Syllabus: Math 151 Summer 2018

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Finite Mathematics (MATH 151) Section 2018XD-002

Materials: [Objectives] [Other Materials]

Instructor: Sean Carver, Ph.D., Professorial Lecturer, American University.


  • office location: DMTI 208F
  • email:
  • office phone: 202-885-6629

Course Description: [From AU website.] Review of algebra, sets, linear equations and inequalities, nonlinear inequalities, interest problems, systems of linear equations, functions and graphs, and elementary data analysis.

Required Text: Barnett, Ziegler, Byleen. Finite Mathematics for Business, Economics, Life Sciences, and Social Sciences, 14th edition, 2019, Pearson. Must include MyLab Access, so, to get the right product, it is recommended that you purchase this text through the AU bookstore.

Learning Outcomes: At the end of the course, a student will be able to:

  • Interpret mathematical statements using terms and definitions from logic.
  • Determine the slope and equation for lines given two points.
  • Graph and find the roots of quadratic functions.
  • Evaluate and graph exponential and logarithmic functions.
  • Form and solve financial equations.
  • Explain in words the mathematical processes being used.

There will be additional topics covered. Objectives before each quiz will be posted at the link here or above: Materials: [Objectives]

Office Hours: Students are strongly encouraged to come to office hours if they need or want help. Office hours are tentatively scheduled for an hour following each class: 8:40 PM to 9:40 PM Tuesdays and Thursdays. We'll have office hours in the classroom (DMTI-116), if it is free (at 9 PM it probably will be). Otherwise my office is DMTI-208F (second floor, same building as our classroom). Please let me know if you are coming to office hours, or just stick around after class. If everyone has left, and there is no indication that anyone else is coming, I may leave, too.

Tutoring through AU's Academic Support and Access Center.

Tutoring through MATH/STAT tutoring center:

  • Location: Don Myers Building, Room 103.
  • Walk-ins welcome.
  • Summer hours:
  • Monday - Thursday: NOON - 5:00 PM
  • Friday - Sunday: Closed

Class times and locations:

  • Tuesday & Thursday, 05:30 PM - 08:40 PM, DMTI 116

Important Dates:

  • July 3 (Tuesday): First day of class
  • August 9 (Thursday): Final exam (during class) and last day of class

Grading Rubric:

Attendance and Participation 10%
Quizzes 20%
Homework 40%
Final 30%

Attendance and Participation Policy: You are expected to attend all classes. Attendance and participation is worth 10% of your grade. If you miss class repeatedly, you will be in danger of losing all points in this category. If you need to miss class for an acceptable reason, please email me, and have your absence excused by the Dean of Students. To be allowed a make up on a quiz, you must have your absence excused by the Dean of Students.

Quizzes: There will be 4 quizzes, one every week except for the first and last weeks. I'll post the material to study ahead of time, on this website, linked here, or under the first heading: Materials: [Objectives]

Homework: Homework problems will be administered through MyMathLab. There will be time to work on these problems in class. I anticipate that many students will finish the problems in class, however I expect you to finish or try to finish any remaining problems before the subsequent class. That said, the due date will be midnight two classes (one week) ahead, so you can get help from me during the next two class or during office hours following class. After the due date, you will not be able to submit work to MyMathLab. In general, I don't consider it a good policy to extend these deadlines. A week is enough time, and if more time is allowed, some students will fall behind in a way that often proves detrimental to their final grade.

Class Etiquette: Please participate in class by asking questions when you do not understand something. Invariably other students benefit from these questions. Please engage in discussions, and please engage with the class, generally. I find it easier to give good lectures when students are asking questions, and engaging with the material.

Please give the class your full attention and refrain from talking, texting, surfing the web, and similar distractions. If it is clear to other students that you are not paying attention, it will be harder for them to pay attention to me. This statement is true in general, but it is especially true if you are talking. Also, it can also be harder for me to give good lectures, when it is clear that not everyone is paying attention. Like you, your classmates are paying a lot of money to be here. Please have some respect for the others in the room. If you need to attend to something urgently, it is OK to excuse yourself from the classroom. Please be warned that if people are not following this request, I may reread this statement to the class.

Academic Integrity: Cheating is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. Consider this: in subtle ways, cheating to get a better grade on an exam can result in lowering the grades of some of your classmates. Certainly this is true when a specific curve is used to assign grades. Even when I don't use curves explicitly, they can be implicit in decisions about writing and grading exams. Please be advised that I will handle all issues of suspected cheating according to the policies of American University. Cheating is giving or receiving unauthorized assistance on quizzes or exams, from other students or other people, from notes, from books, or from the web. When inappropriate copying between students is caught, both parties may be culpable. However you may work together on homework, as long as the answers you turn in reflect your own understanding of the material.

Public Service Announcement: A representative of AU's Students Against Sexual Violence (SASV) approached me and asked me to include on my syllabi a list of resources available for survivors of sexual assault and their friends. While sexual violence is by no means the only challenge faced by students, I agree that this issue merits particular attention, so I am honoring her request by attaching the list she gave me:

Sexual Assault Resources

  • It’s never the survivor’s fault. There are many people you can talk to if you or someone you care about has been sexually assaulted:
  • AU's Sexual Assault Prevention Coordinator Daniel Rappaport (
  • AU's Coordinator for Victim Advocacy Sara Yzaguirre (
  • DC SANE Program (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) 1-800-641-4028
  • The only hospital in DC area that gives Physical Evidence Recover Kits (rape kits) is Medstar Washington Hospital
  • DC Rape Crisis Center: 202-333-7273
  • Students found responsible for sexual misconduct can be sanctioned with penalties that include suspension or expulsion from American University, and they may be subject to criminal charges
  • If you want to submit a formal complaint against someone who has sexually assaulted you, harassed you, or discriminated against you based on your gender identity or sexual orientation, you can do so online at, or contact the Dean of Students at or 202-885-3300. These are Title IX violations, and universities are legally required to prohibit these actions.
  • Resources on campus that are required to keep what you tell them confidential are Daniel Rappaport, Sara Yzaguirre, ordained chaplains in Kay, and counselors at the counseling center. (OASIS may also belong here but it didn't exist when this list was created.)