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MAT-125-20, Elementary Math Models (SU13)

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Margaret Sullivan (Office: 410-532-5710), msullivan@ndm.edu

SCHEDULE/DAY/TIME: TI/Tuesdays and Thursdays/6-9:00 p.m., 05/28/2013-06/27/2013

CONTENT: 

An introduction to the methods used in applying mathematics to real problems from the physical, life and social sciences. Applications will be investigated numerically and graphically using a graphing calculator before the mathematical model is expressed algebraically. Algebraic concepts will be reviewed and developed as needed.  This course will help students refresh and strengthen their mathematics and increase their understanding of its usefulness. The course provides suitable preparation for MAT107 Elementary Functions and for MAT215 Basic Statistics. Prerequisite: minimum of one year of high school algebra. Fulfills the General Education requirement in Mathematics, fulfills part of the mathematics requirement for Liberal Studies/Elementary Education majors.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

The student will

-Explore a variety of basic and useful mathematical models.

-Strengthen and extend basic algebra skills.

-Utilize a graphing calculator as a tool in understanding mathematical models.

-Learn via collaborative work with other students.

-Develop confidence in her mathematical judgment.

METHODS:

Group activities, guided explorations and reflections

Lecture

Discussion

REQUIREMENTS AND ASSIGNMENTS:

Attendance at each class is expected.  While there is no penalty for absences, one’s understanding of the material is usually compromised when classes are missed and subsequently there is a negative impact on one’s grade.

Study each chapter assigned and do follow up exercises.

Assignments and graded class activities (50%), Two 50-minute tests (30%), Comprehensive exam (20%)

94-100% = A, 87-93% = B+, 80-86% = B, 73-79% = C+, 66-72% = C, 59-65% = D

REQUIRED TEXT(S) OR MATERIALS:

-Text: Elementary Mathematical Models by Dan Kalman, The Mathematical Association of America: 1997

-Graphing Calculator: A Texas Instrument graphing calculator (e.g., TI-82, TI-83, TI-83 Plus, TI-84 Plus) is needed. You will be using it every class, for tests and for homework. If you don't already own one, try to borrow one. We have a limited number of calculators available for rental.  (Rental fee: $70 with $50 refunded when the calculator is returned in good condition.) If you want to buy a new calculator, I would recommend the TI-84 Plus. Please call or email me for more information or to reserve a calculator.

RECOMMENDED MATERIALS:

Several colored pencils, a straightedge (ruler)

READINGS AND/OR ASSIGNMENTS TO BE DONE PRIOR TO THE FIRST CLASS:

Read the Overview, pages 1-8 of your text, for a basic introduction to mathematical modeling and to the methods we will be using. Do not worry if the reading is hard going and unclear at times. Just make a note of anything you find unclear or confusing. Most difficulties will naturally clear as we worked through the material of the course. Have your calculator with you and ready to use at the first class.