Course Title Elementary Functions
Instructor Kameryn Williams
kameryn.j.w [ at ] shsu ( period ) edu
Class Hours and Room LDB 208
- M/W 9:00–1:00, T 2:00–3:00, or by appointment.
Office LDB 413
Textbook None required, but the free online OpenStax text Precalculus is a helpful reference
Course Description Elementary Functions and their applications, including topics from algebra, trigonometry, and analytic geometry, are used to assist in the algebraic and graphical description of the following elementary functions: polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions. This course is for students intending to take calculus (Math 1420).
Prerequisite Passing score on MATH TSI Assesment or equivalent.
Course Objectives Math 1410 is designed to meet the objectives of Component Area 2 of the core curriculum and to prepare students for calculus courses. Students completing this course should expect to improve upontheir:
Critical Thinking Skills. Students will analyze and synthesizemathematical concepts and ideas. Students will be able to solve mathematical problems related to the topics of polynomial, rational, exponential, and trigonometric functions.
Mathematical Communication. Students will be able to explainproblem solving processes and logical reasoning in writing.
Quantitative Skills. Students will be able to set up and perform calculations related to polynomial, rational, exponential, and trigonemetric functions.
There are eight learning objectives to master over the course of this class.
Your grade is comprised of two components, a minor component for 1/3 of the overall grade and a major component for 2/3 of the overall grade. The minor component is based on regular assignments like homework while the major component is based on exams.
(34%) Minor Assessment. This is further broken down by assignment type.
(18%) Online Homework
(10%) Written Homework
(6%) In-class Quizzes
(66%) Major Assessment. This is further broken down by learning objective.
(8%) Function algebra
(9%) Pointwise behavior of functions
(9%) Rewriting equations of functions
(9%) Rates of change
(9%) Global behavior of functions
(5%) Inequalities and functions
(9%) Transcendental operations
The point of the breakdown is, these eight objectives are the skills and concepts you should master over the course of this class. Separating your grade by objective makes it easier for you to see where you need to focus your efforts, versus an undifferentiated exam grade.
There will be three midterm exams throughout the semester, plus one cumulative final. Problems on each exam will be split between the eight course objectives, and you will be given scores broken up by objective. Exams are in-class, written, individual efforts.
No calculators nor notes are allowed for exams.
For each midterm exam you have the opportunity to take a makeup exam. In short, to be allowed a retake you must spend time outside of class with tutoring.
In long: The makeup exams are also broken up by objective and you may choose which objectives to makeup. (So, for example, if you aced the Graphing section of the exam you’re not required to do it again.) To be allowed to take a makeup exam you must spend time outside of class with tutoring, either with the Academic Success Center or with my office hours. 1 hour of tutoring allows you to retake up to 3 objectives, and 2 hours of tutoring allows you to retake any number of objectives. For retakes, your score for an objective will only be used if (a) it is higher than your original score for that objective and (b) it is at least 70%.
Unit 1 Midterm: Thursday, September 15
Unit 2 Midterm: Thursday, October 13
Unit 3 Midterm: Thursday, November 10
Cumulative Final: Thursday, December 8, 8:00–10:00
Minor Assessment Policy
Homework will be given online through the free and open source MyOpenMath system. Additionally, you will be asked to write up your solutions for some problems to submit in class. Homework is due weekly, and broken up by topic, but you are strongly encouraged to do homework every day we have class; learning mathematics requires doing it, and you don’t want to struggle with Thursday’s material because you put off learning Monday’s material until the weekend.
Info about how to access the MyOpenMath site for the class can be found on the Blackboard site and the class discord.
For online homework, at the end of the semester I will drop your 8 lowest homework scores. Additionally, MyOpenMath is set up to give each of your 10 “late passes”. These allow you to extend the due date on one topic by 48 hours, giving you a no-questions-asked extension.
Written homework is graded based on completion. At the end of the semester I will drop your 4 lowest written homework scores, so only your highest 10 contribute to the grade.
Quizzes will be given at the end of the second week of each unit. The point of the quizzes is to give you early feedback on your mastery of the material before you take the exam for the unit. At the end of the semester I will drop your lowest quiz score, so only your highest 3 contribute to the grade.
There is no textbook required, but the free online OpenStax text Precalculus is a helpful reference. Let me also reiterate here that the online homework system for the class is also free.
In sum, the cost of required books, materials, etc. for this class is $0. I suggest you look into what your books for other classes cost and, if it would save you money overall, opt out of the bookstore’s Bearkat Bundle program. This program charges you a flat fee based on your total credits taken each semester to provide you with required textbooks, etc. If you have other classes which, like this one, cost significantly less than the Bearkat Bundle credit fee (approx. $27 per credit), you could save money by opting out of the program and buying your books yourself.
No portion of your grade is directly based on attendance. That said, I strongly advise you to attend every class. Like most math classes, the material in this class builds upon itself, so that if you fall behind early it is very difficult to get back on track.
Additionally, quizes and tests will be held in-class, so you must attend for those.
Communication Policy and Office Hours
Announcements will be posted to the public course website and class discord. I will use blackboard only for the gradebook feature.
There is a discord server for this course, which is a place to contact me, ask questions, and discuss course material with your classmates. You can also email me, but that is less likely to be seen as quickly. If you do email me, please mention the class number (Math 1410) in the subject of the message.
Office hours are held multiple times in the week, to give you an opportunity to ask questions and receive help in-person outside of class time. If you prefer to meet virtually via zoom, or to meet at a different time, please contact me to arrange that.
Per the governor’s orders, the university is not allowed to require you to vaccinate nor institute a mask mandate. That aside, I encourage you to get vaccinated, including booster shot(s), if you have not yet already done so. You can get vaccinated through the Student Health Center, who also offer covid testing. Both vaccines and testing through the SHC are free of cost.
The CDC recommends indoor masking in areas with significant or high transmission rates.
If you have a positive covid test, or have strong reason to think you may have covid pending a test, you should self-isolate. Contact me so I know you will miss class and we can work out how you can continue to follow class progress during your quarantine.
The work you present is expected to be your own. For many majors, mathematics classes form part of the core base of skills you need to succeed in later classes, and you are harming the future version of yourself if you try to avoid learning the material for this class.
Cheating, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty are not tolerated.
Students with disabilities are legally entitled to reasonable accommodations to ensure equal access to education. Any student who feels they may need accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the Students with Disabilities office. I am committed to providing students with equal access to this class, and am happy to work with you to ensure reasonable accommodations. Because the accommodations offered are usually forward-looking modifications rather than mitigating poor grades you may have already received due to your disability, it is important to get in touch with the office as soon as you can. Further information and contact details can be found on their website.
The ADA defines a disability as a medical condition that substantially limits one or more major life activities—including things like walking sleeping, taking care of yourself, learning, and regulating your emotions—or major bodily functions. If you have a medical condition—including mental health conditions—that significantly interferes with your schoolwork, you probably qualify. You do not need to disclose your condition to your instructors to receive accommodations.
Other Campus Resources
The Student Health Center offers healthcare resources to students, including covid vaccines and testing.
The Counseling Center offers counseling services to students.
The Academic Success Center offers tutoring and other academic support to students.
The on-campus food pantry supports students who face food insecurity.
Further information about campus-wide policies for all classes, can be found at this site.