Welcome to MATH 103

My FaceThis is a classic Face-to-Face class and we meet entirely in person. There will be no online discussions and if you have a question you can ask in class or email me at

I will post handouts and hyperlinks to videos for the class on this web page which is accessible through the URL http://math103.ml

Please bookmark (favorites) this URL in your browser so that you can easily return to it as the course progresses.

So lets get started…

This is a fast paced mathematics course in an 8 week session.

I recommend you allocate approximately 20 hours per week to this course:

If you have a day job, I recommend that you enroll only in this course this session, because there will be a lot of homework. Unfortunately, UMUC is not enforcing the prerequisite for this course which is MATH012 and unprepared students may feel uncomfortable in this course. I give you this warning notification so you can properly allocate time for the course. The course has a common final exam for all UMUC sections worldwide. Therefore, I must remain on schedule to cover all topics.

Before the first class, I recommend that you print the latest updated version of the syllabus that can be found in the LEO classroom or here. Also print all Week 1 materials which are posted as PDF files below.

ebook UMUC has moved to free online resources to support all courses and Will Tenney a UMUC faculty member has written a 433 page eBook titled Math for Today’s World. The eBook is a work in progress and the latest version is available for free download in the LEO Course Resources. The eBook contains examples and exercises for each section that we will use for the course. Answers to all odd numbered exercises are in the appendix at the end of the book. You are required to do the specified exercises at the end of each section, which will be odd numbered problems so you can check your answers.

Please acquire the following items before the first class:

I recommend that you get started with Week 1 content today, by clicking Week 1 in the navigation bar above or scrolling down.

Robert Laurie

Week 1: Number Theory and the Real Number System

When did you learn Laws, Fractions, Ratios, Area?

This week we will be covering Number Theory and the Real Number System which is covered in Math103 eBook Chapter 1. The most important item to remember this week is the order of operation, which is described the acronym P E MD AS.

It is very important to do all assigned exercises in your homework notebook. Use enough paper to show the complete step-by-step process for each exercise. Chapter 1 is very important so that you have a firm foundation to build upon for the rest of the course. For the first week I have created a Chapter 1 Exercise Solutions handout, which provides more detail then the answer key in the appendix. The focus for the first four weeks of the course is Algebra and links to informative YouTube videos for the Algebra content are displayed below for each of these four weeks.

Please download and print the following before class this week:

Direct Links to YouTube Videos:

Read and reflect on the topic of Math Anxiety which is described on the web page: math.about.com/od/reference/a/anxiety.htm

Week 2: Algebra: Linear Equations and Inequalities

Which grade did you learn this in?

This week we will be covering the topics of Algebra of Linear Equations and Inequalities, which is covered in eBook Chapters 2 and 3.

Please download and print the following before class this week:

Direct Links to YouTube Videos:

Test 1 is scheduled for next week first class and will cover content from or eBook Chapters 1, 2, and 3. Test 1 is closed book, but you are permitted to bring in one half page of single sided handwritten notes that is 8.5 inches x 5.5 inches. I suggest you simply take a standard letter size paper and fold it in half. You can add to these notes in Test 2 and 3. You need to bring pencil, eraser, and calculator to Test 1. You may download and view Sample Test 1 available as a PDF file with answers attached.

Week 3: Quadratic Equations, Graphing, and Functions

Fast Algebra Technique

This week we will begin with Test 1, which will cover content from eBook Chapters 1, 2, and 3. Test 1 is closed book, but you are permitted to bring in one half page of handwritten notes on one side of an 8.5 inches x 5.5 inches area. I suggest you simply take a standard letter size paper and fold it in half. You can add to these notes for test 2 and 3. You may download and view Sample Test 1 available as a PDF file with answers attached.

After Test 1, we will continue with eBook Chapter 4 covering the important topic of Quadratic Equations to include polynomial operations, factoring, and the Quadratic Formula.

A quadratic equation is a polynomial equation of the second degree, having the general form:

Quadratic Equation

The letters a, b and c are called coefficients: a is the coefficient of x2, b is the coefficient of x, and c is the constant coefficient. A quadratic equation has two solutions (i.e., solutions for the unknown term x). In some cases, these solutions can have the same value. The values of the solutions can be computed using the quadratic formula as shown below:

Quadratic Equation

For example, the solutions of the quadratic equation

Quadratic Equation

can be determined by first substituting 2 for a, -14 for b, and 20 for c in the quadratic forumula

Quadratic Equation

and then solving the expression, which gives the solutions of the equation as x = 5 and x = 2.

As the week progresses we will cover eBook Chapter 5.1 covering Cartesian coordinate graphing and functions. You will plot points, lines, and functions on graph paper.

Please download and print the following before class this week:

Geogebra is a freeware graphing program that can be downloaded and installed from www.geogebra.org. It is helpful to to be able to graph various mathematical functions using graphing software and to check your homework solutions.

Direct Links to YouTube Videos:

The ac-Method is a very systematic factoring method that allows you to factor trinomial mathematical expressions. Once you understand how to use the ac-method you can usually find the factors much quicker than FOIL. I found several videos on youtube.com covering the ac-Method. Try working out the exercises illustrated in these videos to understand the step-by-step factoring process. Then try it on homework exercises. If you find a different video that is helpful and easy to understand please email me and provide a hyperlink.

Week 4: Graphing Functions and 2-Variable Equations

Fast Algebra Technique

This week we will finish eBook Chapter 5 covering the following topics:

Please download and print the following before class this week:

Geogebra is a freeware graphing program that can be downloaded and installed from www.geogebra.org. It is helpful to to be able to graph various mathematical functions using graphing software and to check your homework solutions.

Test 2 is scheduled for next week first class, and will cover content since the last test in sections from eBook Chapters 4 and 5. Test 2 is closed book, but you are permitted to bring in one page of single sided handwritten notes that is 8.5 inches x 11 inches. You need to bring pencil, eraser, and calculator to Test 2. You may download Sample Test 2 which I used in class last year.

Direct Links to YouTube Videos:

Week 5: Financial Mathematics

Fast Algebra Technique

Test 2 will be at the beginning of first class, so do not be late. It will cover content since Test 1. Test 2 is closed book, but you are permitted to bring in one page of single sided handwritten notes that is 8.5 inches x 11 inches. You need to bring pencils, eraser, and calculator to Test 2. You may download and try this Sample Test 2 which I used in class previously.

Financial Mathematics will be the topic this week and after Test 2 we will begin to discuss eBook Chapter 6 covering the following financial mathematics topics:

Please download and print the following before class this week:

Direct Links to YouTube Videos:

Week 6: Probability Theory

Fast Algebra Technique

Probability Theory will be covered this week, with applications to situation analysis, risk tolerance, and gambling. We will be covering the following topics described in eBook Chapter 7 section numbers:

Please download and print the following before class this week:

Rolling two Dice program:

Test 3 is scheduled for next week, and will cover content since the last test in sections from eBook Chapters 6 and 7. Test 3 is closed book, but you are permitted to bring in the Formula Sheet. You need to bring pencils, eraser, and calculator to Test 3. You may download Sample Test 3 which I used in class last year and practice.

Week 7: Statistics

Fast Algebra Technique

Test 3 will be at the beginning of first class, so do not be late. It will cover content from eBook Chapters 6 and 7. Test 3 is closed book, but you are permitted to bring in the Formula Sheet. You need to bring pencils, eraser, and calculator to Test 3. An example test for Test 3 with answers can be viewed here.

Statistics will be the topic this week after Test 3. The Statistics content is in eBook Chapter 8.

Please download and print the following before class this week:

Your calculator may have a Statistics (STAT) mode that would do the standard deviation calculation after all data values are entered with frequencies. Please consult your Calculator User Manual below:

Week 8: Week 8: Final Exam Time

The Final Exam is the last class of the term. The Final Exam is comprehensive and any material covered in this eight week course may be on the Final Exam. The Final Exam is closed book, but you are permitted to bring in pencils, eraser, calculator, Formula Sheet and z-Score Tables. An example Final Exam and Answers can be downloaded and viewed here.

Please bring your notebook contining homework, which I will examine for borderline grade cases. Please bring your Tests 1, 2, and 3 to me during the final exam time. I re-examine these tests when determining final grades if you are within a few points of the next grade in the course.

I hope you feel are more comfortable with mathematics after taking this course and you will find it a useful skill when you apply it in life situations. It is your best critical thinking skill to help you make financial decisions. Mathematics is the basis of technology development and understanding physical sciences.

I would appreciate if you can do the Course Evaluation in LEO.

Thank you for your participation in the class this term.