We are preparing to begin a fascinating subject. One which is intimately involved with every aspect of life. Just as every life form has a biological structure and function, every interaction in life follows patterns – some definite and some uncertain. We will be pulling back the curtain just a little to learn ways to think about these things. This course is to prepare the groundwork for the use of mathematics in our lives.

The basics:

I am your professor: Victor Sirelson.

Contact: Email: vsirelson@citytech.cuny.edu 

Personal email: vsirelson@gmail.com  Cell phone: 914-522-3888

Course Meetings: M-Tu-Wed 8:00AM – 9:40AM (N-706)

Office Hours: Mondays 10:00-11:00 (Tentative times)    Room Namm 825                                                   

You will want to have a good scientific calculator such as the TI-84 series.

Textbook: https://math.libretexts.org/Courses/City_University_of_New_York/College_Algebra_and_Trigonometry-_Expressions_Equations_and_Graphs.

Workbook: MAT 1275 Workbook by Holly Carley and Ariane Masuda, Summer 2023. The workbook is based on the 6-point process from the chapter book Mathematical Literacy and Critical Thinking by Rojas, E., & Benakli, N. (2020). In: But, J. (eds) Teaching College-Level Disciplinary Literacy. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

We have 3 platforms for this course:

1) Blackboard

2) OpenLab – This is CityTech’s student-friendly “open-source digital platform where students, faculty, and staff can meet to learn, work, and share their ideas.” We will use both OpenLab and Blackboard for information about our course.            https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/sirelsonmat1275cosp2024/

3) WebWork – for Homework

Online Access: https://mathww.citytech.cuny.edu/webwork2/MAT1275CO-S24-Sirelson-D105

Login is your first initial followed by last name. For example, Sarah Joan White has “swhite”. Password is your ID.

Course Description: An intermediate and advanced algebra course. Topics include quadratic equations, systems of linear equations, exponential and logarithmic functions; topics from trigonometry, including identities, equations and solutions of triangles.

Prerequisite: MAT 1175 OR, for New Students, scores of at least 45 on the Pre-Algebra part and 45 on the Algebra part of the CUNY Assessment Test in Mathematics.


Course Learning OutcomesGeneral Education Learning OutcomesRequired Core: Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning
Be able to simplify and manipulate linear, quadratic, radical, rational, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric expressions.FS: Transfer; Be able to refer to prior knowledge or skill and can apply such to new situations.Be able to use algebraic, numerical, graphical, or statistical methods to draw accurate conclusions and solve mathematical problems.
Be able to solve equations involving linear, quadratic, radical, rational, exponential, logarithmic, or trigonometric expressions as well as systems of linear/quadratic equations.Foundation and skills: Curiosity: Explore a topic in depth yielding insight indicating interest. QL: Interpretation, presentation: Be able to explain information presented in mathematical forms and to convert relevant information into various mathematical forms.Interpret and draw appropriate inferences from quantitative representations, such as formulas, graphs, or tables.
Be able to graphically solve equations involving linear and quadratic expressions (including systems of such). Be able to use the unit circle to solve trigonometric equations. Understand the relationships between solutions to equations and their graphs.FS: Transfer; Be able to refer to prior knowledge or skill and can apply such to new situations. QL: Calculation, Application/Analysis: Be able to carry out accurate calculations in order to solve a problem and to make judgements and draw appropriate conclusions based on the quantitative analysis of data, while recognizing the limits of this analysis.Be able to use algebraic, numerical, graphical, or statistical methods to draw accurate conclusions and solve mathematical problems.
Be able to frame word problems in terms of mathematical equations and/or graphs. Be able to interpret the mathematical solutions in terms of the original language of the problem.FS: Independence, reflection: Pursue knowledge beyond classroom requirements and/or show interest in independent educational experiences and reviews prior learning leading to clarification and broader perspectives.Be able to represent quantitative problems expressed in natural language in a suitable mathematical format and apply mathematical methods to problems in other fields of study.
Be able to write solutions of mathematical problems involving linear, quadratic, radical, rational, or trigonometric expressions with full detailed explanations.QL: Communication: Be able to express quantitative evidence in support of the argument or purpose of the work.Be able to effectively communicate quantitative analysis or solutions to mathematical problems in written or oral form.
Be able to recognize errors in proposed solutions and explain in written or oral form the nature of such an error as well as be able to correct it. Be able to estimate solutions of equations using graphs.FS: Initiative: Complete required work and identifies and pursues additional expansion or knowledge or skills. QL: Assumption. Be able to make and evaluate important assumptions in estimation and modeling.Be able to evaluate solutions to problems for reasonableness using a variety of means, including informed estimation.

Attendance:             Participation is a major part of this course. If you do not come to class, you are not participating.

Classroom Conduct:  Do not bring food to class.  Do not bring children to class.

ABSOLUTELY NO CELL PHONE calls or texting is allowed in the classroom.  In our modern classroom cell phones, tablets and computers can be used for note taking and access to homework problems.

New York City College of Technology Policy on Academic Integrity

Students and all others who work with information, ideas, texts, images, music, inven- tions, and other intellectual property owe their audience and sources accuracy and honesty in using, crediting, and citing sources. As a community of intellectual and professional workers, the College recognizes its responsibility for providing instruction in information literacy and academic integrity, offering models of good practice, and responding vigilantly and appropriately to infractions of academic integrity. Accordingly, academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York and at New York City College of Technology and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension, and expulsion. The complete text of the College policy on Academic Integrity may be found in the catalog.

Academic honesty: You are encouraged to work in groups on homework, but be able to explain anything you turn in. During an exam, showing someone else your work is cheating; you will be treated in the same way as the person who copies. It is your responsibility to cover your work. Academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York. Penalties for academic dishonesty include academic sanctions, such as failing or otherwise reduced grades, and/or disciplinary sanctions, including suspension or expulsion.


Set enough time aside each week:  You are expected to spend 6-8 hours outside the classroom each week reading the text, working on projects, doing homework and preparing for exams.


  1. Read the section prior to the class in which it is covered. This reading will facilitate your understanding and participation in class.
  2. Attempt at least some of the homework problems immediately after class, so that you know how much of the class you understood.
  3. Make use of the Atrium & Voorhees Learning Centers (approximately 9AM-8PM, M-Th, shorter hours on F & Sat): While some of the tutors are advanced undergraduate students, many are adjunct faculty.

Grade components

Grading: Homework, Quizzes, Class Participation and Special Assignments:  25%   Exams:   45%     Final Exam:   30%

Your overall course grade will be based on the college policy, as follows:


A      93 – 100B        83 – 86.99 C       70 – 76.99
      A-     90 – 92.99B–      80 – 82.99       D      60 – 69.99
   B+     87 – 89.99C+      77 – 79.99F       0 – 59.99

Homework:  Homework is required. This class uses WebWork, as well as selected problems from the text.

Quizzes: Quizzes count as part of your course grade. They are intended to be easy, but only if you have prepared the material. Quizzes are to see if you are familiar and comfortable with the material so they may occur without warning. Be prepared.

Exams:  There will be 3 exams plus the final exam.

Final Exam:     The Final Exam is scheduled for the week May 16-22.  The Final Exam is a comprehensive, cumulative, departmental exam. There are no make-ups for the Final Exam.

Homework (with Quizzes, Class participation and special assignments) (25%):

The homework will be available on “WebWork”. Link: http://mathww.citytech.cuny.edu/webwork2/MAT1275CO-S24-Sirelson-D105

Daily work is expected.

Midterm Exams (3 @ 15%): A sample exam will be posted prior to the exam. Anyone who misses an exam with a documented medical or family emergency may arrange to take a makeup exam to be completed 2 class days after returning. The makeup exam will be given outside of the normal class time and an automatic 10 point deduction is applied, e.g., a score of 70 would be lowered to 60.

Final Exam (30%): This will be a departmental exam. The exam procedure will be posted near the end of the semester..A sample exam will be posted prior to the exam. If you miss the final exam and have been failing the course, you will receive a WU or F. Otherwise, if you have a documented illness or emergency, you will have opportunity to take a makeup final exam (small fee).

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