University of West Georgia               FALL 2004


Course:                                 MATH 1101- 01, Mathematical Modeling - 3 credits                     PREREQUISITE: NONE.


Course Description:           This course is an introduction to mathematical modeling using graphical, numerical, symbolic, and verbal techniques to describe and explore real-world data and phenomena. Emphasis is on the use of elementary functions to investigate and analyze applied problems and questions, supported by the use of technology, and effective communication of results.


Learning Outcomes:          Students should be able to:

1.        Use graph, tables, and numerical descriptors to represent single variable data.

2.        Represent functions with tables, graphs, equations, and function notation.

3.        Understand how representation of data can be biased.

4.        Calculate and interpret average rates of change.

5.        Find a solution for a system of two linear equations.

6.        Use systems of linear equations to model some social and physical phenomena.

7.        Write expressions in scientific notation.

8.        Simplify expressions using the rules of exponents.

9.        Use exponential functions to model growth and decay phenomena.

10.     Understand the basic properties of common and natural logarithms.

11.     Develop a sense about the relationship between size and shape.

12.     Recognize, evaluate, and graph quadratic functions.


Instructor:                            Mr. Jim Bellon    office phone: 770) 836-4353


Office  & Hours:                 Boyd, room 330    Mon/Wed/Fri    8:30 - 9am,  11am - 12pm         Thursday 11am –1pm

** Math-Lab   Mon/Wed  3:30 – 5:00pm         Thursday 2:30 – 5:00pm 


Class Meets:                        MWF     9:00 – 9:50 a.m.                      Room 303 Boyd Building


Text:                                       College Algebra through Modeling and Visualization, by Gary Rockswold, 2nd edition, 2002.

A graphing calculator is required, preferably the Texas Instruments TI-83 (or TI-83 plus).


Grading:                                There will be 3 class session tests (100 pts each), 1 group project (150 pts), a comprehensive Final exam (200 pts), 10+ quizzes (best 6 will count for 15 pts each, totaling 90 pts), classroom group work (totaling 160 pts), and 100 class points. This totals 1000 points.  Final grades will be determined as follows:                   900 and up ( 90% and up )         A

                                                                                800 – 899    ( 80% to 89% )            B

                                                                                700 – 799    ( 70% to 79% )            C

                                                                                600 – 699    ( 60% to 69% )            D

                                                                                599 and below ( 59% and below )     F


Project:                                 Group project (1 or 2 students) requiring data collection, calculations and analysis.  To be handed in by Wednesday March 31st.  Description will be handed out at a later date.


Quizzes:                                Expect about 1 quiz every week lasting about 15 minutes (except during a test week). 


Group work:                         There will be 5 classroom group projects with instructor guidance.  Best 4 of 5 count, 40 points each.


Class Points:                        The purpose of the class points is to reward students for effort and not be based on math performance.  Class points can be obtained as follows:  2 pts. for each day present when attendance is taken.  Up to 10 pts. for each homework assignment completed and collected. 


Homework:                           Homework will be assigned for each textbook section.  They will periodically be collected and checked for effort.  Collected work will count towards class points.


Final Exam Date:                 Wednesday, December 12th              8:00 – 10:00 a.m.


Attendance Policy:              Students are expected to attend class and complete all work when assigned. Grades are not directly affected by absence. However, the student is responsible for the topics covered and assignments due whether present or not. “I was not here” is NOT a valid excuse.


Last Date to Withdraw:      Friday, February 27th




This is the expected schedule of course content.  Changes will be made as necessary, but will try to be avoided.


                                                                                                            Tentative dates


1.1        Numbers, Data, and Problem Solving                                          week 1


1.2        Visualization of Data (ignore Distance formula)                           week 1 & 2

(and Handout: Grouping and Summarizing One-Variable Data using Graphs)


1.3        Functions and Their Representations                                           week 2


1.4        Types of Functions and Their Rates of Change                           week 2 & 3


**        Group Work #1: Functions – Taking a trip to Europe                      Fri September 10th


2.1        Linear Functions and Models                                                      week 4


**        Test #1: Chapter 1and section 2.1                                         Mon September 20th


2.2        Equations of Lines                                                                    week 5


2.3        Linear Equations and Solutions                                                  week 6


2.5        Piecewise-defined Functions (ignore absolute value pg127-132)    week 6


**        Group Work #2: Piecewise Functions – Graduated taxes    Oct 4th & 6th


2.6        Linear approximation                                                                 week 7


**        Group Work #3: Approximation – Height vs. Weight                      Oct 11th & 13th


**        Test #2: Chapter 2                                                                 Mon October 18th


5.3        Exponential Functions and Models                                              week 9


5.7        Constructing Nonlinear Models (exponential model only)  week 9


5.4        Logarithmic Functions and Models                                              week 10


5.5        Properties of Logarithms                                                            week 10


5.6        Exponential and Logarithmic Equations                                       week 11


**        Group Work #4: Logarithms – Noise and Music                  Fri November 5th


**        Test #3: Chapter 5                                                                 Wed November 10th


6.1        Functions/Equations of Two Variables (ignore joint variation)       week 12


6.2               Linear Systems of Equations and Inequalities                              week 13


**        Group Work #5: Linear Systems –Disaster Relief                Mon November 22nd


**         Handout: Measuring the Universe                                               week 14

(Metric System, Converting Units, Order of Magnitude)


Our last week will consist of mainly any leftover material, review of material, and a day of fun.