MA 109 is a 3 credit hour class taught by several instructors in several sections. For office hours, meeting times, and contact information, please see the tables below.
It is very important to keep up with your class and to inform your instructor as early as possible of any problems or concerns. Many instructors have multiple hundreds of students, and so there may be delays or special requirements needed to handle what may appear to be simple problems. On the other hand our instructors are highly trained professionals and may be able to help you solve what seem like insurmountable challenges. In either case, the more time the instructor has to consider your case, the more likely you are to have a good result.
Instructors hold dropin office hours at the times and places listed below. You can stop by to ask questions about the course material or structure. Most instructors also are available in the Mathskeller where you can ask them (or any other instructor present) for help in the course.
Instructor  Office Location  Office Phone  Office Hours  Mathskeller hours  

Jacob Adams  jacob.adams1@uky.edu  POT 702  (859) 2576804  
Joseph Cummings  joseph.cummings@uky.edu  POT 806  (859) 2576817  
Stephen Deterding  deterding@uky.edu  POT 802  (859) 2576816  
Sara EllisHebble  sara.ellis@uky.edu  POT 951  (859) 2576821  
Amy Green  mrs.amy.green@uky.edu  POT 951  (859) 2576821  
Jack Schmidt  jack.schmidt@uky.edu  POT 761  (859) 2571429 
Active, engaged class participation is required in all sections. Make sure you know when and where your class meets and make sure to bring appropriate materials to class (a way to view the textbook, a place to take notes, any calculator you want to practice using). Your active, engaged class participation is a major component of your final grade.
The rooms for your exams are also listed (but please check back for possible room changes):
Section  Instructor  Room  Time  Exam 13 room  Final room 

001  Amy Green  CB 114  MWF 8:00am–8:50am  CB 106  CB 106 
002  Sara EllisHebble  CB 114  MWF 10:00am–10:50am  CB 102  CB 102 
003  Amy Green  CB 212  MWF 12:00pm–12:50pm  CB 106  CB 106 
004  Sara EllisHebble  CB 114  MWF 2:00pm–2:50pm  CB 122  CB 122 
005  Jack Schmidt  CB 114  TuTh 9:30am–10:45am  CB 118  CB 118 
006  Jack Schmidt  CB 114  TuTh 11:00am–12:15pm  CB 118  CB 118 
007  Stephen Deterding  CB 307  TuTh 8:00am–9:15am  CB 110  CB 110 
008  Stephen Deterding  CP 397  TuTh 9:30am–10:45am  CB 110  CB 110 
009  Jacob Adams  FB B4  TuTh 12:30pm–1:45pm  CB 114  CB 114 
010  Jacob Adams  CP 397  TuTh 2:00pm–3:15pm  CB 114  CB 114 
011  Joseph Cummings  CB 209  TuTh 9:30am–10:45am  CB 106  CB 106 
012  Joseph Cummings  CB 205  TuTh 12:30pm–1:45pm  CB 118  CB 118 
College Algebra covers selected topics in algebra, such as a review of grade school algebra, quadratic formula, systems of linear equations, introduction to functions and graphing. Please see this more detailed schedule with supporting lecture notes and worksheets. In particular, we will cover solving equations (linear, quadratic, power, radical, and absolute value equations, as well as equations mentioning the unknown only once), graphing on the Cartesian coordinate system (with special emphasis on lines, their slope, perpendicular and parallel lines), solving systems of equations (with substitution and elimination, both linear and nonlinear), using technology (such as graphing calculators and numerical root finders), solving applied problems, inequalities, and general functions, with special emphasis on exponential, logarithmic, polynomial, and rational functions.
The 20172018 Bulletin describes this 3 credit hour course as
Selected topics in algebra. Develops manipulative algebraic skills and mathematical reasoning required for further study in mathematics and use in mathematical modelling. Includes brief review of basic algebra, quadratic formula, systems of linear equations, introduction to functions and graphing, with applications. This course is not available for credit to persons who have received credit in any mathematics course of a higher number with the exceptions of MA 111, 112, 123, 162, 201 and 202. Credit not available on the basis of special examination. Prereq: Two years of high school algebra and a Math ACT score of 21 or above or a Math SAT score of 510 or above; or UK 096; or appropriate MathIndex; or grade of B or better in MA 111. Math placement test recommended.
The goal of this course is to prepare you to use the basic tools of algebra to manipulate both known and unknown numerical quantities. By succeeding in this course, you should be prepared to study elementary calculus (as presented in MA 123) as well as being able to understand and work with mathematical models in your other course work.
Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:
Your final grade is a letter grade A, B, C, D, or E. It is computed from several components (as indicated in the table). Each exam is taken in the evening, and has a very strict absence and cheating policy (be careful not to get a zero on the exam). Homework is completed online and requires paying a significant fee ($60 to $150) with the textbook. The instructor score will measure active, engaged, inclass participation. It may be based on preclass online quizzes, inclass activities or quizzes, or postclass online quizzes. Once the semester is over, including the final exam, your total points can be compared against the grading cutoffs table to find the matching letter grade. Any curve will be decided after the final exam is graded, but is unlikely to be significant barring unforeseen circumstances. A typical grade distribution is 20% of students assigned an A, 25% B, 20% C, 10% D, 10% E, and an additional 15% withdrawing. Grade distributions may change from semester to semester, but this provides a rough indicator of the difficulty students as a whole have with the course. Please note that the option to retake this course are limited.
Grading components  

Points  %  Assessment 
100  20%  Exam 1 
100  20%  Exam 2 
100  20%  Exam 3 
100  20%  Final Exam 
40  8%  Online Homework 
40  8%  Instructor Score 
20  4%  Written Project 
500  100%  Total 
Grading cutoffs  

Minimum points  Minimum Percent  Grade 
450  90.0%  A 
400  80.0%  B 
350  70.0%  C 
300  60.0%  D 
0  0.0%  E 
Midterm grades will be posted in myUK by the deadline established in the Academic Calendar.
During final exams week there will be limited, scheduled opportunities to retake at most one of exam 1, 2, 3. The grade you make on the retake will be averaged with the original grade, in effect allowing you to earn halfcredit back, but also allowing you to lose halfcredit if you do worse on the retake than on the original. You must schedule the retake by filling out a form in canvas before Wed of 13th Week of Class.
The textbook College Algebra, by Thomas W. Hungerford and Douglas J. Shaw is required. You may use the 4th or 5th edition of the book, but please keep in mind the requirement to have an access code for WebAssign (an additional $65 if not purchased with a 5th edition book, but it can be called Contemporary Precalculus by Hungerford and Shaw).
We use a customized ($50 cheaper) version of the original book, which is specifically published for the University of Kentucky and can be purchased at any UK bookstore (about $150). There is also an ebook version ($100 from WebAssign) and a turninyourhomeworkonly version ($47 from WebAssign). The original and ebook versions are called Contemporary Precalculus.
If you purchase your textbook new at any UK bookstore, this will come bundled with the book. Otherwise you will need to purchase the access code from the homework website WebAssign for about $65. You can use WebAssign free until Wednesday, January 17 by logging into Canvas. It appears that Safari on a Mac computer cannot login. We recommend using Google Chrome. Once you purchase the access code, login as usual through Canvas and it will complete the registration.
Your instructor score is based on active, inclass participation. The way this is measured depends on which section you are in. You may want to see the submission guidelines for some details.
In the sections 002, 004, 005, and 006, you will need a “Reef Technologies iClicker subscription” for $15 per semester. They can be purchased from the UK bookstore, or directly from the phone app. If you don't have a device to view webpages on during class, then ask your instructor about other options. You'll need to register them on Canvas.
Students in the small sections, 001, 003, and 007012, do not need an iClicker. You may be asked to purchase 3x5 index cards or something similar (a dollar or two for the semester).
We will be using notes written for you as a complement/guide to the textbook in order to assist you throughout the course. We will also be using practice problems at the end of every set of notes that have been designed to get you practicing during lecture. These are available for free on our website (though you'd have to pay for printing if you wanted paper versions).
A graphing calculator can be extremely helpful for parts of the course. A standard choice is the TI84 ($75 to $125). Most graphing calculators have the same basic functions, and you should be able to learn about your calculator by reading the manual. A free online graphing calculator such as Desmos may be easier and cheaper to use while still providing all the conceptual benefits, however it cannot be used on exams, so one should be familiar with whatever sort of calculator one decides to use. Exams require a scientific calculator (powers, e, log; TI30 series, $10 to $30), or graphing calculator.
Using the calculator during a test for any reason other than performing the required calculations (for example, to recall a previously stored formula) will be considered cheating. You may use any graphing calculator that is allowed by ACT. Note that you will not be allowed to use the calculator on a cell phone, or any other communication device. Furthermore, you may not use any calculator that has a computer algebra system (CAS) or a QWERTY keyboard. In particular, you may not use the TINspire CAS, any TI89, any TI92, the HP 48GII, any HP 40G, any HP 49G, any HP 50G, the Casio Algebra fx 2.0, the Casio ClassPad 300, the Casio ClassPad 330, or any Casio CFX9970G.
There are a number of important policies that can have a dramatic effect on your understanding and final grade in this course. These policies are intended to be uniform and simple, but if you have not read over them, they may have unexpected consequences.
See the Academic Calendar, the Common Hour Exam schedule, and the Final Exam schedule for Spring 2018.
Wednesday, January 10  First Day of Classes 
Monday, January 15  Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (no classes) 
Wednesday, January 17  Last Day to Add 
Wednesday, January 31  Last Day to Drop 
Wednesday, February 7  Exam 1 (7:30pm – 9:30pm) 
Wednesday, March 7  Exam 2 (7:30pm – 9:30pm) 
Friday, March 9  Midterm grades 
Monday, March 12 to Saturday, March 17  Spring Break (no classes) 
Friday, March 30  Last Day to Withdraw 
Wednesday, April 11  Exam 3 (7:30pm – 9:30pm) 
Friday, April 20  Written Project Due 
Friday, April 27  Last Day of Classes 
Tuesday, May 1  Final Exam (6:00pm  8:00pm) 
Active, engaged, inclass participation is mandatory and forms a major portion of your final grade. You should be ready to work when class begins (for example: seated, notes and pencil ready, attention to the front, quiet at 8:00am if the class starts at 8:00am). You should not pack up or leave until class is over (for example: you should still be working at 8:49am if the class ends at 8:50am). If you have special circumstances, please contact your instructor before class begins so that they can excuse late arrivals or early departures. Unexcused late arrivals or early departures may result in significant reduction in participation grade for each day on which they occur.
An absence can only be excused if the instructor is notified within a week of the absence. The choice to excuse the absence is with the instructor, though excuses will be granted (given timely notification) according to University Senate Rule 5.2.4.2: namely (a) serious illness, (b) illness or death of a family member, (c) University related trips, (d) major religious holidays, (e) other reasons deemed reasonable by the instructor. In the case of (c) and (d) notification must be provided one week in advance. In all cases documentation may be requested to ensure the absence does meet policy. For (a) a University Health Services Tier 2 or Tier 3 excuse is required, or a similar note from a health care provider who will confirm that you are a patient and were seen on the indicated day. Documentation that cannot be verified may result in the absence not being excused.
Absences can affect three major types of grade, and the policies for how absences affect each grade differ: Homework extensions should be requested before the homework solutions are available. Homework is available many weeks in advance, so that absences of type (c) and (d) can usually be handled without recourse to a homework extension. Instructor score measures a continued commitment to engaged, active inclass participation. Consult your individual instructor for details on how this will be measured, and how excused absences affect this measurement. Absences for exams are quite serious. An unexcused exam absence results in 0 for the exam grade, which lowers your final grade by at least a letter grade. To allow for exceptional circumstances, there is a simple alternate exam signup available in your canvas course. We have a number of alternate times available to take each exam, and any request received before two weeks prior to the exam for one of those times will be automatically granted (excused). On the other hand last minute requests or requests that would require undue hardship are likely to be rejected (unexcused) or only given with a severe point penalty. Absences of type (a) and (b) should be reported within 24 hours of the exam to ensure that a reasonable accommodation can be found. Exam absences not reported within a week are automatically unexcused and result in a zero on the exam.
Homework must be submitted online at WebAssign, in the appropriate course as accessed from Canvas. WebAssign is a forprofit company that charges a fee to use their online homework. The student is responsible for paying this fee. The textbook at the UK Bookstore includes this fee (about $150 including both book and fee). The WebAssign website should also provide a link to purchase an onlineonly version of the textbook that also includes this fee (about $65 including both ebook and fee).
The homework due dates are listed in the course schedule. Homework assignments are always due at 11:59 pm. Please note that if you are having trouble with the website, you should contact WebAssign for help. There will be many homework sets throughout the semester. You can see the homework assignment due dates on the class schedule. Note that two of these assignments are due during Dead Week.
Exams must be taken at the specified times and locations, or an alternate exam must be approved by the instructor, using the form in canvas. You are expected to take the exam without notes, textbooks, online access, or communication with your peers. You may use a calculator approved for use on the ACT.
Instructor score may require submission of online quizzes (also on WebAssign) that may be due before class (“reading checks”), during class (“emporium style”), or after class (“daily quiz”). Sections 002, 004, 005, and 006 require the use of Reef Technologies iClicker which costs about $15 (and can be used on your smart phone, tablet, or laptop). Instructor score may also require taking a short inclass quiz at the beginning (“entrance slip”), middle (“pop quiz”), or end (“exit slip”). You may be expected to bring your own index card to turn in the quiz, especially in sections 001, 003, and 007012.
Written projects will be submitted through Canvas (instructions will be posted on Canvas). The due date is Friday, April 20 at 5pm. This project is a mandatory part of the class and fulfills Gen Ed requirements (UK Core Quantitative Foundations). Information about the project can be found here. This project is worth 20 points in the calculation of your final grade. One point is deducted for every 6 hours the project is late.
Please notify your instructor in advance if you need accommodations due to disability. Exam accommodations require one week notice to get everything in place. Most accommodations can be worked out (in broad strokes) with the disability resource center. They will provide you with a letter for your instructor that should make finding accommodations easy. You should still check with your instructor that everything looks fine (and arrange a private meeting if details need to discussed).
All assignments, exams, quizzes, projects, and exercises completed by students for this class should be the product of the personal efforts of the individual(s) whose name(s) appear on the corresponding assignment. Cheating or plagiarism is a serious offense and will not be tolerated. Any potential cheating case will be thoroughly investigated, and could lead to failure in the course or even to expulsion from the university. See Student Rights and Responsibilities in the University Senate Rules (Sections 6.3.1 and 6.3.2) for information on cheating, plagiarism, and penalties. A summary of recent changes to rules on cheating can be found at the academic ombud website.
Students are expected to be actively participating during class. Students are also expected not to distract others. If you arrive late, leave early, are distracted by your phone, or are otherwise not actively engaged with the class you may not receive credit for participating that day. If you are disrupting class, you may be asked to leave.
College Algebra is traditionally a very difficult class, and many of your classmates will be having a hard time adjusting both to the university and to the demands of the class. You are expected to treat your classmates with respect. It is reasonable to disagree, but you should express your disagreement respectfully. Personal attacks or statements denigrating another on the basis of race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, gender or gender expression, age, national/regional origin or other such irrelevant factors are considered a severe disruption. Harassment will not be tolerated.
The University of Kentucky faculty are committed to supporting students and upholding the University's nondiscrimination policy.
Discrimination is prohibited at UK. If you experience an incident of discrimination we encourage you to report it to Institutional Equity & Equal Opportunity (IEEO) Office, 13 Main Building, (859) 2578927.
Acts of Sex and GenderBased Discrimination or Interpersonal Violence: If you experience an incident of sex or genderbased discrimination or interpersonal violence, we encourage you to report it. While you may talk to a faculty member or TA/RA/GA, understand that as a "Responsible Employee" of the University these individuals MUST report any acts of violence (including verbal bullying and sexual harassment) to the University's Title IX Coordinator in the IEEO Office. If you would like to speak with someone who may be able to afford you confidentiality, the Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) program and Bias Incident Support Services (Frazee Hall – Lower Level), the Counseling Center (106 Frazee Hall), and University Health Services are confidential resources on campus.
Homework score and instructor score continue as usual. Homework is due and the typical measures of inclass participation will be present. No papers or exams will be given during dead week.
University Senate rule 4.3.3 allows department chairs to prevent a student from registering in a course for a third time, unless a student has withdrawn for urgent, nonacademic reasons. The Department of Mathematics enforces this rule for students attempting a fourth registration in MA 109, 110, 113 and 137.
The following is a tentative course schedule. The homework assignments correspond to the lecture notes.
Week #  Sun  Mon  Tue  Wed  Thu  Fri  Sat 

1  Jan 7  Jan 8  Jan 9 
Jan 10
First Day of Classes

Jan 11 
Jan 12
HW: Checkin

Jan 13 
2  Jan 14 
Jan 15
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (no classes)

Jan 16
HW: A bit of review

Jan 17
Last Day to Add

Jan 18 
Jan 19
HW: Solving Equations A

Jan 20 
3  Jan 21  Jan 22 
Jan 23
HW: Solving Equations B

Jan 24
HW: MiniExam 1

Jan 25 
Jan 26
HW: Solving Equations C

Jan 27 
4  Jan 28  Jan 29 
Jan 30
HW: Solving Equations D

Jan 31
Last Day to Drop

Feb 1 
Feb 2
HW: Cartesian coordinates A

Feb 3 
5  Feb 4  Feb 5 
Feb 6
HW: Cartesian coordinates B

Feb 7
Exam 1 (7:30pm – 9:30pm)

Feb 8  Feb 9  Feb 10 
6  Feb 11  Feb 12 
Feb 13
HW: Systems A

Feb 14  Feb 15 
Feb 16
HW: Systems B

Feb 17 
7  Feb 18  Feb 19 
Feb 20
HW: Systems C

Feb 21
HW: MiniExam 2

Feb 22 
Feb 23
HW: Tech Wisely

Feb 24 
8  Feb 25  Feb 26 
Feb 27
HW: Applied

Feb 28  Mar 1 
Mar 2
HW: Inequalities

Mar 3 
9  Mar 4  Mar 5 
Mar 6
HW: Functions A

Mar 7
Exam 2 (7:30pm – 9:30pm)

Mar 8 
Mar 9
Midterm grades

Mar 10 
10  Mar 11 
Mar 12
Spring Break (no classes)

Mar 13
Spring Break (no classes)

Mar 14
Spring Break (no classes)

Mar 15
Spring Break (no classes)

Mar 16
Spring Break (no classes)

Mar 17
Spring Break (no classes)

11  Mar 18  Mar 19 
Mar 20
HW: Functions B

Mar 21  Mar 22 
Mar 23
HW: Functions C

Mar 24 
12  Mar 25  Mar 26 
Mar 27
HW: Functions D

Mar 28
HW: MiniExam 3

Mar 29 
Mar 30
Last Day to Withdraw
HW: Functions E

Mar 31 
13  Apr 1  Apr 2 
Apr 3
HW: Functions F

Apr 4  Apr 5 
Apr 6
HW: Exp/Log A

Apr 7 
14  Apr 8  Apr 9 
Apr 10
HW: Exp/Log B

Apr 11
Exam 3 (7:30pm – 9:30pm)

Apr 12 
Apr 13
HW: Exp/Log C

Apr 14 
15  Apr 15  Apr 16 
Apr 17
HW: Poly A

Apr 18
HW: Final Review I

Apr 19 
Apr 20
Written Project Due
HW: Poly B

Apr 21 
16  Apr 22  Apr 23 
Apr 24
HW: Poly C

Apr 25
HW: Final Review II

Apr 26 
Apr 27
Last Day of Classes
HW: Rational

Apr 28 
17  Apr 29  Apr 30 
May 1
Final Exam (6:00pm  8:00pm)

May 2  May 3  May 4  May 5 
In addition to the lecture notes, the textbook and your instructor's office hours, you may find the following useful for studying:
The topics covered on each exam in MA 109 may change slightly from semester to semester. Thus, the exams which are linked to this page may cover different topics than the exams to be given this semester in MA 109.
Fall 2017  Exam 1  Exam 2  Exam 3  Exam 4 
Key 1  Key 2  Key 3  Key 4  
Spring 2017  Exam 1  Exam 2  Exam 3  Exam 4 
Key 1  Key 2  Key 3  Key 4  
Fall 2016  Exam 1  Exam 2  Exam 3  Exam 4 
Key 1  Key 2  Key 3  Key 4  
Spring 2016  Exam 1  Exam 2  Exam 3  Exam 4 
Key 1  Key 2  Key 3  Key 4  
Fall 2015  Exam 1  Exam 2  Exam 3  Exam 4 
Key 1  Key 2  Key 3  Key 4  
Explanation 1  Explanation 2  Explanation 3  Explanation 4 (and another)  
Spring 2015  Exam 1  Exam 2  Exam 3  Exam 4 
Key 1  Key 2  Key 3  Key 4  
Fall 2014  Exam 1  Exam 2  Exam 3  Exam 4 
Key 1  Key 2  Key 3  Key 4  
Spring 2014  Exam 1  Exam 2  Exam 3  Exam 4 
Key 1  Key 2  Key 3  Key 4  
Fall 2013  Exam 1  Exam 2  Exam 3  Exam 4 
Key 1  Key 2  Key 3  Key 4  
Spring 2013  Exam 1  Exam 2  Exam 3  Exam 4 
Key 1  Key 2  Key 3  Key 4  
Fall 2012  Exam 1  Exam 2  Exam 3  Exam 4 
Key 1  Key 2  Key 3  Key 4  
Spring 2012  Exam 1  Exam 2  Exam 3  Exam 4 
Key 1  Key 2  Key 3  Key 4  
Fall 2011  Exam 1  Exam 2  Exam 3  Exam 4 
Key 1  Key 2  Key 3  Key 4  
Spring 2011  Exam 1  Exam 2  Exam 3  Exam 4 
Key 1  Key 2  Key 3  Key 4 
The Mathskeller is located in CB 063 in the basement of the classroom building. Many instructors from the Department of Mathematics will hold office hours in the Mathskeller. In addition, limited dropin tutoring is available. The Mathskeller is open from 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday (except academic holidays) during the semester. Additional information is available at http://www.math.uky.edu/~mathskeller/.
The Peer Tutoring Program offers FREE dropin tutoring for many University of Kentucky (UK) core courses. Offering proactive assistance, the goal of the Peer Tutoring Program is to enhance students' academic experience as early and as often as possible. The Peer Tutoring Program provides a welcoming and friendly atmosphere for students to drop in, as they wish, to seek help on homework or exam prep, or simply to study within a group environment. Peer Tutors in The Study Central and The Study North are nationally certified, welltrained undergraduate students who have successfully completed the course for which they tutor at UK. This makes them a great resource for questions about a professor or course format in addition to questions pertaining to the subject.
Peer tutoring is offered in two locations: The Study Central, on the bottom floor of Donovan Hall (entrance is catty corner from KLair) on central campus, and The Study North, on the first floor of Jewel Hall (residence hall across from the Student Center) on north campus.