MATH 104 - College Algebra

Centenary College of Louisiana
110 Wright Building
MWF 9-9:50 - Fall 2008

Instructor: Dr. Mark Goadrich

Contact Info
104 Wright Building
(318) 869-5194

Office Hours
MW 10-12, TR 10-11
or by appointment

Overview | Syllabus | Homework | Project | Exams | Grading

What's New

Course Details


Explorations in College Algebra (3rd Edition)
by Linda Almgren Kime, Judith Clark and Beverly K. Michael, 2005
ISBN: 978-047146576-8
Find this book at Amazon


In this course we will be finding patterns in real world data and abstracting these to understand mathematical functions and relations. This course is a study of elementary mathematical models using linear functions, exponential functions, logarithms, and data analysis, including the study of regression lines. This course will also prepare you for Math 107: Elementary Functions.

Course Outcomes

  1. Represent real-life problems through the use of mathematical formulas

    You will abstract patterns in data into linear, exponential and logarithmic functions.

  2. Solve problems using symbolic manipulation

    You will use the mathematics of statistics and algebra to analyze changing quantities.

  3. Interpret the meaning of mathematical representations (such as calculations, graphs and equations)

    You will present interpretations of mathematics through homework, discussion, exams and an individual project.

  4. Verify the validity of a mathematical argument

    You will analyze mathematical arguments made about issues of public policy and social concern.


A graphing calculator that can do linear regression is required for this course. I will be using a Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus Silver Edition in class, but any TI-83 or TI-84 should be fine.

Laptop Usage

We will be using laptops from the Mathematics Department to explore the modeling aspects of college algebra, through using Microsoft Excel and Maple.


Active participation in class discussions will comprise 5% of your final grade. This will be awarded for answering questions, asking questions, presenting material, etc.

Extra Credit

Extra credit for this course can be earned by participating in the Centenary Math Problem of the Week (POTW). Each reasonable submission will be worth an additional 0.5% toward your final grade; CC me with your submission for credit.


Centenary assures students with disabilities equal opportunity to reach the same level of achievement as other students. Strict confidentiality will be maintained on students with disabilities. Services for students with disabilities are available through the Counseling Center, located on the ground floor of Rotary Residence Hall, phone (318) 869-5424.

Honor Code

All students are bound by the Honor System. The Honor System is applicable to all academic work. See the Centenary College Handbook for the complete Honor Code.


Extensions and rescheduling for homework, exams and the project are only given when circumstances beyond your control (e.g. being sick, choir or sports travel) prevent you from completing a project on time. You must notify me either by email or phone of your circumstances well in advance of the due date. No extensions are given for requests made within three days of the due date.


We will be covering most of the material in the textbook from Chapters 1-6 and partially Chapter 7. You should view your textbook as another perspective on the material presented in class. We will also be using additional supplemental material such as relevant web-pages and background material. Readings will be assigned before material will be covered in class. You are expected to review the material and come to class prepared. As readings are assigned, they will be posted here.


Each week I will assign homework related to the concepts from that lecture. Homework will be due the following Tuesday at 4:00 pm. You may give the homework to me in person or slip it under my door.

Some important notes on homework:

  1. Your solutions must be your own work in your own words, and you must follow the honor code. However, you can receive aid from anyone as long as you credit them on each problem where you were assisted. You may discuss the problems in groups, consult tutors or myself, but your work must be written and understood by you.

  2. You must show your work on all problems. If you only turn in solutions without work, you will not receive full credit for the assignment, and may receive a zero if this happens frequently.

  3. Each homework will be worth a variable amount of points depending on the number of problems assigned. Your score for the Homework section of your final grade will be calculated by dividing the total points you earned by the total points possible.
Assignments for Homework will be shown below.


There will be a final project in this course, worth 15% of your final grade.

You must work with a partner on this project. You may discuss concepts and ideas with your other classmates, but ultimately the work you turn in must be from both of you alone. You will be graded not only on correctness, but also technique, documentation and evaluation of your project. More details on the project, such as selection of a dataset and appropriate tools, can be found at the link below:

Term Project Description

Presentation Days

Wednesday Dec 10th

Friday Dec 12th


There will be four exams (including the final exam), each worth 15% of your final grade.


Your final grade for this course will be based on the Homework, Project, Exams and Participation described above.
Grading Scale

© Mark Goadrich, Centenary College of Louisiana