MATH 130 Syllabus

College Algebra

Revised: January 2015

Course Description

Real number properties, solving equations, functions, graphs, systems of equations. Three semester hours.


MATH 130 is a C2 (Mathematics) Liberal Studies Course. The learning goals for C2 Courses are that:

  • Student learning will be focused on the development of conceptual understanding rather than computational drill.
  • An assignment in which students display an application of mathematics and/or analytical problem solving will be required.

Course Objectives Specific to Math 130

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Graph simple equations on a rectangular coordinate system;
  • Solve simple equations algebraically and graphically, including the use of a graphing utility;
  • Solve simple verbally stated problems, including variation, by transforming the problem to an appropriate algebraic equation;
  • Graph key basic equations by analyzing intercepts, symmetry and behavior;
  • Transition between algebraic and graphical form of linear and quadratic equations;
  • Transition between x-y notation and function notation, when appropriate;
  • Use properties and transformations of basic functions;
  • Apply knowledge of functions to develop mathematical models of simple data sets;
  • Understand exponential and logarithmic functions, their properties, behavior and applications; and
  • Solve simple systems of linear equations by appropriate methods.


Sullivan and Sullivan, College Algebra: Enhanced with Graphing Utilities, 5e (Pearson Prentice Hall, 2009).

Grading Procedure

Grading procedures and factors influencing course grade are left to the discretion of individual instructors, subject to general university policy.

Attendance Policy

Attendance policy is left to the discretion of individual instructors, subject to general university policy.

Course Outline

  1. Review (2 weeks)
    1. Real Numbers
    2. Algebra Essentials
    3. Polynomials
    4. Factoring Polynomials
    5. nth Roots; Rational Exponents
  2. Graphs, Equations, and Inequalities (2 weeks)
    1. Rectangular Coordinates; Graphing Utilities; Introduction to Graphing Equations
    2. Solving Equations Using Graphing Utility; Linear and Rational Equations
    3. Quadratic Equations
    4. Problem Solving: Interest, Mixture, Uniform Motion, Constant Rate Jobs
  3. Graphs (1.5 weeks)
    1. Intercepts and Symmetry; Graphing Key Equations
    2. Lines
    3. Variation
  4. Systems of Equations and Inequalities (0.5 week)
    1. Systems of Linear Equations: Substitution and Elimination
  5. Functions and Graphs (1.5 weeks)
    1. Functions
    2. The Graph of a Function
    3. Properties of Functions
    4. Library of Functions; Piecewise-Defined Functions
  6. Linear and Quadratic Functions (1 week)
    1. Linear Functions,Their Properties, and Linear Models
    2. Building Linear Models from Data
    3. Quadratic Functions and Their Properties
    4. Building Quadratic Models from Verbal Descriptions and from Data
  7. Exponential and Logarithmic Functions (2.5 weeks)
    1. Exponential Functions
    2. Logarithmic Functions
    3. Properties of Logarithms
    4. Logarithmic and Exponential Equations
    5. Financial Models
  8. Miscellaneous Topics (remaining time) As time allows, the instruction may cover:
    1. Systems of Linear Equations: Determinants (8.3)
    2. Systems of Inequalities (8.7)
    3. Linear Programming (8.8)
    4. Graphing Techniques: Transformations (3.5)
    5. Mathematical Models: Building Functions topics from Chapter 5 (Polynomial and Rational Functions) (3.6)
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