Pierce College Online Math
Math 115.com -- Elementary Algebra
Section #3384 – Spring 2009
Please read (and re-read) this syllabus carefully!!! The answers to almost every question you have can be found
here. Don’t call or write me with an “impossible” problem unless you’ve read this completely!!!!
Class meets in COSC 1512 Thursdays 7:00 P.M. – 8:25 P.M. plus 3 hours 35 minutes TBA per week [To Be Announced]
which is the individual portion of the course you signed up to do when you signed up for this course!!)
Instructor: Allen Epstein
Office: Village 8100
Office Hours: 10:30 – 11:10 AM MW, 4 – 5 PM MW
Contacting me: Best to email me at email@example.com. Office phone – (818) 719-6492 and leave a message
if I’m not there (speak slowly and clearly, especially when pronouncing your name or leaving a phone number.) If you
have a math question, don’t be surprised if I ask you to see me personally or come to class for a detailed explanation.
*******Online attendance is mandatory. If you are not logged on and have not completed the 1 week’s online
homework assignments (the grayed out material on page 2) by Sunday 12:00 noon of the 1 week of class, you
will be automatically excluded for lack of attendance. There are 5 days of mandatory in-class attendance: The 1
day orientation, 3 in-class midterms, and 1 in-class final. Attendance on non-test day class sessions is optional.
The in-class sessions are for me to give you mini lectures on the material showing you the tricks of the math trade for
each assigned section. The majority of the learning will occur between you and the computer and book.
Please Note!!! If you have a math question, ask me – If you have a technical problem or anything that relates to
the computer, call tech support!!!!! (1-800-677-6337)
Book: Beginning Algebra 10/e, Solution Manual, and MyMathLab Student Starter Kit, by Lial.
(ISBN #0-321-52698-8 for the package)
Free Walk-in Math Tutoring: Rooms 1613 (Enter through 1604) and 1512 (check for hours).
THE ONLY COMPUTERS IN SCHOOL THAT WILL WORK ON THIS PROGRAM ARE IN #1512.
How this course works
You will be working on any PC computer that has the appropriate programs (see page 4) installed (check with
me for Mac) (Minimum requirements: Windows 98 and Internet Explorer 5.5 through 6.0) that is connected to the
Internet (at home or room 1512). You will complete all section homework and chapter tests that have been
assigned through the program. All results will be monitored and logged via the Internet on a server maintained by
the Addison Wesley Publishing Company. I will access this data to monitor your progress and to determine the
computer portion of your grade.
Aside from the online homework, I strongly suggest that you practice the problem sets at the end of each
section (for those sections listed on your electronic syllabus) in your textbook. A good rule of thumb is that you
should work every other odd numbered problem in the exercise sets. That is, do #1, 5, 9, 13, … (continue with
this progression until you’ve finished the exercise set).
Although this does not need to be turned in, it is to your advantage to show all steps as if you were planning
to turn it in. If you practice them correctly, your performance on the tests will be greatly improved.
In addition to the chapter tests you take on the computer, you will take three in-class paper midterms and one
final exam (MET) on the days shown below (there will be no makeup exams – tests start promptly at 7:00
P.M. on the days shown -- bring a form 882E scantron for tests and special scantron for MET). Each in-
class paper midterm exam and the cumulative final will be representative of the types of questions in the book
and computer homework. Since many of you may be absent during the lectures, and I won’t know who you by
sight, I must insist that when you turn in each in-class midterm and final you must present a photo** ID**.
Please Note!!! If you have a math question, ask me – If you have a technical problem or anything that
relates to the computer, call tech support!!!!! (1-800-677-6337)
I have posted my previously recorded lectures (for you to review for detailed explanations) at
In-class paper Midterm and Final Schedule:
Midterm #1 – Th 3/5/2009 (covers sections 1.1 through 2.4)
Midterm #2 – Th 4/2/2009 (covers sections 2.5 through 5.2)
Midterm #3 – Th 5/7/2009 (covers sections 5.3 through 7.4)
Final (cumulative – covers entire course constructed by math department) – MET!!! Saturday May 30, 2009 –
Test time TBA
Schedule of Materials to be done from the My Math Lab computer program
Week # Date (Monday) Online Homework & Tests
1 2/9/2009 Section 1.1 Homework Do this block of online material by
Section 1.2 Homework 2/15/2009, Sunday 12:00 noon
Section 1.3 Homework or be excluded!
Section 1.4 Homework
2 2/16/2009 Section 1.5 Homework
Section 1.6 Homework
Section 1.7 Homework
Section 1.8 Homework
Do Online Chapter 1 Test
3 2/23/2009 Section 2.1 Homework
Section 2.2 Homework
Section 2.3 Homework
Section 2.4 Homework
4 3/2/2009 Section 2.5 Homework
Section 2.6 Homework
Section 2.7 Homework
Do Online Chapter 2 Test
Section 3.1 Homework In-class Midterm 1 Th 3/5/2009
5 3/9/2009 Section 3.2 Homework
Section 3.3 Homework
Section 3.4 Homework
Section 3.5 Homework
6 3/16/2009 Section 3.6 Homework
Do Online Chapter 3 Test
Section 4.1 Homework
Section 4.2 Homework
Section 4.3 Homework
7 3/23/2009 Section 4.4 Homework
Section 4.5 Homework
Do Online Chapter 4 Test
Section 5.1 Homework
Section 5.2 Homework
8 3/30/2008 Section 5.3 Homework
Section 5.4 Homework
Section 5.5 Homework
Section 5.6 Homework In-class Midterm 2 Th 4/2/2009
9 4/13/2009 Section 5.7 Homework
Do Online Chapter 5 Test
Section 6.1 Homework
Section 6.2 Homework
10 4/20/2009 Section 6.3 Homework
Section 6.4 Homework
Section 6.5 Homework
Section 6.6 Homework
Do Online Chapter 6 Test
11 4/27/2009 Section 7.1 Homework
Section 7.2 Homework
Section 7.3 Homework
Section 7.4 Homework In-class Midterm 3 Th 5/7/2009
12 5/4/2009 Section 7.5 Homework
Section 7.6 Homework
Section 7.7 Homework
Do Online Chapter 7 Test
13 5/11/2009 Section 8.1 Homework
Section 8.2 Homework
Section 8.3 Homework
14 5/18/2009 Section 8.4 Homework
Section 8.5 Homework
Section 8.6 Homework
Section 8.7 Homework
15 5/25/2009 Section 9.1 Homework
Section 9.3 Homework
Section 9.5 Homework
MET Final Saturday Time TBA Sat 5/30/2009 ( ???? AM/PM)
Math Department Zero Tolerance Cheating Policy
Cheating in this class is defined as knowingly or unknowingly participating in the submission of unoriginal work for any
assignment, quiz, or test.
If it is determined that a student has cheated in this class, the instructor is required to fill out an Academic Dishonesty
Report Form, and submit it to the Mathematics chair who will forward the report to the VP of Student Services for
disciplinary action which may include suspension or expulsion. In addition to sending the report, the instructor may take
the following actions:
1) Assign a non-replaceable fail grade for the assignment, quiz, or test even if doing so results in the impossibility of the
student to pass the class.
2) Deduct an amount of points, as specified in the syllabus (100 points), from the student’s overall total points for a
Conduct Code violation even if doing so results in the impossibility of the student to pass the class.
3) Dismiss the student for the remainder of the class session and/or the next class session.
About online classes:
Warning!! This class is designed for students who need a “minor tune-up” in math. If you need a “major
overhaul” you should strongly consider taking a lecture class! Also, you really must be self-motivated to succeed
in this class. You must regulate your time, and be responsible for achieving the goals of the course. Do not
procrastinate, or you will fall so far behind you can never catch up! If you did not realize this class was to be run
in this format consider carefully whether to stay or transfer to another section. The “cutoff time” for all
computer work (homework and chapter tests) is 8 P.M. on the night before the MET!
Calculator usage: Non-Graphing calculators are allowed on the 2 and 3 and in-class tests only.
How to optimize your computer (at least Windows 98 and Internet Explorer 5.5 through 6.0) at home to use the
Addison Wesley MyMathLab software. (If you are working at Pierce we already have our computers optimized).
The following steps are included in detail in your Student User Manual:
1) While connected to the Internet using Internet Explorer, go to: www.mymathlab.com.
2) Click on the “Support” button/link.
3) This will bring you to the MyMathLab Installation Wizard screen. From the drop-down menu, select the author
and textbook in use (Lial, Beginning Algebra 10/e)
4) After selecting the correct textbook, click on the “Submit” button and follow the directions on the pop-up
window. This will guide you through installing all of the necessary plug-ins (MathXL Player, RealOne Player,
Adobe Acrobat Reader, Macromedia Shockwave and Flash. This page will also give you the system
5) If you run into trouble contact tech support:
1-800-677-6337. All times listed below are PST:
Mon – Fri. 6 AM – 3 PM
How to create a login name and log into this course to work on the materials:
A. Creating your login name and password (you only do this once, and you can do this from any PC computer
with an internet connection): You will need a valid email address. If you don’t have a valid email address you can
register for a free one at www.hotmail.com (type this site into your browser and hit enter). Make sure that you
copy down this address and check your emails daily, as all correspondence will go to the account you are setting
1) Go to www.mymathlab.com
2) Click on the “Register” button
3) Click on the students.pearsoned.com link to register as a student
4) On the new screen, click on the “Register” button, and on the next screen, click “Next”
5) Type in the 6-word access code typed on the cardboard starter kit that was packaged with your text. Don’t
lose that access card before you have created your login name! Hit “next”.
6) Enter your instructor’s CourseID number. The CourseID for this course is: epstein21668
7) Fill in your name and other info; your school zip is 91371. Hit “next”.
8) Select your school from the pull down list (Los Angeles Pierce College). Hit “next”.
9) Create a unique login name (thousands of people are using the login software that MyMathLab is using
so it really has to be unique). But if it is already in use, no worries, you’ll be able to try another name until
it works. Fill in the password (doesn’t have to be unique). Fill in other info. Don’t forget to check off that
you accept their license agreement. Hit “next”.
10) You see a page confirming your registration, and you can now go to http://www.students.pearsoned.com/
to login with the login/password you just created. Once you are logged in, you will see the course that
you are taking listed. Click on your course name, and to begin doing your homework or tests, click either
the “Homework” or “Tests” button located on the left.
What work to do on the computer:
a) Once you log on and get to the main course page, click on the course name listed under “Courses you are
b) The first screen you will see is the Announcements page. If you have not already gone through the
MyMathLab Installation Wizard, click on the link to do so. On the Announcements page you will also have a
link to the Math Tutor Center, which is a toll free number you can call to get live help from a college instructor
(open from 2 pm – 9 pm PST). It is important you scroll down to read all the announcements because here
you can read my responses to your Messages and Help Requests, or important notifications from me.
CHECK THE ANNOUCNEMENTS AT LEAST TWICE A WEEK. This is my main method of communicating
with you – BUT nothing beats coming to class each time we are scheduled to meet!
c) There are two main functions that you will be using within MyMathLab, “Homework” and “Tests”. When you
click the “Homework” button on the left, you will see a link to do your homework assignments. The problems
within the homework assignments offer you several types of tutorials to help you learn the material. Each
problem has both a “View an Example” (which walks you through the problem step-by-step) and a “Help Me
Solve This” (which walks you through the problem step-by-step and asks you to give an answer for each
step) button. Some problems include a “Lecture Video” or an “Animation” that offer additional help. There
is also the “Ask My Instructor” button that allows you to send me an e-mail to ask me any question
regarding that particular problem. You can attempt each problem as many times as you want, and once you
are completed, click on the “Submit Homework” button located at the bottom right of any problem. By doing
this your score will be recorded in your instructors grade book. AFTER COMPLETING THE LAST
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT FOR EACH CHAPTER, MAKE SURE TO TAKE THE CHAPTER TEST
LOCATED IN THE “TESTS” AREA.
d) When you click the “Tests” button on the left, you will see a link to do your chapter tests. You are allowed to
take each test twice, and there is a four-hour limit each time you take a test. If you are satisfied with your test
grade, go on to the next chapter. If you want to try and improve your grade, you may retake a similar test.
Whatever grade you receive on your second attempt will stay as your official grade in that chapter test. Since
these are tests, there is no tutorial help for the problems.
e) About typing in answers: You may type in numbers from your keyboard, and if you need any math symbols, a
palette is located on the left. If the symbol that you are looking for is not visible on the palette, click on the
“More” button to see more math symbols.
f) Also, the Student’s Solutions Manual is available by clicking the “Student Solution Manual” button on the
left. This includes solutions for every other odd section exercise in the textbook.
g) Messages from you to me: You can send me an e-mail either through a problem and clicking the “Ask My
Instructor” button, or click on the “E-mail” button located on the left.
The evaluation items discussed above have the following weight in determining your grade:
Computer homework problems 25%
Chapter tests on the computer 25%
In class paper Midterm exams (3) 30%
In class paper Final exam 20%
Total percentage Your letter grade
*Note: The in-class midterms and final are a “gateway” for getting an A, B, or C in the class. That is, you must
average at least 65% on your in-class midterms and final in order to get an A, B, or C, otherwise you
will receive a D or Fail.
It is your responsibility to drop if you decide not to finish the course. I will be monitoring your computer scores
and I may exclude you if you are not making any progress but do not count on me to do so. If you stop working
on the computer but do not drop and I do not exclude you, your name will appear on the grade roster at the end of
the semester and there will be no choice but to assign you a Failing grade. So be sure to officially drop if you do
not intend to finish the course.
The last day to drop without a W is Saturday, March 6.
The last day to drop with a W is Saturday, May 10.
Please Note!!! If you have a math question, ask me – If you have a technical problem or
anything that relates to the computer, call tech support!!!!! (1-800-677-6337)
Now that you’ve (hopefully) read this syllabus, almost half of you will experience the problem of your computer not
being able to read programs or exercises. Although this is a technical problem, this has happened because you didn’t
install and optimize this program correctly. The following will walk you back through correctly setting up your
1. go to mymathlab.com and click on the “getting started” header
2. on the left side of the new page click (under For Students) “Running the Installation Wizard”
3. on the next page click on the blue link in the text My Math Lab Installation Wizard
4. Select the book (again!): (Lial, Beginning Algebra, 10e) and click submit
Then – CAREFULLY – go through the entire list. Make sure your computer has ALL plugins necessary to internally
“speak” with the Addison Wesley program. Do not skip any steps or your computer will not respond correctly and
access may be denied to your program .