Math 1011, Fall 2009

Instructor: Dr. Rachel Hall
Office: 229 Barbelin
Office Hours: M 2:30-4, W 2-3:30, F 1-2 and by appointment
Telephone: (610) 660-3096 (Office)
E-mail: rhall@sju.edu

Course Description: This course aims to strengthen and expand your understanding of fundamental mathematical topics, including number systems, number theory, geometry, exponential functions, and mathematical reasoning.  Along the way, we discuss the origins of mathematics in several world cultures and the role and relevance of mathematics today.

Prerequisite: None.  If you have concerns about your placement in this class, please discuss them with me in the first week of classes.

Text: There is no textbook for this course.  I will bring handouts and post reading materials on our class Blackboard site.

Other supplies: You will need a scientific calculator that can perform basic functions such as square roots.  You do not need a graphing calculator.  You should bring your calculator to class.  You will need a straightedge and compass for the unit on geometry.  Also, please use pencils to complete homework and tests.

Homework:  Learning mathematics, like learning to play a musical instrument or becoming a good athlete, requires practice. Homework problems will be posted on the course web page.  You should start working on the homework problems for a section as soon as we cover that section in class.  Although you may consult with other students and seek help from me, the homework you hand in should represent your own work. Answers unsupported by work will not receive credit.  Be sure to cite all sources properly, including internet sources. Homework assignments are due in class on the day assigned.  Late homework:  Photocopies of late homeworks may be turned in before the assignment is returned to the class but will not be graded until the end of the semester.  If you turn in an assignment late, keep the original copy for your records.

Quizzes:  There will be 15-minute quizzes given in class every Friday when there is not an exam.  Quizzes are based on readings, lectures, in-class work, and homework problems.  There are no makeup quizzes, but your lowest two grades will be dropped.

Tests: There will be three tests, scheduled for September 25, October 16, and November 23.  A cumulative final exam will be given during finals week.   Makeup tests will only be given to students who contact me by email (rhall@sju.edu) or phone (610-660-3096) within 48 hours of missing a test.  Students with a valid, verifiable reason for missing a test or the final may take a makeup without penalty if they bring validation; those who have missed a test without a valid, verifiable reason may take a makeup with a 30% penalty, assuming that they contact me within 48 hours.   Valid excuses include illness, death in the family, or an official university activity such as an athletic event or field trip. 

Grades:  Grades will be assigned on the following basis:


Quizzes (lowest two grades dropped)




Three tests


Final exam

The grade cutoffs are 93.3% A, 90% A-, 86.7% B+, 83.3% B, 80% B-, 76.7% C+, 73.3% C, 70% C-, 66.7% D+, 60% D, and below 60% F. You have the option of replacing either your total quiz grade or your lowest test grade with your final exam grade. 

Academic Honesty: Dishonesty includes cheating on a test, falsifying data, misrepresenting the work of others as your own (plagiarism, or improper citation of sources), and helping another student to cheat or plagiarize. At the very least, an academic honesty infraction will result in the filing of a violation report and a grade of zero on that particular assignment; serious or repeated infractions of the Academic Honesty policy will result in failure of the course. For complete information about the University’s policy on Academic Honesty, consult the Student Handbook 2009-2010.

Attendance: Class attendance is mandatory.  Although I do not have a rigid cut policy, anyone who has missed many classes and is doing poorly in the course should not expect much sympathy from me.  If you do miss a class, it is your responsibility to obtain the notes and assignments from another student and make sure your homework is turned in on time. See my Makeup Exam policy to see what to do if you miss a quiz.




Mathematics and culture


Number systems: spoken and written numbers, arithmetic, fractions, estimation


Logic and problem solving


Number theory: Pythagorean triples, the Euclidean algorithm, modular arithmetic, congruences, magic squares, art from numbers


Geometry: compass and straightedge constructions, origami


The mathematics of growth and decay: infinite series, compound interest, exponential and logarithmic functions


Students with Disabilities: Students who have or think they may have a disability (learning, physical, or psychological) are encouraged to contact Services for Students with Disabilities, Room 113, Science Center, 610-660-1774 or 610-660-1620 as early as possible in the semester.  Accommodations can only be provided to a student with current documentation (within 3 years).  Students are encouraged to discuss their instructional needs and accommodations (“reasonable academic adjustments”) with their professors early in the semester.  All student requests for extended time to take quizzes or exams in a distraction free environment must be discussed with the professor a minimum of one week prior to the scheduled date of the quiz or exam.  The student must complete the Extended-Time Request Form, obtain the professor’s approval, and submit the form to the office of Services for Students with Disabilities a minimum of 3 days prior to the date of the scheduled exam.  Failure to follow these procedures could result in a denial of the request.  Exceptions to exam schedules requires prior written approval of the professor.