College Algebra

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Spring 2015
Bolin Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

TR 12:30--1:50 PM

Dr. Sarah Cobb (view Profile)


A Graphical Approach to College Algebra

Course Objectives

 Equations, inequalities, rational expressions, exponents, logarithms, radicals, functions, graphs, and systems of equations. This course is designed for students planning to take additional mathematics.

Course Expectations

Homework: Homework will be divided into two parts: recommended and required. Both parts will be assigned most class periods.
--Recommended homework will consist of several problems from the book. These will generally be odd problems with answers in the back of the book. Working through these will help you to master the material.
--Required homework problems will generally be two to four even numbered problems from the book or problems not directly from the book. These will be handed in each class period and graded for correctness and presentation. All work should be shown neatly and clearly. The problem should be presented in such a way that your peers could easily follow your argument even if they have not seen that particular problem before. You are welcome to work with classmates on the homework, but the final write-up should be your own work. Your lowest five homework scores will be dropped. Late homework will not be accepted for any reason.
Quizzes: A brief quiz will be given at the beginning of each class period. These will also be used as your record of attendance. Minimal or no partial credit will be given. Some quizzes will require a calculator; it is therefore recommended you bring a calculator to every class. Sharing calculators is not allowed. Your lowest five quiz scores will be dropped. No other accommodation will be made for missed quizzes except in cases of school excused absence, serious prolonged illness, or other unavoidable situations.
Exams: The three midterm exams will be on February 24, April 9, May 5, in class. If you must miss an exam, please let me know at least two weeks ahead of the test date and arrange to take the test early. Accommodations with less notice will be made only for unforeseeable emergencies where notice is given as soon as possible.
The final is Tuesday, May 12, 10:30--12:30 and cannot be taken early or late for anything but the most dire emergencies.

Grading Standards

Your grade will be computed based on homework, quizzes, and exams:

Homework 10%

Quizzes 10%

Midterm exams 45% 

Final exam 35%


Your final grade will be based on the percentage attained:

A:  at least 90%

B:  80–90%

C:  70–80%

D: 60–70%

F: Less than 60% 


Final Exam

05/12/2015 10:30 AM

Submission Format Policy

All homework should be turned in on paper, in class, and should be neatly presented.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

No late work will be accepted.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

You are expected to attend class every day, be present for the entire class period, and actively engage the material. More than six absences for any reason may be cause for being dropped from the course.

Other Policies

Supplemental Instruction: This course will have SI sessions meeting three times each week (dates and times to be announced.) These optional sessions will be led by a math major and are designed to help you succeed in class. You are strongly encouraged to attend at least one session each week.
Computers: I do not allow the use of computers in the classroom. This includes laptops, cell phones, tablets, and other similar devices. Students using such devices will be asked to leave the class. If this policy is a serious problem for you, please talk to me. (Calculators, of course, are allowed.)
Calculators: You will need a graphing calculator for this class. I recommend and will be using a TI-84, but any graphic calculator will work. Some portions of quizzes and exams must be completed without a calculator.
Working Together: Collaborating on homework is allowed and encouraged. You should write the problems up on your own, however. Working together on quizzes or exams, of course, is not allowed. 
Classroom Behavior: Please be respectful in the classroom. Don't sleep, talk to each other, do homework, eat noisy food, text your friends, use a computer, or anything else that might distract you or your fellow students. Anyone disrupting class will be asked to leave.
Academic Misconduct: Cheating on any work in this course will result in no credit for that work. Egregious or repeated incidents may result in more serious consequences, including a failing grade in the course or dismissal from your academic program. All incidents of academic misconduct will be reported as specified in your student handbook.
Changes: Parts of this syllabus may alter in the course of the semester.  Whenever possible, I will both announce this in class and send an email to the address listed in Banner.  You are responsible for knowing everything I email to this address as well as everything I say in class.  If it is unavoidable that you miss class, make sure you talk to someone who was there.
Office hours: Working with individual students is the best part of teaching. I hope that you will come to my office hours. I have scheduled office hours each week, listed above. If your schedule conflicts with these, send me an email and we can set up another time. 
Communicating with me: The best way to reach me is by email (my address is on page 1). I will generally respond to email within 24 to 48 hours. I will also be in my office during my office hours and often at other times; you should feel free to drop by. Any communication not in writing or by email should be considered unofficial.
ADA statement: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.
D2L: This course will have an active D2L page. You should look there for homework assignments, grades on quizzes and exams, review materials, and announcements.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at