90738 MTH 1002A - 0 - Fundamentals of Mathematics

Fall 2010
Tuesday, Thursday, 11:30 am - 12:51 pm, KSC 101
Herbert J. Bernstein (yaya@dowling.edu)



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This is the syllabus for one section of MTH 1002A for Fall 2010. As the course moves forward, students should return to this page frequently for updated material. This syllabus is based on course materials by Prof. John Vargas, Prof. F. Rispoli, Prof. A. Nese and Prof. P. Ratner, whose assistance is gratefully acknowledged. This syllabus applies only to the specified section. Students taking other sections should consult the course materials for those sections.

Catalog description:

MTH 1002A. Fundamentals of Mathematics

3 credits

This course is a prerequisite for MTH 1006. The course emphasizes problem solving strategies as applied to problems involving linear equations, linear inequalities, simultaneous linear systems, optimization, interest, and counting techniques. Offered: 2008-2010.

This Section

This Fall 2010 section is:

Fund of Mathematics ( 3.00 ) 90738 MTH 1002A - 0
College: Arts & Sciences
Department: Math & Comp Science Department
Days Time Location Schedule Type Date Range
TR 11:30 am - 12:51 pm Oakdale KSC 101 Lecture Sep 01, 2010 - Dec 18, 2010

Diagnostic Quiz

In order to help evaluate student preparation for this course, there will be a special diagnostic quiz during the second meeting of this course. This diagnostic quiz will be evaluated but will not count towards the student's grade in the course.


Office Hours:

The hours on this page start on Wednesday, 1 September 2010. There is no schedule on days on which Dowling is closed and on:

In particular this class will not meet on Thursday, 9 September 2010, Tuesday, 2 November 2010 and Thursday, 25 November 2010. See HJB_Contact_Info.html

If at all possible, please use email to schedule meetings in advance to avoid conflicts with other students and other obligations of the instructor.

Please note that excellent tutors are available at the Academic Service Center (ASC) at the Racanelli Center, +1-631-244-3141. Students are encouraged to make use of the ASC. Tutoring, drill and working in study groups are very helpful in mastering mathematics.

Text and required materials:

The text book is expensive, but you really need it to get through the course. I recommend forming study groups, sharing copies of the text, working together on problems and in creating the notes you will need for exams.

Students must have access to textbooks in time to complete their first assignment which is due at the third meeting of the class.

  • Calculator: Each student should have access to a computer or to a calculator to do exercises for this class. The computer should have a modern spreadsheet program. The calculator should be a "scientific calculator" or a "graphing calculator" or a "business calculator". (You will need to be able to compute logarithms and exponentials). Students are advised to bring a portable computer or calculator to examinations and are encouraged to bring a portable computer or calculator to class.


    Attendance will be taken at all class meetings. All absences must be explained in writing (or via email). Students who miss 2 or more lectures must meet with the instructor to review their progress in the course. As per department policy students who miss more than 2 lectures before the midterm will be given a midterm warning and be advised to withdraw. Grades will be reduced for unexcused absences (see grading policy, below).

    Daily Quizzes:

    In order to help students put in the level of attention and continuous effort required to derive full benefit from the course, a short quiz (1-4 questions, 5-10 minutes) will be given at the start of each class meeting. Eighty percent of these quizzes will be counted towards the course grade (see below). The remaining twenty percent of these quizzes will count as extra credit. There will be no makeups for these quizzes. You may use notes for the quizzes. You may not use the textbook itself for the quizzes.

    In order to prepare for these quizzes, students will have to do the assigned readings and problems in advance of the lectures. This is not high school. All students are expected to put in at least 9 hours per week of serious effort working on the material for this course in addition to the time in class.


    Students will expected to read all pages in all assignments, do all problems in relevant chapters of the text, and prepare notes. It is the notes, rather than the problems that will have to be produced to complete the assignments. Periodicially, selected subsections of your notes will have to be turned in for review. Be sure to put your name and email address on each and every page of your notes. The ability to do problems will be checked with the daily quizzes. Some of you will not be able to do all of the reading and problems on time. Do as many problems from each section as you can, and be certain to catch up and do all of the problems as quickly as possible, but you must have your notes ready on time for each reading assignment. The notes you produce and use must be written in your own hand. Printed or photocopied notes will not be accepted. Forming study groups will help in text book sharing, doing problems and preparing notes, but you must give credit to anyone who helps you with any given asignment, especially if you copy notes from another student.

    Grading Policy:

    • Notes: 10%
    • Daily quizzes: 20%
    • Midterm: 30%
    • Comprehensive Final: 40%

    Note that the diagnostic quiz given during the first meeting of this class does not count towards the course grade.

    All students will be required to actively participate in classroom discussions and to work problems at the board in class. The daily quizzes will be closed book, open-notes, open computer/calculator. The mid-term and final will be closed book, open notes, open computer/calaculator.

    In general, no assignments will be accepted late and no makeups will be given for missed quizzes or examinations. Requests for exceptions to this policy will be considered only for the most pressing reasons (illness requiring hospitalization, death in the family, reserve call-up, etc.), must be submitted in writing or by email in a timely manner, and will be granted only if the instructor has sound reason to believe that the student is highly likely to master the material of the course within the current semester.


    Students are warned that most high schools do not provide students with adequate preparation in Mathematics for them to be able to take this course. Dowling offers a course, DVM 0001, which helps to provide the necessary preparation. If you have great difficulty with the diagnostic quiz, and/or find if difficult to read the text book and keep up with the problems, you should consider switching to a section of DVM 0001 and taking this course when you are better prepared.

    Course Objectives

    • To review and strengthen basic numeracy skills
    • To review and strengthen basic algebra skills
    • To learn to add, subtract, multiply and divide polynomials
    • To learn to factor polynomials
    • To learn to solve linear equations
    • To learn to solve quadratic equations
    • To learn to solve linear inequalities
    • To learn to solve equations involving absolute values
    • To learn to graph lines, circles and other simple equations
    • To learn to solve problems involving interest, annuities, growth and decay.

    Course Topics and Reading Assignments