Math D:    Intermediate Algebra                                                                                Course No. 10927

Instructor:    Tom Dyer                                                                                                    MW 8-9:50

Room B 105


Text:    Intermediate Algebra

Third edition

by Larson and Hostetler



Calculator:                     ,     log  x    ,        ex   ,   and    yx      ( or     xy     )  keys is required


Suggested:    Study Guide for Intermediate Algebra, if available.


This course contains a review of some major topics discussed in Elementary Algebra (Math A) in conjunction with more complex applications.    Since our review of these topics will be somewhat

“rapid”, and since a mastery of the topics previously covered in Math A will be used later in our course, successful completion of the Introductory Algebra course (or proof of mastery via Sierra College’s placement test) is a pre-requisite for Math D enrollment.


We will cover most of the concepts contained in chapters 1-9 of the text (see the SCHEDULE).    The concepts and types of applications which will be covered are illustrated in the list of homework problems as well s the list of textbook examples on the SCHEDULE.


Homework assignments:    Each unit’s (chapter or group of chapters) assignments are listed in the SCHEDULE.    These assignments will be graded on accuracy and completeness.    You are encouraged to work together outside of class or in the tutoring center on these assignments.    Don’t turn these in late, as you will be docked  heavily.    (Don’t attempt to set your own schedule for this course-that is a recipe for failure.)    Make sure you show your work (i.e. intermediate steps) on the problems,  otherwise you will not receive credit.    Approach the homework assignments as take-home tests, since collectively the homework points are comparable to the test points in the final calculation of your grade.    Try to get as much understanding out of the homework problems as possible – that’s why they’re assigned.    (Don’t just do them mechanically – constantly ask yourself when and why the connections between the problems and their processes of solving them are as they are.)


Unit tests:    There will be 7 unit tests, 100 points each.    These will be closed-book tests, although you will be allowed one 8.5x11” sheet of notes (in addition to the “green sheet” and “yellow sheet”.)    If you miss a test due to absence, you must make it up within 3 school days of the original test date – after that time you have relinquished your opportunity to make up your missed test and will result in a score of 0.    Make-ups must be taken in the library-and you must show the librarian a picture ID (like a driver’s license).    The maximum number of unit tests you are allowed to make up during this course is 2 (again, don’t attempt to set your own time schedule.)


Final Exam:    The comprehensive final exam is worth 300 points towards your grade.    It is also closed book.    You will be allowed to use your accumulated “cheat sheets” that you used during the unit tests, in addition to the green and yellow sheets.


Group Activities:    On non-test days, we will have at least one group activity.    Each group activity will consist of 3 or 4 students working on a problem or group of problems.    Points will be assigned each activity, based on the length and complexity of the activity.    Group activities cannot be made up due to absence.    However, up to 2 days’ worth of activities missed will not count against our semester percentage (the first 2 days you’re absent).    After that, each missed activity will result in a score of 0.



                                 If you can’t be here on a consistent basis, don’t take this class.


                                                Here are the Group Activity Ground Rules:



                        1.   Each person in the group will write the solution(s) as well as all the necessary

                                    work to show the method(s) of solution(s).


                        2.   Each person has the right (and the duty to the other members of the group) to

                                    ask the other group members any question which will help you to

                                    complete the activity.


                        3.   Each person in the group has the responsibility to try to answer questions

                                    posed by any other member of the group.


                        4.   No two groups may interact.    We will switch groups periodically, but not

                                    during an activity.


                        5.   One group member’s paper will be randomly selected and graded.    All the

                                    members in that person’s group will get that score.



Final Course Grade:    Final course grades will be based on your final course percentages, based on your homework scores, unit test scores, activity scores and final exam scores.


My weekly office hour is on Mondays (10:15-10:45) and Tuesdays (12:15-12:45) in the tutoring center (L-210) which can be found on the north side of the library building.    Tutoring is available in this Tutoring Center.    Use this service before you get behind.    Should you need to contact me at other times you may leave a message on voice mail (789-2649 ext. 3573), leave a note with the Admissions and Records Office, email me at or in an emergency you may call my home phone at 273-4409.    You don’t need to contact me if you’re going to miss a class session – you know what will be covered via the SCHEDULE.