Martin Flashman's Courses
Tentative Course Information- Subject to Change (9-20-10)
MATH 40 –  Elementary Algebra
TR 14:00- 15:20 – Room BSS 302

CAVEAT: ***This syllabus is subject to change at any moment***

Any changes will be announced in class.

If you are absent, it is your responsibility to check with other students in the class, so it behooves you to get to know a few classmates.

You are expected to arrive on time and to leave when the class is dismissed.
Arriving late or leaving the class before being dismissed is disruptive to your fellow students.
If you must miss a day, please check with a classmate to see what you missed.
I expect you to be a responsible, respectful, and courteous member of the class.

OFFICE: BSS 356    E-MAIL: flashman at        PHONE:826-4950
Hours (Tent.):  TR 9:15-10:30 W 14:30-16:00   AND BY APPOINTMENT or by CHANCE! [ I am available after class for appointments.]
PREREQUISITE: Math code 10.
IMPORTANT: You may not need this course.
MATH PLACEMENT AFTER THE ELM Using ALEKS is not available after Sunday, August 22nd. If you think you have demonstrated you ability to do the work in this course in previous course work, you should see me AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. 
A quick self-check on your capability to proceed to the next algebra course (Math 44) may be found on the course Moodle page, which you can access as a guest if you are not yet enrolled in the class.
You may also want to consider taking Math 42 if you have already had courses in intgermediate algebra and feel ready for a very rapid review of algebra I and II.

Catalog Description: Elementary Algebra: Transition from arithmetic to algebra; operations on real numbers and algebraic expressions; polynomials, fractional expressions; , square roots, solving elementary equations and word problems. Prereq: HSU math code 10.

This course may not be repeated upon receipt of a grade below C- or a grade of U, NC, or W. This course does not satisfy the GE math requirement for the baccalaureate degree and does not count as credit towards the baccalaureate degree.

TEXT: Beginning and Intermediate Algebra, prepared for Humboldt State University, 9th edition, by Gustafson, Karr, Massey. If you purchase your text at the HSU bookstore, you will receive a license to use Enhanced WebAssign included with the purchase of the text (i.e. it is a bundled package at the HSU bookstore). If you purchase the text elsewhere, you will be required to pay an additional $35.00 to purchase the license to Enhanced WebAssign.

In either case, the Enhanced Web Assign license is required for the course.

MOODLE: The course syllabus, announcements, and posted materials for the course will be available on Moodle. Access to the course page on Moodle will be available to guests without current enrollment until the September 15.

WebAssign problems will be assigned each lecture period, and due by 1:00 pm of the next class meeting day. For example, an assignment given on Tuesday is due by 1:00 pm on Thursday. It is your responsibility to ensure that WebAssign problem solutions are submitted on time for credit. You can submit each assignment on WebAssign up to 10 times and the last score will be taken. At the end of the course the lowest 3 scores will be dropped. Assignments can not be made up or retaken, and late assignments will not be accepted without an exceptional reason. [“I forgot” will not work!] Link to Student Quick Start Guide (pdf file). You should check Webassign regularly for current homework assignments.[These will be also announced in class.]

The assignments will often take much time, so I recommend you start working on them as soon after class as possible. This way you will have time to ask for help. Set aside 2 hours/day, 5 days/week to do assignments and/or quizzes. Set yourself up to succeed: Don't try to do too much at a time.

I suggest writing out your work for each problem. Doing a first draft on scratch paper helps. Once you know exactly how a solution goes, transcribe it neatly onto a paper you can use for review. Keep your work in a folder or binder where you can find it easily.

I encourage collaboration on assignments, but remember that in the end it is your understanding that will be assessed in quizzes and exams, which account for 75% of your graded work,. More importantly, your understanding and skills will be the real asset you can keep with you for further mathematics related studies.

There is no extra credit in this course.
Assignments will be discussed in class on a daily basis.

Quizzes: There will be a quiz every other week. The quiz will be given at the beginning of the Thursday class and you will have approximately have 10-15 minutes to finish this quiz. The lowest quiz score (except the score for the last quiz) will be dropped at the end of the semester. These quizzes will have problems similar to assignments and class examples. 

Quizzes can not be retaken or made up.


There will be three 50 minute exams during the semester, in class, plus a cumulative final.

Exams can not be retaken or made up. The tentative schedule for the exams is below.

Exam I Thursday, September 23th [Changed 9-6?-10]

Exam II Thursday, October 14th

Exam III Tuesday, November 9th[Changed 9-20-10]

FINAL EXAM Thursday Dec. 16 15:00-16:50. (Make travel plans accordingly !!!).


WebAssign problems    25%                

Quizzes                           20% 

Exam I                            10% 

Exam II                           10% 

Exam III                          10%

Final Exam                     25%

                            Total 100 %

A grade of less than 50% on the final examination may result in a final grade of  F without offsetting high quality work on the other parts of the course.
  • Notice that only 55% of the grade are from formal in-class examinations, so regular participation is essential to forming a good foundation for your grades as well as your learning.

  • Though final grades for the course are subject to my discretion, I will use the following overall percentages based on the total number of points for your work to determine the broader range of grades for the course. 

    FINAL GRADES:  90-100% A;   80- 89% B;    70- 79% C;    60- 69% D;    0- 59% F
    The above grading rubric serves as a guideline.

    Your final course grade and +/- are determined at my discretion

    The final examination for the course will be comprehensive.
    The final examination is scheduled for Thursday Dec. 16 15:00-16:50.
    It is the student's responsibility to request a makeup promptly,
      especially for unauthorized absence.


    Students with Disabilities: Persons who wish to request disability-related accommodations should contact the Student Disability Resource Center in House 71, 826-4678 (voice) or 826-5392 (TDD). Some accommodations may take up to several weeks to arrange.
    Add/Drop policy: ** See the University rules and dates related to the following: Students are responsible for knowing the University policy, procedures, and schedule for dropping or adding classes.
    Emergency evacuation: Please review the evacuation plan for the classroom (posted on the orange signs) , and review for information on campus Emergency Procedures. PLEASE, take a moment to download and read this page carefully. Although it may seem as a waste of time to you right now, it may save your life one day and you will not have time to read it when you really need it.
    During an emergency, information can be found campus conditions at: 826-INFO or
    Academic honesty: Students are responsible for knowing policy regarding academic honesty:
    Attendance and disruptive behavior: Students are responsible for knowing policy regarding attendance and disruptive behavior:

  • Technology: A computer or a graphing calculator can be used for many problems. We will sometimes use Microsoft Xcel.
  • Graphing Calculators: Graphing calculators are welcome and highly recommended.

  • Use of  Office Hours: Many students find  beginning algebra difficult because of weakness in their arithmetic background skills and concepts. 

  • Difficulties that might have been ignored or passed over in previous courses can be a major reason for why things don't make sense now. You may use my office hours for some additional work on these background areas either as individuals or in small groups. My office time is  also available to discuss  quizzes, routine problems from homework after they have been discussed in class, as well as using technology.

    Regular use of my time outside of class should be especially useful for students having difficulty with the work and wishing to improve through a steady approach to mastering skills and concepts.
    You are more than welcome to come to my office hours for help, but I do not provide individual lessons – only help on work you are doing or concepts you are having trouble with understanding from the text or the class work.

  • Don't be shy about asking for an appointment outside of the scheduled office hours

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