Course Syllabus for Contemporary Math

Course Description:
A practical course in mathematics involving a wide range of topics: critical thinking, problem
solving, set theory, logic, number theory, algebra, geometry, consumer math, probability, and
statistics.

This course counts as a math elective towards graduation (but does not transfer as a math course
to most 4 year colleges).

Pre-Requisite/Co-Requisite:
A grade of C- or better in MAT*095 Elementary Algebra Foundations or satisfactory grade on
the Mathematics Placement Test (score of 58 or better on Accuplacer Elementary Algebra test
within the past 6 months.

A knowledge of the following topics is indicated by completion of the above prerequisites:
1. Number system development (natural numbers, integers, rational numbers, irrational
numbers, and real
numbers)
2. Concepts of terms vs. factors, expressions vs. equations, prime factors, greatest common
factor, and least common multiple
3. Computations with integers (including absolute value)
4. Simplifying algebraic expressions
5. Solving linear equations
6. Computations with algebraic fractional expressions
7. Solving algebraic fraction equations
8. Solving and graphing linear inequalities
9. Graphing linear equations (including “table of values” method)
10. Solving systems of linear equations in 2 variables
11. Computation with polynomials (including the “FOIL” method)
12. Factor polynomials (including greatest common factor, factoring by grouping, “AC” method,
difference of 2 squares, sum and difference of 2 cubes)
13. Computations with integer exponents
14. Simply square roots
15. Solve quadratic equations (by factoring, “square root method”, and quadratic formula)

Goals:
1. To further develop analytical reasoning and critical thinking skills that will enhance more
advanced problem solving capabilities.
2. To complete a semester’s study of a variety of math topics at the college level (as a
comparable alternative to the traditional Intermediate Algebra).

Outcomes:
Upon successful completion of this course, each student must have demonstrated
understanding and competency in each of the following topics and techniques (through
in-class testing of each individual student independently):
1. Understanding word problem applications
2. Understanding concepts of set theory (subset, universal set) and doing computations
with set operations (complement, intersection, union)
3. Constructing Venn diagrams with 2 and 3 sets (including word problem applications)
4. Understanding, doing operations with, and constructing truth tables for, logic
statements (negation, conjunction, disjunction, conditional, biconditional)
5. Understanding and construction truth tables for equivalent statements and symbolic
arguments
6. Understanding of number system development (natural numbers, integers, rational
numbers, irrational numbers, real numbers)
7. Doing computations with integers
8. Simplify radicals
9. Simplifying and doing computations with integer exponents (including scientific
notation)
10. Simplifying algebraic expressions
11. Solving linear equations (including word problem applications)
12. Solving and graphing linear inequalities in 1 variable
13. Graphing linear equations
14. Graphing linear inequalities in 2 variables
15. Solving quadratic equations (by factoring, “square root method”, and quadratic
formula—in radical, non-decimal format)
16. Understanding function notation
17. Solving systems of equations in 2 variables (by substitution and elimination)
18. Graphing systems of linear inequalities (including linear programming applications)
19. Doing measurement conversions (English-metric)
20. Doing geometric computations (area, perimeter, volume)
21. Doing percent word problem applications
22. Understanding and doing computations with: probability (empirical, theoretical,
conditional), odds, and expected value
23. Constructing tree diagrams
24. Construct frequency distributions and statistical graphs (histogram and frequency
polygon)
Doing computations with statistical measures of: central tendency (mean, median, mode) and
dispersion (range, standard deviation)