Intermediate Mathematics

MA 90 02 / Zelle

Fall 2017

Dr. John Zelle
Office: SC 353
phone: 352-8360
Office Hours
M--F 10:30 and 1:15 and by appointment
Class Meetings
MWF 12:00 in SC 128
Class WWW Page
Course Description

This course is designed to prepare students for college-level mathematics. Students will learn to apply mathematical concepts involving number sets, graphing, algebraic expressions, linear and quadratic equations, and mathematical problem solving. These are essential mathematical concepts required for future coursework in mathematics, computing, accounting, economics, and social sciences.

Course Prerequisite:
One year of high school mathematics.
Credit Hour Policy

This class does not count for course credit but has a workload similar to a 1 course credit. You may expect to spend at least two hours of time outside of class completing assigned reading and homework for every hour you spend in class.

Student Learning Outcomes

A student completing this class will:

  1. Use the Order of Operations Agreement to correctly evaluate numerical expressions involving any combination of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, whole number exponents, and grouping symbols (e.g., parentheses and brackets).
  2. Correctly solve linear equations and inequalities in one variable that may include variable and/or constant terms on both sides of the equation and may include expressions in parentheses.
  3. Correctly graph open, closed, and half-open intervals of real number solutions of linear inequalities on a number line.
  4. Correctly add, subtract, and/or multiply any combination of two polynomials; then simplify and write the result in descending order.
  5. Correctly simplify exponential expressions involving negative and/or positive integers or zero as exponents and involving multiplication, division, and/or raising a monomial to a power, and express the answers in a form that uses only positive integers as exponents.
  6. Correctly manipulate numbers in scientific notation and convert to and from decimal form.
  7. Completely factor a variety of polynomials using appropriate combinations of the following factoring techniques, or state in writing that a given polynomial is non-factorable/prime and indicate why:
    • Factor out a monomial GCF (greatest common factor) of the terms
    • Factor out a common binomial
    • Factor a polynomial of 4 terms by grouping
    • Factor a trinomial with leading coefficient 1
    • Factor a trinomial with leading coefficient other than 1 (with no common factor of the coefficients, other than 1)
    • Factor a Difference of Perfect Squares
  8. Correctly draw the graph of a line when given its equation in either standard form (Ax + By = C) or in slope-intercept form (y = mx + b).
  9. For a systems of two linear equations (in two unknowns) correctly solve the system...:
    • ... by graphing both lines and representing their point of intersection as an ordered pair, or identify that the system is Inconsistent (with no solution) if the lines are parallel, or Dependent (with many solutions) if the lines are identical.
    • ... using the Substitution Method and write the solution as an ordered pair, or identify that the system is Inconsistent (with no solution) or Dependent (with many solutions).
    • ... using the Addition/Elimination Method and write the solution as an ordered pair, or identify that the system is Inconsistent (with no solution) or Dependent (with many solutions).
  10. Correctly write numerical square root expressions (involving either a single radical or addition, subtraction, multiplication, and/or division of radical expressions) in their simplest radical form, and rationalize any denominators before writing the final answer.
  11. Correctly solve quadratic equations ...
    • ... by using factoring, and write the solutions in simplest form.
    • ... by taking square roots of both sides of the equation, and write the solutions in simplest form.
    • ... by using the Quadratic Formula, and write the solutions in simplest form, or indicate that there are no real roots if the solutions include square roots of negative radicands.
  12. Use the Pythagorean Theorem to correctly calculate the length of the remaining side of a right triangle when given the lengths of any two sides, and express the final answer in simplest radical form if it is not an integer.


Wright, D. Franklin, Intermediate Algebra (6th edition), (Hawkes Learning Systems, 2011).

Course Outline
We will follow the order of material found in the textbook, a detailed up-to-date list of assigned sections will be maintained on our class web page.
Class Format

The class will be a mix of lecture/discussion, individual work, and group work. Assigned work will include daily reading and homework problems.


Exams (9/29, 10/23, 11/17, 12/14) 80%
Homework and in-class 20%

Note: You should expect some work (either homework or in-class work) to be collected every day. Some homework may be assigned but not collected and/or graded. If you do every assignment conscientiously, you will learn more and not have to worry about whether it will be graded.

Grading Scale:

Grades are assigned based on the (weighted) percentage of total points:

90-99 A
80-89 B
70-79 C
60-69 D
Other: Thanks for playing

Pluses and minuses will be used to "smooth" grade transitions. I may move the exact boundaries, but they will not be raised. Anyone with 90% of total points will receive some sort of an "A".


Regular attendance is expected. Although not part of the grade per se, excessive absences will affect a student's performance in the class. The instructor will not provide individual tutoring for material missed due to unexcused absences.


You are reminded of your obligation to the Wartburg Honor Code which states:

Students, faculty, and staff of Wartburg College are expected to demonstrate integrity in all endeavors. Students are expected to adhere to four essential principles:

  1. Submit only original work and properly cite ideas of others, including fellow students.

  2. Refrain from giving or receiving unauthorized aid on examinations and assignments.

  3. Report any act that violates these principles.

  4. Ask for clarification if uncertain about the expectations on a particular assignment.

Students are responsible for abiding by these principles and opposing academic dishonesty in all academic endeavors.

Absolutely no cheating will be tolerated. Any situation where I feel there is sufficient evidence of cheating will be vigorously pursued. The minimum penalty is a zero for the assignment. Of course, discussion of ideas is healthy and essential for education. Feel free to discuss approaches to assignments and to help fellow students with problems in their programs. Be sure, however, that the assignments you turn in represent your own effort. There is an importance difference between sharing ideas and whole-sale copying. Allowing or assisting someone else to copy/use your work is as bad as copying yourself.

Late Work

Keeping up with homework and project deadlines is critical to successfully completing the class. Late work will receive only summary grading and can earn a maximum of 75% of the original assignment.

Late Exams

Late exams will be given only under exceptional circumstances. Except for the case of confirmed medical emergency, arrangements must be made prior to the actual exam date.

Students Needing Accommodation

Qualified students with disabilities are protected from unlawful discrimination by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as amended. Students requesting academic accommodations due to disabilities must arrange for such accommodations by contacting Nicole Willis, Pathways Academic Success Associate. She can be reached at the Pathways Center, (319) 352-8230, or by e-mail Presenting documentation of a disability early is helpful and often necessary to secure needed materials in a timely way. Accommodations should be requested PRIOR to affected assignment due dates. Accommodations will not be provided retroactively.

Sexual Misconduct and Discrimination

Wartburg College is committed to providing a learning, working, and living environment free from all forms of sexual misconduct including, but not limited to, sex-based harassment, non-consensual sex acts, sexual exploitation, relationship violence, and stalking. Wartburg College considers sex discrimination in all forms to be a serious offense and it will not be tolerated.

The Wartburg College's Title IX, Sexual Misconduct and Discrimination Policy, following national guidance from the Office of Civil Rights, requires that faculty follow Wartburg's policy as a "mandatory reporter" of any personal disclosure of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and/or violence related experiences or incidents shared with the faculty member in person, via email, and/or in classroom settings. These disclosures include but are not limited to reports of personal relationship abuse, relational/domestic violence, and stalking. While faculty are often able to help students locate appropriate channels of assistance on campus, disclosure by the student to the faculty member requires that the faculty member inform appropriate Wartburg personnel to help ensure that the student's safety and welfare is being addressed, even if the student requests that the disclosure not be shared.

For confidential counseling support and assistance on campus, please contact:

For private, but not confidential, resources on campus, please contact:

General Caveat

The policies presented here should be taken as general guidelines and are subject to change at the discretion of the instructor with due notice and consideration. "If any point in dispute is not covered by the Rules, the decision shall be made in accordance with equity." (Rule1-4 of USGA Rules of Golf).