Mathematics 107 -- Introduction to Finite Mathematics

Spring, 2009 -- Allen Hibbard

text: Finite Mathematics & its Applications (Goldstein/Schneider/Siegel) [ISBN: 0-13-187364-4]

COURSE DESCRIPTION:Finite mathematics is a broad description of many areas of mathematics. In particular, any area of mathematics that deals with finite (as opposed to infinite) quantities qualifies. We sometimes fudge on this and also work with infinite quantities as well. For example, in chapter one we review how to graph lines and linear inequalities. Understanding the latter will be useful when we get to chapters three and four as we study linear programming. When we use the Simplex method for doing linear programming, we will be using matrices. Therefore, we will spend some time in chapter two introducing matrices and how to work with them. This will be the bulk of the course. After these first four chapters, we will work on some of the remaining chapters (possibly 5, 6, or 10).

While I will be demonstrating using a TI-84, any other model will suffice, as long as you know how (or learn) to use it. In addition to being able to graph lines, it should be able to work with matrices (elementary row operations, in particular). If you don't already have a graphing calculator, I suggest that you buy (or borrow) the TI-83 or TI-84 model, as it is a very powerful (but fairly easy to use) tool. There are a variety of other acceptable models, but you will need to learn how they work.

As a reminder: YOU CAN NOT AFFORD TO GET BEHIND IN THIS CLASS! PLEASE get help from me, your classmates, your neighbors in your residence hall, or the Center for Academic Excellence when you encounter difficulties. Attending class with regularity and a willingness and desire to learn will help you greatly.

TEXT: While this text will not win any outstanding awards, it does appear to be a readable text with varieties of examples and exercises. This book is intended to be read. For each class session, you are encouraged to read the pertinent portion of the text at least once beforehand and at least twice afterwards. Do NOT try the exercises without reading the text; simply skimming the examples is not sufficient.

HOMEWORK: I say this in every class: One can not learn mathematics in a passive state; one must be an active participant. To this end, homework will be regularly assigned. This will consist of exercises from the text, as well as possibly some calculator "labs." There will be an attempt to regularly collect problems from the text and have specific exercises graded. An announcement that homework will be collected may or may not occur. Typically I assign homework on day n, review any questions on the exercises on day n+1, and then collect it on day n+2. Additionally, there may be some reading and writing assignments, to be announced later. Diligently doing your homework pays off with big dividends at quiz and test time! You are encouraged to work together on homework from the text, but each should submit one's individual work. While it is best to turn homework in on time, I do accept late work with the number of points possible diminishing by two each day until the day that I return it. Homework constitutes 10% of your final grade.

QUIZZES: There will be an attempt to be give quizzes about once a week and may be possibly unannounced. These will be short in nature and cover relatively recent material. There will be NO makeup for missed quizzes except for school-sanctioned events! However, the lowest score will be dropped. Quizzes constitute 15% of your final grade.

TESTS: There will be 3 major tests occurring roughly every 3-4 weeks, scheduled on 2/19, 3/30, and 5/5. You would benefit by beginning your study for each test at least one week in advance. Tests constitute 60% of your final grade.

FINAL: There will be a final exam, which will be cumulative in design as well as incorporating material since the last exam. This will constitute the remaining 15% of your final grade.

GRADES: Based on the scores weighted as above, a letter grade will then be awarded as delineated below, though other factors such as attendance, participation, effort and trends may also play a (minor) role.

A : [93, 100] A- : [90, 93) B+ : [88, 90) B : [82, 88)
B- : [80, 82) C+ : [78, 80) C : [72, 78) C- : [70, 72)
D+ : [68, 70) D : [62, 68) D- : [60, 62) F : [0, 60)

OFFICE HOURS: I will be available for office hours in room 133 in Vermeer Science Center at the following times: 9-10 (MWF), 10-11 (R), 11-12 (T), 2-3 (MTWF). If these times are not convenient, please feel free to make an appointment for a different time. I am usually available in the afternoons, though it can not be guaranteed. If you wish to see me any time outside of the "guaranteed" office hours, for your sake, prearrange it or give me a call to see if I am free. My phone number is 5133; leave a message if I don't answer. You can also e-mail me at

Disabilities: Central College abides by interpretations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that stipulates no student shall be denied the benefits of an education “solely by reason of a handicap.” Disabilities covered by law include, but are not limited to, learning disabilities, hearing, sight or mobility impairments, and other health related impairments. If you have a documented disability that may have some impact on your work in this class and for which you may require accommodations, please see me and Nancy Kroese, Director of Student Support Services and Disability Services Coordinator, (x5247) during the first two weeks of the semester so that such accommodations may be arranged

Plagiarism and Other Academic Dishonesty: Plagiarism and cheating of any form are serious offenses and may result in an F for the assignment, the course, or expulsion from the college. The details of Central's Academic Integrity policy are found in the Student Handbook, on the web. A copy will be sent to you via e-mail during the first week of the semester. It is your responsibility to read and understand the contents of that policy before you submit work to be graded. Questions regarding the policies and enforcement of the policies may be addressed to me during class or during office hours.

Notification of Participation in College Sanctioned Events: Mock Trial participants, choir tour participants, athletes, and others who must miss a class for participating in a college sanctioned event are expected to notify me in advance of the event and complete work in advance. Students must request to take exams that would be given during the time of the class they will be missing in advance of the class. It is the responsibility of students to communicate with me in advance regarding their absences and revised schedule for make up work.