonesty: Academic dishonesty of any form will not be tolerated.  Students caught cheating on exams or quizzes will receive a score of zero on the assignment for the first offense and a course grade of F for the second offense.  Students my work together on homework assignments (and, in fact, are encouraged to) as long as all students understand the material covered.



Course Schedule:

The following is a tentative schedule.  If things change (and I have money that says they will), I will let you know.



6          10.3                             Graphs of Quadratic Functions

8          10.4                             More on Quadratic Equations

13        10.5                             Quadratic & Rational Inequalities

15        11.1, Quiz I              Graphs of Functions and Relations

20        11.2                             Transformations of Graphs

22        11.3, Exam I             Combining Functions

27        11.4                             Inverse Functions

29        12.1, Quiz II             Exponential Functions



4          12.2                             Logarithmic Functions

6          12.3, Quiz III                        Properties of Logarithms

11        12.4                             Exponential and Logarithmic Equations

13          8.3, Exam II                        Systems of Linear Equations

18        13.1                             Nonlinear Systems of Equations

20        13.2, Quiz IV                        Parabolas

25        13.3                             Circles

27        13.4, Quiz V             Ellipses and Hyperbolas



1          14.1                             Sequences

3          14.2, Exam III                       Series

8          14.3                             Arithmetic Sequences and Series      

10                14.4, Quiz VI                     Geometric Sequences and Series

15        14.5                             Binomial Expansions

17        Quiz VII                    Review for Final

24        Final Exam               Note: The Final Exam is from 1:00 Ė 2:50 PM


The following is a list of all homework assignments for this course.  The due dates for the various sections will be given in class.