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Matrix Algebra

II. Catalog Description

Prerequisite: MATH-020 Elementary Algebra or appropriate score on placement test.
This course is for the student whose high school preparation in Algebra or placement
score indicate insufficient knowledge or skill for success in college courses in statistics or
precalculus. The course meets four hours each week; three hours in a lecture setting and
one hour in guided study sessions. The topics include solving linear and quadratic
equations and inequalities, graphing linear and quadratic equations, rational and radical
expressions, integer and rational exponents, absolute value equations, introduction to
functions and their graphs and systems of linear equations. Serves as a prerequisite for
MATH 110, Statistics I, MATH 112, Precalculus I and MATH 114H, Precalculus

III. Statement of Course Need

Intermediate Algebra serves as a prerequisite for college level math courses for students
who are in a math-intensive program. This course is designed for students in math-intensive
AA, AS, and in some AAS programs before entering college-level work.

IV. Place of Course in College Curriculum

This is a developmental course and carries no college credit.

V. Outline of Course Content

A. Basic Concepts (review)
 1. Real numbers
 2. Powers, square roots, order of operations
 3. Exponents, scientific notation
 4. Variable expressions
B. Linear Equations and Inequalities
 1. First-degree equations with one unknown; formulas (review)
 2. Absolute value equations and inequalities
 3. Application Problems
 4. Linear inequalities (review)
 5. Compound inequalities (review)
C. Equations and Inequalities in Two Variables and Functions
 1. Graphing (review)
 2. Slope; equations of a line (review)
 3. Linear inequalities in two variables
 4. Introduction to functions
 5. Linear functions and their graphs
D. Systems of Linear Equations and Inequalities
 1. Systems in two variables
 2. Applications
 3. Systems of linear inequalities
E. Polynomials
 1. Operations with polynomials
 2. Common factors; factoring by grouping (review)
 3. Factoring trinomials (review)
 4. Special cases of factoring
 5. Solving polynomial equations by factoring
F. Rational Expressions and Equations
 1. Operations with rational expressions
 2. Complex rational expressions
 3. Rational equations and inequalities; applications
G. Rational Exponents and Radicals
 1. Exponents; radical expressions
 2. Operations with radicals
 3. Radical equations and their applications
 4. Complex numbers
H. Quadratic Equations and Inequalities
 1. Quadratic functions
 2. Solving quadratic equations by completing the square and the quadratic formula.
 3. Equations transformed into quadratic form
 4. Quadratic applications
 5. Quadratic Inequalities in one variable
I. Conic Sections
 1. Distance formula and circle
 2. Parabola

VI. Educational Goals and Learning Outcomes

A. Educational Goals:
Students will:

1. Students will be able to produce works that demonstrate their ability to move
from the specific to the general, think abstractly about a situation, and reconcile
three different perspectives (symbolic, graphical, and numerical) into a
"connected whole." (G. E. 1)
2. Students will be able to demonstrate their ability to reason quantitatively
and symbolically to solve problems. (G. E. 7)

B. Student Learning Outcomes:

The student will be able to:

1. Solve and/or graph linear and quadratic equations and inequalities.
2. Develop the equation of lines in standard form, point/slope form, and
slope/intercept form.
3. Solve systems of linear equations and inequalities.
4. Solve rational and radical equations.
5. Perform operations on polynomial-based expressions, expressions that contain
integer and rational exponents, and rational and radical expressions.
6. Solve application problems.

VII. Modes of Teaching and Learning

A. lecture/discussion
B. small-group/lab work

VIII. Papers, Examinations, and other Assessment Instruments

A. laboratory products/homework/quizzes
B. chapter tests
C. departmental final exam

IX. Grade Determinants

A. chapter tests
B. departmental final exam
C. laboratory products/homework/quizzes

The departmental cumulative final exam will be used to assess all the learning
outcomes listed in Section VI, Part B.

X. Texts and Materials

Suggested Textbook: Intermediate Algebra, 4th edition (or latest edition), 2002, by
Tobey and Slater; Houghton Mifflin, ISBN 0-13-032837-5

(Please Note: The course outline is intended only as a guide to course content and resources. Do not purchase
textbooks based on this outline. The RVCC Bookstore is the sole resource for the most up-to-date information about

XI. Resources

No specific resources are necessary.