Welcome to David Hampson's Math web page

  • Syllabus
  • Schedule
  • Grades
    • Section 01
    • Section 02
    • Section 03
  • Study Guides
    • Exam 1
    • Exam 2
    • Exam 3
    • Exam 4
    • Final Exam

Math 99N Intermediate Algebra Syllabus (Tentative)
Spring 2010 Math Learning Program (MLP)
Math Learning Annex (MLA)
David Hampson    dhampson@iel.spokane.edu
(509)335-4253   Skype: dave-hampson
http://math.davehampson.net    Course Compass

Objective: This course is intended to prepare you for college level math courses offered by WSU. A grade of “C” or better fulfills the prerequisites for the following WSU Math courses: 105, 106, 107, 201, 205, 212, and 251.

Book: Beginning and Intermediate Algebra plus MyMathLab Student Access Kit, 4/E;
Lial, Hornsby, McGinnis; Addison-Wesley;
ISBN-10: 032155907X
ISBN-13: 9780321559074
If you buy a used book, you must also buy the access code online with a credit or debit card. Below are course ID's. Use the one that matches your section.

Participation: Coming to class each day, paying attention, and contributing to the discussion is worth 1 point each day. With 50 points counted toward the final grade, and 55 classes, it is possible to earn a few extra points by participating daily.

Don't plan on taking days off. Many students feel that they can skip a few days, but then an illness or something else pops up, and now suddenly that participation score is quite low, and that brings down the rest of the grade.

Technology: No calculators. You may use your calculator for homework, but not on tests. You can check out calculators in the Main Office to use on your homework in the lab upstairs, but they may not be removed from the building.

Keep your cell phones away from sight. Texting may not seem like a distraction, but it takes your attention away from what is going on. This then puts you behind, and slows the entire class down. You will not gain participation points if you are texting during class.

Homework: A total of 100 points of Homework will be assigned after each lecture over new material. Each assignment will be due at the end of day of the next lecture. I may extend this if there is a University Sponsored event, AND I am notified beforehand. Technical difficulties will only be excepted if I get a notice from Course Compass saying that there were tech issues. It is highly suggested that you use the lab here for homework, as there are tutors to assist you if you get stuck.

Many Technical issues are caused by:

  • Starting a session in one location, and moving your laptop to another part of campus without logging out and logging back in. If you are using a laptop, make sure you log out of Course Compass before packing it up.
  • Your neighbors or roommates downloading torrents. Bandwidth is limited, causing time-out errors. These naturally fix themselves in a few minutes.
  • Doing HW on a friend's account. There is nothing I can do about it, you will need to log in and redo it in your account.

Tests: There will be 4 midterm exams, worth 100 points each and a 150 point final exam.  Testing hours are Monday through Friday 8am-3pm. (8am-2pm for finals.) If you do not have a pencil you can borrow one at the Main Office. You may lock up your gear in the lockers. If you know you will have to miss an exam, you may take it early with permission.

Participation:50 points
Homework:100 points
Tests:400 points
Final Exam:150 points
Total:700 points
Grading scale
AA-B+BB-C+CC-D+D-
93%90%88%83%80%78%73%70%68%60%

Math Trap: Math almost always seems to makes sense— when someone else does it. It is very easy to watch someone else do it and think “That is so easy, so clear, why should I waste time studying what is so easy.” But when students try this, they are stuck wondering what to do next. It is very easy to feel very confident for a test, only to do worse than you anticipated. For this reason, you must practice it yourself (do the homework) until you can do it with no guidance.

In class, you should rarely ask "How did you do that?" as this is usually obvious. Instead you should be asking me "How did you know to do that?"

Mathphobia: Many students think Math is a “Do this, then do this, then do that” exercise. They become afraid of Math because they think there is a lot to memorize. If the first 12 problems take three steps to complete, but the 13th only requires two, many students will try to force a third step, even if they do something they know to be wrong.

Getting to the solution of a problem is akin to driving someplace. If you make a wrong turn, you can either turn back, go around the block, take a different route, or some other option. As long as you get to the right answer, it does not matter if you took 3, 5, or 25 steps. There is a difference between inefficient and wrong. Many, many students have asked me which is the “right” way, and it is often difficult for them to understand that it does not matter.

Math builds: This is not an easy course. You should do some math on a daily basis. The material gets progressively more difficult. Know that for each hour in class, the typical student spends about 2 hours outside of class. Schedule it.

Study habits: Note taking is a skill. Don't just copy down what you see, but write down those things that trouble you, ask a question before you write things down so you are writing it down correctly. Don't bother to write things down that you already understand. Also, I will state a lot of things without writing them down. You need to write them. I will do things in order, but you need to make sure that you have this same order in your notes. Good notes are not transferable.

An athlete learns the rules an strategy of the games in a classroom. However you need to actually go out on the field to become great. Similarly, I can teach you strategies in the classroom, but to actually do math, you need to practice it. ie, the homework. It is quite common for students to do all but the last 2-3 problems in a HW set. However, it is in these problems that students learn the most. Practicing what you are already good at is unhelpful, and a waste of time.

Use the tutors and computers upstairs so you can get help when you are stuck. I can show you what to do, and what not to do, but its' the tutors who will get into your head to find out where you are going wrong. The computer lab upstairs will be open M-F 8pm-4pm and also Tuesdays 4pm-8pm. There are no weekend hours, however there are other computer labs around campus.

Other ways to succeed

  • Get a good night's rest every day
  • Do ALL of the homework, even if you (think you) know it already.
  • Ask Questions.
  • Eat breakfast.
  • Do the test reviews. They aren't worth points, but they will increase your test scores.
  • Do the exercises without assistance. Many students ace the HW only to fail the tests.

Class load: Just because you are in a 4-year University does not mean you have to finish in 4 years. A twelve credit load is considered full time. If you are overloaded and find yourself falling behind in your classes, you may want to consider dropping a class to make the workload more manageable. It's better to have good grades in 4 classes rather than lousy grades in 6 classes, possibly having to repeat.

Non-credit class: This class is a non-credit class and is non-transferable (only good at WSU), however, your grade will show up on your transcript and be calculated into your semester GPA.

Academic Honesty: Students are expected to maintain academic honesty. Collaboration is encouraged on homework and tutors are available to assist you, but all tests are considered individual work and must be completed without unauthorized assistance of any kind, including the help of other students or notes. All test materials and scratch paper are to be turned in with the test paper and attempting to remove test work out of the testing area and/or share that work with other students is considered cheating. Any cheating on a test will result in a score of 0 for that test. If there are any questions as to what constitutes academic honesty, please consult the Office of Student Conduct.

Students with Disabilities: Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. If you have a disability and may need accommodations to fully participate in this class, please visit the Disability Resource Center (DRC). All accommodations must be approved through the DRC (Washington Building, Room 217). Please stop by or call 509-335-3417 to make an appointment with a disability specialist.