Math 120: Intermediate Algebra
The Adobe Reader
To use the textbook and Optimath system in this course, you must have properly installed and configured the Adobe Reader on your computer. You will need to download a free copy of the Acrobat Reader to read them. Click the following icon to obtain a free copy of the Acrobat Reader.
It is important that you have the most current version of the Acrobat Reader that your system will allow. The above links will take you to the Adobe site. The Adobe site will analyze your system, but you may be asked to choose the appropriate version of the reader for your system. If this happens, carefully select the appropriate version of the reader for your system.
- If you use a Windows PC, please follow these installation instructions for the Adobe Reader.
- If you use a Macintosh, please follow these installation instructions for the Adobe Reader.
At College of the Redwoods, Math 120 is the course number for our Intermediate Algebra course. Intermediate Algebra builds on the concepts and skills learned in Elementary Algebra, and emphasizes the concept of functions that is needed in subsequent work in mathematics and the sciences.
Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in Math 380 (Elementary Algebra) or equivalent, or an appropriate score on the math placement exam.
Course Description: A course in which functions are investigated graphically, numerically, symbolically and verbally in real-world settings. Linear, quadratic, absolute value, polynomial, rational, radical, exponential, and logarithmic equations and functions are explored. Technology is integrated into all aspects of the course.
Be sure to visit this page often, as there may be updates to the information provided.
Intermediate Algebra Textbook
In the summer of 2006, work was completed on the first edition of the Intermediate Algebra text. Each semester, every student in intermediate algebra at the College receives a free copy of the text and solutions manual on CD. The current versions of the text and solutions manual have not changed since the Fall of 2007. If you have or purchase an edition that says "Fall 2007," please note that this is the version that will be used in Spring 2009. The complete textbook is available online at:
You will need to download and install the Adobe Reader in order to read the textbook files on your computer.
Further notes regarding the textbook:
- On the first day of class, all students enrolled in Math 120 will receive a free copy of the textbook on a CD.
- Printed versions are available in the College bookstore. If copies are not in stock, you may have to order the text at the Information Booth in the bookstore and pick it up in a day or two.
- There is an errata page for the textbook where we are compiling errors. See: Errata List
- Read a short discussion of textbook use.
- Most browsers allow tabbed browsing. To see how tabbed browsing can help you make more efficient use of the textbook, watch the movie Tabbed Browsing.
Students are required to use a graphing calculator in the Math 120 course. Indeed, one of the student learning outcomes for the course is: Students should be able to use graphs and the graphing calculator to explore mathematical concepts and to verify their work. At the end of the course, students should be able to:
- Sketch the graph of a function, adjusting the viewing window so that all "essential behavior" of the function is visible in the viewing window.
- Use the calculator to find solutions of f(x)=0, f(x)>0, and f(x)<0.
- Use the calculator to find solutions of f(x)=g(x), f(x)>g(x), and f(x)<g(x).
- Perform linear regression.
Graphing Calculator Rentals: Students can rent a calculator for the semester for $20. Instructions are available at the following link:
Help for using the graphing calculator is available.
- Several instructors have pages dedicated to using the graphing calculator.
- For help constructing inline formulas, see the Inline Formula Practice page.
Online Practice and Testing in Mathematics (OPTIMATH)
OPTIMATH is our locally-developed online practice and testing system. The portal for OPTIMATH is:
There are numerous resources to assist students and instructors.
For information on how to get started, read:
- For assistance with Optimath Syntax, read Writing Mathematical Formulas in Optimath, then try your hand with our Inline Formula Practice page.
For assistance in logging on to the OPTIMATH system, we have two videos, the second of which deals with names containing hyphens and apostrophes. Note: If you have the Flash plugin loaded, clicking links in the first column of the following table should start the video up in your browser. Use the links in the second column to save the file to your hard disk, then open the saved file in Quicktime or ITunes.
If you are still struggling with OPTIMATH syntax, try watching these three videos. Note: If you have the Flash plugin loaded, clicking links in the first column of the following table should start the video up in your browser. Use the links in the second column to save the file to your hard disk, then open the saved file in Quicktime or ITunes.
- Even if your instructor does not use OPTIMATH as a formal part of the course, you can still access the following online practice exercises:
Here is a list of further resources to help student successfully complete the course.
If you need tutorial help, then you will want to enroll in the Mathlab. A description of the Mathlab and instructions for enrolling can be found at the following link.
Should you miss a class, or just need more help on a particular exercise in the text, there are movies that are keyed to the exercises in the text.
There are also interactive java applets and animations that will help the student visualize important concepts from the textbook.
Paid Tutors: The following link contains a list of
Guidance 145. This is a nice course to get help with your Math 120 studies.