MA 112, Precalculus Algebra


Coordinator: Ms. Pam Marples

Office: SC 201Q

Phone: 824-2225


Course Objectives

MA 112 has two main objectives.

  • To help prepare students for calculus. MA 112 is the first course in a two-course precalculus sequence; the second course is MA 113, Precalculus Trigonometry
  • To stand alone, as a self-contained course in college algebra

More specifically, a student who successfully completes MA 112 should

  • Be able to perform standard algebraic operations on polynomial and rational expressions, and transform algebraic expressions into various equivalent forms, depending on the purpose intended.
  • Understand functions and expressions from contrasting but complementary points of view: algebraic, geometric, procedural.
  • Be able to recognize basic functions (linear, quadratic, exponential, logarithmic) from both an algebraic and geometric point of view.
  • Know the basic properties of exponential and logarithmic functions.
  • Be able to solve linear and quadratic equations and simple equations with exponential and logarithmic functions.
  • Have a good understanding of the function concept and the standard ways of combining functions using the arithmetic operations and composition.
  • Recognize algebraic fallacies, particularly those that involve the improper interchange of operations.
  • Be able to translate simple applied problems into algebraic language and have a general understanding of the applications of basic algebra.
  • Make progress towards the general goal of being able to learn, use, and communicate mathematics independently.


MA 112 is taught in a computer-assisted format. Students attend two classes per week on a regular schedule with a dedicated instructor, and also work in the Mathematics Learning Center on their own schedule with the help of instructors and other graduate assistants. Graded homework assignments, reviews, and some tests are computer-based.

Alabama General Studies Curriculum

MA 112 is an AGSC approved course. The standard AGSC number is Math 112.

Prerequisites and Restrictions: Level 1 placement or a grade of S in MA 004

Credit: 3 Semester Hours. No credit given to students who have completed an MA course numbered above MA 112.

Grading System: This course is graded A, B, C, D, F.

Course Materials

Precalculus, A Special Edition for the University of Alabama in Huntsville, 1st edition, by Ratti, and McWaters with MyMathLab, published by Addison Wesley. MyMathLab is part of the CourseCompass course management system.

Graded Items

The course grade will be determined on the basis of a total of 1000 points described below:

Item Points
Tests (4, on paper) 400 (100 each)
Final Exam (part computer, part paper) 300
Quizzes (on paper) 80 (8 quizzes x 10 points)
Computer Homework  126 (18 sets x 7 points)
Paper Homework  55 (5 sets x 11 points)
Pretest Reviews  40 (4 reviews x 10 points)
Total 1001


Grading Scale

The grading scale is given in the table below:

Grade Points
A 900-1001
B 800-899
C 700-799
D 600-699
F 0-599


There will also 4 sets of review problems available at the end of the semester. Working these problems can earn a student 20 bonus points (5 points per set of problems).

Attendance Policies

  • Each section of MA 112 will meet with their instructor two times per week for 55 minutes, on either a Monday-Wednesday schedule or a Tuesday-Thursday schedule. In addition, each student is required to work in the Math Learning Center at least 3 additional hours per week. It is the student's responsibility to keep a record of MLC hours each week to assure compliance with this requirement.
  • The 3 hour requirement is waived upon completion of all assignments for the given week if the student had a score of 80% or better on the most recent exam. Before the first test, the requirement is in effect for all students.
  • Failure to comply with the 3 hour requirement may, at the discretion of the instructor, result in a loss of up to five points per hour missed.
  • Students will have one "free" absence, after that they will lose 25 points for each unexcused absence from class.

Quiz and Homework Policies

  • Homework assignments and computer quizzes may be done at the MLC or at home; however, we recommend that students do their work at the MLC. The proper plug-ins must be downloaded on the student's computer if they choose to work at home. (The necessary plug-ins may be found on the announcements page in CourseCompass. Click on the MyMathLab Installation Wizard link.). Please note that if a malfunction occurs at home while doing course work, students will not be able to make up homework assignments or quizzes that are not successfully received, completed, or graded because of technical problems.
  • There are a total of 19 computer homework sets in the course. These build upon each other so they should be done in order. There are also 5 paper homework sets which will be given out in class and returned, when completed, to the MLC.
  • Each quiz and homework assignment must be completed by the expiration date and time given on the schedule. No extensions will be given under normal circumstances.
  • Quizzes must be taken in the MLC by 2:00 pm on the due date. No makeup quizzes will be allowed.
  • One quiz and one computer homework assignment will be dropped, to allow for illness, car trouble, etc. No paper homework assignments will be dropped due to the extremely important nature of these assignments, as well as the amount of time allowed for their completion. If you are unable to complete your work due to an extended illness, travel related to an outside job, or other factors beyond your control, contact your instructor and the course coordinator as soon as possible to make alternate arrangements for your assignments.
  • Course Compass keeps track of your homework, even if you did not finish an assignment, so you do not have to submit or save your homework, even if you stop in the middle of an assignment.

Test Schedule

Hourly exams will be given during regular class time.

The final exam will be given on the regularly scheduled date and time for your class meeting time. See the course schedule for further details.

Test Policies

  • The tests are 55 minutes long. The final exam is 150 minutes long.
  • The tests will be taken in class and the final exam will be taken in the MLC.
  • Makeup tests will not be allowed except for extraordinary and documented emergencies. The student must contact the course coordinator within 3 business days to request a makeup test, and must provide any requested documentation regarding their absence.
  • All makeup tests will be given at 9:00 am on Study Day in the MLC.
  • A student's lowest test score will be replaced by the score on the final exam, if the final exam score is higher. However, a 0 test score due to academic misconduct will not be replaced.
  • Bring your Charger Card ID and pencils to the final exam. We will provide scratch paper. No other paper is allowed. Please refrain from bringing unnecessary belongings to the MLC on final exam day. Such items will be stored at the front of the room during the test.
  • You will be allowed to review your final exam before you leave the lab. You may not write down any information pertaining to test questions. You may not share test information with anyone else until after the test period is over. A violation of this policy is considered academic misconduct.
  • Only the calculator on the computer is allowed unless the coordinator announces otherwise. Calculators will not be used on the in-class tests.

General Policies

  • The MLC is a mathematics classroom. Please be quiet during your visit to the MLC.
  • You must show your Student ID to the monitor upon entering the MLC. You will not be allowed to enter without a valid ID.
  • Eating, drinking and sleeping are not allowed in the MLC.
  • No work other than mathematics is allowed in the MLC. In particular, talking, surfing the web, reading and sending e-mail (except e-mail related to MA 112), playing computer games, and working on non-mathematical courses are prohibited.
  • Cell phone use in the MLC is prohibited. Cell phones must be out of sight and turned off.
  • The use of the computers in the MLC is on a first-come, first-served basis. No reservations can be made for ordinary course work, homework, or quizzes. (Reservations are automatically made for your regularly scheduled final exam time.)
  • Please do not hesitate to ask questions in the MLC. The staff members are here to help you!

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities

Any student with a disability that will require special attention or accommodation should inform the instructor as soon as possible, preferably within the first week of class.

Grievance Procedure

Any problems that you encounter should be brought to the attention of your instructor. If you are not satisfied with the decision of the instructor, you may appeal through the administrative chain given below:

  1. Course Coordinator: Ms. Pamela Marples, 201Q Shelby Center
  2. Math Department Senior Staff Assistant: Ms. Tami Lang, 258C Shelby Center
  3. Math Department Chair: Dr. Jia Li, 258B Shelby Center
  4. Associate Dean of the College of Science: Dr. Daniel Rochowiak, 207 Materials Science Building

See the Student Handbook for more information about the grievance procedure.

Academic Misconduct

All acts of dishonesty in any work constitute academic misconduct. This includes, but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, fabrication of information, misrepresentation, and abetting any of the above. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated and may result in a failing grade in the course. Consult the Student Handbook for further description of Academic misconduct and penalties.