CRN: 3320 Course Information Sheet Fall 2008
MTH 121 Section 114
12:30 – 1:45 TTh SH 513
I. General Information
Instructor: Dr. Laura Adkins Office hours: 9:30 – 10:30 MWF
Office: SH 724 2:00 – 3:00 TTh
Office phone/e-mail: 696-3034 / AdkinsL@marshall.edu
Text: Using and Understanding Mathematics, A Quantitative Reasoning Approach, by Bennett & Briggs (4th Edition)
Additional Supplies: Calculator with a y x (exponent) key
Prerequisites: MAT 097, MAT 097E, MAT 087, or MAT 095; or math ACT > 19, or math SAT > 460; or placement 100
Course Description: Concepts and Applications of Mathematics (3 hours) A course for non-majors that develops
quantitative reasoning skills. Topics include logical thinking, problem solving strategies, linear modeling,
beginning statistics and probability, exponential and logarithmic modeling, financial and geometry concepts.
Course Objectives: Students should …
1. … be able to think critically about quantitative issues covered in the news, particularly issues covered in the newspaper or a weekly
2. … be able to make decisions on quantitative issues that confront them in both their personal lives and in their lives as voting citizens.
3. … be prepared with the quantitative skills needed for subsequent college course work, in particular, for their Integrated Science course.
4. … develop the ability to reason quantitatively and to clearly explain their reasoning in written form, so that they will be prepared for the
challenges of modern careers.
II. Schedule of Topics
A tentative schedule of topics and due dates appears on the last page of this document.
III. Attendance Policy
Attendance records will not be used to compute grades (except possibly in borderline cases). However, there will be
in-class quizzes that cannot be made up unless the absence is excused. Also, missing class can be expected to
significantly reduce your chances of success.
IV. Testing and Grading
A. The following grades will be taken, on the indicated dates.
Essential Skills Quizzes 70 pts. (on-line)* * See page 3 for
In-Class Quizzes 60 pts. (weekly)* explanations of
Homework 70 pts. (weekly)* these grades.
Test 1 100 pts. Thursday, Sept. 18
Test 2 100 pts. Tuesday, Oct. 14
Test 3 100 pts. Thursday, Nov. 6
Final Exam 100 pts. 12:45 – 2:45 PM Tuesday, Dec. 16
Total 600 pts.
B. All make-up tests will be given on a single day, Tuesday, Dec. 2. (See topic D below.)
C. The semester grade will be based on the percentage 90 -100% – A
of the 600 possible points, using the following scale. → 80 - 89% – B This scale MAY
70 - 79% – C be lowered slightly.
60 - 69% – D
0 - 59% – F
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IV. D. Missing Exams
- If you miss a test due to an unexcused absence, you will receive a grade of 0 for that test.
- If you miss a test due to an excused absence, you must provide verification within one week of the test.
You will then be allowed to take the make-up test on Dec. 2.
This test will be SIGNIFICANTLY MORE DIFFICULT than the original test.
- If you cannot be at the final exam, let me know as soon as you know. A missing final exam score means an
automatic grade of F for the course.
- In a case of suspicion, a student may be asked to re-take the test.
- Confirmed cheating will result in a grade of 0 on the test.
Free tutors are on duty in SH 526; a schedule will be posted shortly. Free tutors are also available through University
College, in CTC B4. Call 696-3169, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to www.marshall.edu/uc .
Free tutoring is available for military veterans; contact the VA or see me for information.
The last day to drop this class is Fri. Oct. 31. The last day to withdraw completely for the semester is Tues. Dec. 9.
The list below provides links to information regarding specific policies of the university.
Students with disabilities who require special accommodations:
http://www.marshall.edu/www/ugradcat/PDF/05_08.pdf (p. 88)
Computing Services Acceptable Use Policy:
http://www.marshall.edu/www/ugradcat/PDF/05_08.pdf (pp. 89–90)
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ESSENTIAL SKILLS QUIZZES
There will be 7 of these quizzes, covering skills we consider essential. Each quiz will be worth 10 points, for a total
of 70 points.
You will be responsible for taking these quizzes on-line on your own time. You can take the quizzes in any order, at
any time, as long as you complete all of them by the end of the semester. However, in order to avoid getting behind,
you may want to consider the suggested schedule of completion dates given in the table below.
Preparing for the Essential Skills Quizzes:
There is a Sample Quiz corresponding to each individual quiz. These have been posted on WebCT, along
with their solutions. You can use these Sample Quizzes to help you prepare before you take the quiz.
If you need additional preparation, the table below provides additional reference material in your textbook.
If you need even more preparation, you are welcome to use my office hours for this purpose.
Grading the Essential Skills Quizzes:
If you are dissatisfied with your score on any quiz, you may try again on up to a total of 3 attempts on each
quiz. There will be no penalty for re-taking a quiz.
Number Topic Reference
1 Basic Operations Thurs. 8-28 Sample Quiz 1
2 Fractions Thurs. 9-11 Sample Quiz 2 Text pp. 86-87
3 Powers & Roots Thurs. 9-18 Sample Quiz 3 Text pp. 105, 253-254
4 Scientific Notation Tues. 9-30 Sample Quiz 4 Text pp. 105, 156
5 Algebra Thurs. 10-16 Sample Quiz 5 Text p. 240
7 Graphs Thurs. 10-23 Sample Quiz 7 Text: 5C, 5D, 6A, 6C
6 Logarithms Thurs. 11-20 Sample Quiz 6 Text pp. 531, 588
There will be at least 10 quizzes given in class, each worth 6 points.
There will be a quiz once a week, generally on Thursday, unless a test interferes.
This should allow for 10 to 12 quizzes. If there are more than 10 quizzes, then only the 10 highest scores will be used
for your grade.
If you miss a quiz, you must provide documentation of an excused absence in order to be allowed to make up the
quiz. In-class quizzes missed because of unexcused absences cannot be made up.
There will be at least 10 homework assignments collected during the semester, each worth 7 points. These will also
be approximately once a week, and only the 10 highest scores will be used for your grade.
Each of these assignments will be given to you on a sheet of paper with instructions and a due date. (This will allow
you to distinguish between practice exercises and collected homework.)
These homework assignments will generally involve writing skills. They will be graded on the quality of your
writing as well as your use of the relevant quantitative skills. So pay attention to spelling, grammar, sentence
Homework assignments will be accepted late, but there will be a 1-point deduction for each week that the assignment
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MTH 121 (Section 114): Tentative Calendar Fall 2008
Date Topic d Essential Date Topic d Essential
Skills Quiz Skills Quiz
8-26 Prologue: Literacy for the 10-21 5C: Statistical Tables & Graphs
Modern World (MidTerm Grades Due Mon)
1A: Recognizing Fallacies 10-23 5E: Correlation & Causality 7: Graphs
8-28 1B: Propositions and Truth 1: Basic 6A: Characterizing Data
10-28 6B: Measures of Variation
9-2 1C: Sets and Venn Diagrams
10-30 6C: The Normal Distribution
9-4 1D: Analyzing Arguments 6D: Statistical Inference
(1E: Critical Thinking in Everyday Life) (Last Day to Drop)
9-9 2A: The Problem-Solving 11-4 REVIEW
Power of Units
2B: Standardized Units: More 11-6 TEST 3
9-11 2C: Problem-Solving 2: Fractions
7A: Fundamentals of
Guidelines and Hints Probability
9-16 REVIEW 11-11 7A: Fundamentals of
9-18 TEST 1 3: Powers
11-13 7B: Combining Probabilities
7C: The Law of Large
9-23 3A: Uses and Abuses of Numbers
Percentages 11-18 8A: Growth: Linear versus
9-25 SCIENTIFIC NOTATION Exponential
3B: Putting Numbers in LOGARITHMS
Perspective 11-20 8B: Doubling Time and Half- 6: Log-
9-30 3C: Dealing with Uncertainty 4: Scientific Life arithms
8D: Logarithmic Scales:
10-2 4B: The Power of Earthquakes, Sound, & Acids
Compounding 11-25 THANKSGIVING BREAK
4C: Savings Plans and
Investments 11-27 NO CLASSES
10-7 4D: Loan Payments, Credit
Cards, and Mortgages 12-2 9A: Functions - The Building
10-9 REVIEW Blocks of Mathematical
9B: Linear Modeling
10-14 TEST 2
12-3 9C: Exponential Modeling
10-16 5A: Fundamentals of Statistics 5: Algebra
5B: Should You Believe a Tuesday
12:45 – 2:45 Final Exam
Statistical Study? 12-16
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