Welcome to Week Two

College Algebra (MA107)

Weekly Content - Linear Equations

This week we'll be moving into algebra proper with a discussion of linear equations and how to solve them.

Weekly Motivation

In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.[1]
-- John von Neumann

von Neumann's comment will be one of our topics in the discussion board this week. I think his approach sums up the way many people feel toward mathematics but it also points us toward an approach that you can use to improve your performance. They key to "getting used to" something is experience with it. The best thing you can do for yourself in a technical course like this one is working lots of problems. You should also be sure to ask questions when you come across problems you don't understand. I added the "What's Puzzling Me Thread" in the discussion board to give everyone a place to post those questions.

[1] Reply to Felix T. Smith who had said "I'm afraid I don't understand the method of characteristics." —as quoted in The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics (1984) by Gary Zukav footnote in page 208.

Class Notes - Improving Your Grade

Week one's discussion grades should be posted by the end of the day on Monday. You should already be able to see your RealizeIt grade in the grade book. If you aren't satisfied with your grade, I've posted some suggestions in a post in this week's discussion board titled "Week Two Notes".

Class Notes - Late Assignments

The University's late policy doesn't allow for assignments to be submitted after the end of the week. More specifically, assignments can't be submitted late for partial credit. Assignments can only be submitted late if you have a documented emergency situation, e.g. a hospitalization or death in the family, that prevented you from completing your work. You must provide documentation that indicates the period that you were unable to work on your assignments. Your assignments will be due no later than five days after the end of the period indicated in the documentation. If there's a delay in getting the documentation or getting it to Student Services, complete the assignments anyway. I'll modify the grade when the documentation arrives. The five day window starts from the day indicated on the documentation, not the day you get the documentation to me. Under no circumstances will I grant an exception or extension without some kind of official documentation. Acquiring that documentation and getting it to Student Services is the student's responsibility.

In general, technology problems don't qualify as an emergency. I suggest you give some thought to a back up plan, e.g. a neighbor or relative with Internet access or a local public library, in case you have an unexpected technology failure.

Under no circumstances will assignments be accepted after the last day of class.