Mathematics for Liberal Arts MATH 105- Syllabus

Western New Mexico University

Syllabus for Math 105

Mathematics for Liberal Arts I

Fall 2009

Instructor: Stan Thompson

Phone: (575) 894-7485 (9 am to 5 pm MST, M-F)

Address: HC-31 Box 159, Williamsburg, NM 87942

Office Hours: No office hours (On-line course)

WNMU Email:


Course Catalog Description:

The concepts of mathematics for students outside of the fields of mathematics, business, and the sciences. Placement according to COMPASS math score or successful completion of DVSM 102 (Developmental Algebra).


Required Text and Required Software

Excursions in Modern Mathematics, Seventh Edition, Peter Tannenbaum (ISBN:0-321-56803-6)

Required Software

Since this is an online course, there are some minimum hardware and software requirements to complete the course. For recommended operating system requirements and web browser compatibility, see click on My Online Courses

For all browsers, JavaScript and cookies must be enabled. To use Chat and Whiteboard, Java must also be enabled. Please see click on My Online Courses for details on internet browser setups.

To complete this course, you will need the following software:

a. Microsoft Word, PowerPoint (the ‘free’ Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer may be used to view .ppt files) and Excel (2000 or newer). There is a possibility that if you have Microsoft Office 2007 you will have to save your Excel documents in a previous file; (i.e.: .xls). Instructions on doing this will be given to you during the first week of class. Adobe Acrobat Reader® (free download at

b. WinZip® (download at ) or similar product. This may not be required.

c. Use of WNMU’s Bb tool (

Textbooks and software may be purchased at the WNMU bookstore, in person or online via : Or you may purchase via other online resources such as or


Instructional Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, the student will have proficiency in the following:

a. Be able to explore a few of the more common voting methods use in elections--- how they work, what their implications are, and how they stack up when we put them to some basic test of fairness. In so doing, we will also gain some insight into the meaning and significance of Arrow’s impossibility theorem.

b. We will learn that in a diverse society--- it is in the very nature of things that voters; be they individuals or institutions---are not equal, and sometimes it is actually desirable to recognize their differences by giving them different amounts of say over the outcome of an election. That a principle best described as one voter-x votes, is more formally known as weighted voting.

c. Dividing things fairly using reason and logic, instead of bullying our way to a solution, is one of the great achievements of social science, and, once again, we can trace the roots of this achievement to simple mathematics.

d. Realize that Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution of the United States is continually on a collision course with a mathematical iceberg known today as the apportionment problem.

e. We will solve problems involving the organization and management of complex activities, such as the mathematical study of how things are interconnected. Learn that efficiency is of prime importance in solving these problems.

f. Understand the type of problem known as the traveling-salesman problem (TSP).

g. To understand the problem of finding efficient networks connecting a set of points.

h. Understand that limited or precious resource must be managed to minimize waste.


Course Expectations and WNMU Policies for Students:


Attendance in an online class is evaluated by your attendance to the material. You will get out of the course what you put into the course. You will need to be a “self-starter”, and control your own calendar in order to meet the deadlines for the course.

Informed Consent:

Some individuals may choose to disclose personal information during class. Therefore, it is important that all classmates agree not to discuss or write about what others have discussed in class.


Students are learning professional skills and are expected to engage in classroom discussions, complete reading assignments and turn in assignments in a timely fashion as befitting professional behavior.

Scholarly Writing:

Use clear college level writing with correct spelling and grammar for all assignments. If you need help in writing, check with the WNMU Online Writing Center.

Special Needs:

Students with disabilities in need of accommodation should register with the Special Needs Office (JUANCB 210, Ext. 6498) at the beginning of the semester. With student permission, that office will notify instructors of any special equipment or services a student requires..

Integrated Use of Technology:

Because this is an online course, I am making the assumption that you are comfortable utilizing a computer, and navigating various software programs like Blackboard Vista (Bb), Microsoft Word, Powerpoint. If you have any questions about computer requirements see the “Student Resoures” course in Bb.

Need Help?

1. Post a question to the Discussion Board. There is no such thing as a dumb question.

2. Post a question as a Bb email to your instructor.

3. If the Bb system goes down or you have other technical questions, contact the WNMU Help Desk: or (505) 574-4357.

4. Go to the Bb Student Resources page: click on My Online Courses.

Special Needs Students: Students with disabilities in need of accommodation should register with the Special Needs Office (JUANCB 210, Ext. 6498) at the beginning of the semester. With student permission, that office will notify instructors of any special equipment or services a student requires.

Communication Policy Statement regarding official email :WNMU’s policy requires that all official communication be sent via Mustang Express. As a result, all emails related to your enrollment at WNMU and class communication – including changes in assignments and grades – will be sent to your email address. It is very important that you access your Mustang Express e-mail periodically to check for correspondence from the University. If you receive most of your email at a different address you can forward your messages from Mustang Express to your other address.

Example: Martin Classmember was assigned a WNMU email address of but Martin would rather receive his emails at his home email address of

Martin would follow the direction provided at:

WNMU Policy on Email Passwords: WNMU requires that passwords for access to all of the protected software, programs, and applications will be robust, including complexity in the number of characters required, the combination of characters required, and the frequency in which passwords are required to be changed. Minimum complexity shall include:

• Passwords shall contain at least six (6) characters.

• Passwords shall contain at least one capital (upper case) letter, and at least one symbol (numbers and characters such as @ # $ % & *).

• Passwords shall be changed at least every 90 days. (8/6/08)

Academic Integrity Policy and Procedures: Each student shall observe standards of honesty and integrity in academic work completed at WNMU. Students may be penalized for violations of the Academic Integrity policy. Please refer to pages 60 and 61 of the 2008-2009 Catalog. (Clearly specify what you consider to be violations of academic honesty.)

Caveats: The schedule and procedures in this course are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances.



This is an intensive, undergraduate-level course with regular and firm deadlines.

Weekly Homework Assignments: You will be assigned homework every other week, except for the week of Thanksgiving, and the final. Details on the homework can be found under the assignments icon. Homework format will normally utilize Microsoft Excel workbooks (sheets). Examples will be posted on the Bb course for you to study. You must submit your module (week) assignments by the end of each module (week) period to be considered for grading. Solutions will be posted in Bb following the submission deadline. Normally, this will be in the following module (week). Homework is worth 80 total points or about 27% of the final grade.

Chapter Tests: You will be required to submit chapter tests about every other week. These tests are worth 20 points each with a total of 140 points or about 47% of your final grade. Chapter tests are available under the assignment icon.

Weekly Discussion Topics: Discussions are, in essence, the equivalent of ‘class participation’ in an online course. The instructor will begin facilitation of these class discussions. Each discussion topic will last for one-week. Discussions start on Mondays and will end on the following Sunday.

Please log into the class and participate in the discussion at least four times during the one-week window. You are expected to participate in all of the discussion topics presented during the semester.

Please take care in composing your discussion postings; the idea is to have a conversation with the instructor and other students in the class, much as you would in a face-to-face class. (The discussion area should not be a series of unrelated postings.) You are encouraged to share your ideas, ask questions, and comment/respond appropriately to other students’ comments. The instructor will evaluate your discussion postings in terms of both quality and quantity as part of the course grade. The discussion postings are worth 40 points or about 13% of the final grade.

During the first two weeks of the course you will have an opportunity to interact casually with other students in the class to form virtual study groups. Students in this class often find it is essential to pair up with other students in the class to discuss module readings and assignments. However, submitted homework assignments are expected to be your own work. Do not work together on graded homework problems or exams.

Please use the discussion area as your primary way of asking questions regarding the class. Often other students will have the same questions, so it is a quicker and more efficient way for you to get your questions answered.

Mid-Term Examination: Your homework points plus your discussion points through chapter 4 (Module/Week 8) will determine your mid-term grade. Since each chapter is unique there is no ‘building up of knowledge’ as you would expect in a normal mathematics course. Completing each homework and discussion session is very important if you want the best grade for yourself.

Final Examination: The final four chapters (chapters 5 - 8) will also count as a second ‘mid-term’ examination. The points assigned will be similar to those of the first 4 chapters (chapters 1 - 4). In addition, a final exam covering the whole course will allow you to recap some points that you may have missed in the homework and discussion area. No collaboration is allowed. Further details will be announced prior to this period using our Bb course. The weight of the final examination is 40 points or about 13% of the final grade.

To summarize:
Homework 80 points 27%
Chapter tests 140 points 47%
Discussion postings 40 points 13%
Final exam 40 points 13%
Totals 300 points* 100%
* Total points may change with additions/subtractions during the course. Notification will be given in advance.


Assessment/Evaluation and Grading Scale:

90 - 100% = A

80 - 89% = B

70 - 79% = C

60 - 69% = D

0 - 59% = F


Schedule: Math 105 Fall 2009


Aug 17-23
Ch 1
HW: Prob: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5

Ch 1
Chapter 1 Test
Discussion (points available for Ch 1)

31-Sep 6
Ch 2
HW: Prob: 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5

Ch 2
Chapter 2 Test
Discussion (points available for Ch 2)

Ch 3
HW: Prob: 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5

Ch 3
Chapter 3 Test
Discussion (points available for Ch 3)

28-Oct 4
Ch 4
HW: Prob: 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5

Ch 4
Ch 4 Test
Discussion (points available for Ch 4)

Ch 5
HW: Prob: 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5

Ch 5
Ch 5 Test
Discussion (points available for Ch 5)

26-Nov 1
Ch 6
HW: Prob: 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5

Ch 6
Ch 6 Test
Discussion (points available for Ch 6)

Ch 7
HW: Prob: 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 7.5

Ch 7
Ch 7 Test
Discussion (points available for Ch 7)


No Class Thanksgiving Break

30-Dec 6
Ch 8
HW: Prob: 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5


Final Exam (includes Ch. 8)

Total Points HW: 80; Disc: 40; Tests: 180




In order to promote a positive, professional atmosphere among students, faculty and staff, the following Code of Civility has been developed:

Respect: Treat all students, faculty, staff and property with respect and in a courteous and professional manner. This includes all communications, whether verbal or written. Let your actions reflect pride in yourself, your university, and your profession.

Kindness: A kind word and gentle voice go a long way. Refrain from using profanity, insulting slang remarks, or making disparaging comments. Consider another person’s feelings. Be nice.

Truth: Exhibit honesty and integrity in your dealings with fellow students, faculty and staff members. Don’t lie, don’t cheat, and don’t steal.

Responsibility: Take responsibility for your actions. This includes gracefully accepting the consequences of your behavior.

Cooperation: Exhibit a cooperative manner when dealing with students, faculty and staff so we may all work towards our common goals and mission.

Acceptance: Accept differences in others, as they accept differences in you. This includes diversity in opinions, beliefs and ideas and everything else that makes us unique individuals.

Professionalism: Always conduct yourself in a manner that will bring pride to your profession, to the School of Education, to Western New Mexico University, and, most importantly, to yourself.




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| Stan Thompson | | 575-894-7485 |


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