BLC150: The Algebra Workshop
Spring 2020
Magic Square: Detail from DŸrer's Melancolia
I, Engraving 1514
The left column is
16, 5, 9, 4. The 5 and the 9 are weird
and have clearly been corrected.
Professor: Daniel Newsome Office: Learning Commons, Stone Row basement [map] Email: dnewsome@bard.edu 
Office Hours: Mondays and Fridays from 3:004:00 ...or
by appointment. Parent Webpage: http://www.mifami.org Class
schedule: Friday, 1:003:00 pm, Heg 102 
Calculator:
Any basic scientific calculator.
IOS/Android calculators will work.
Syllabus
I'm
revising all of the worksheets and homework as I go, so always...
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Last UpDated: 2/22/20
11:50 AM
All
Homework and "Additional Materials" are listed on this table when
they are due, not when I assign them.
Class # Due Date 
Assignment 
Additional Materials 
i1/31 
Introduction Fractions and 1, Magic Squares, Excel Starter 

ii2/7 
Here is the homework due for Friday, 2/7: HW2 Due 2/7:
Refer to this PDF for the Magick Square
assignments: Magick
Squares Directions
1) Make a 4 x 4 Magick Square using the odd or even numbers.
2) Make a 4 x 4 Magick Square using some other series of numbers. Your choice.
3) Make a 5 x 5 Magick Square.
Don't simply duplicate the one I did in the PDF. Start somewhere else and use a
different "knight" move. 
Optional Primary Source Reading: Optional: RadioLabFor
the Love of Numbers 
iii2/14 
HW3 Don't worry about p. 2. 

iv2/21 
HW4 Percentages and Compound Interest 

v2/28 
HW5 Linear Equations 

vi2/21 


vii3/13 


viii3/20 


Spring Break and Cancelled Class 

ix4/10 

x4/17 




Math Study Room: RKC 101, SundayWednesday,
7:0010:00 pm. This is a peertutor
study room and is a casual place to get mathematical help. This won't be
active until about 2 weeks into the semester.
Useful Graphing Calculator: GeoGebra. [Geogebra Classic 5 can be downloaded
and used offline. Scroll down to
download to a computer.] You can
also use Geogebra 6 online or as an app on a phone.
Another popular graphing app is desmos. There is no offline version that I am
aware of.
Derivation
of Newton's Law of Cooling using the calculus.
How I Feel about
Logarithms  Short video/animation
John
Oliver on Compound Interest and Fees
Podcasts
and other resources that might be of interest:
Course Description and Policies
BLC150 reviews the basic algebra used in math, science, and social science courses. It is designed to tune up a student's algebraic skills in preparation for introductory math, science, economics, or statistics courses. Topics include conversions, linear equations, graphs, quadratic equations, fractions, rational expressions, and exponents.
This course does not fulfill the MC (math and computing) distributional requirement. Taking this course qualifies a student to take courses that require "passing part 1 of the Math Placement Diagnostic."
Please use my office hours or email me to arrange a meeting. I'm here to help. [dnewsome@bard.edu]
Also use the Math Study Room, which has qualified math tutors available for walkin service. Feel free to do your math homework in the Math Study Room so that you can have instant access to math help.
Your grade will be determined by the following:
1/3 Attendance, Punctuality, Attention, Preparedness, and Participation: Treat this like a job. Email me if you will miss class.
1/3 Weekly Homework: Completeness, Correctness, and Timeliness. All homework must be handed in on time and on paper. Please don't submit homework in email attachments or similar unless otherwise directed to do so.
1/3 Quizzes and Exams: There will be at least 2 exams and quizes whenever the spirit moves me. Practice exams will be provided.
This is a Pass/Fail course. Passing requires 70% or better. Your midterm Criteria Sheet will indicate a letter grade so that will know where you stand, but your final grade will be pass/fail.
ADA Statement
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal antidiscrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact Amy Shein (ashein@bard.edu) to determine if you may be eligible.
Homework Guidelines
To liberally paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, Homework, like fish, begins to smell after 3
days. If you are late with a
homework assignment, it very quickly begins to rot. I don't want to read it if it is more
than one class session late. If it is one class session late, it will be
graded as if it were a rotten fish.
I might not even read it.
You might get some credit, but since it stinks, I might just throw it
out. There is a paperwork bin right
outside my office mounted to the wall where you can leave papers and where I
can leave graded assignments and other handouts.
I will not accept electronically submitted
homework unless it is asked for.
Everything needs to be on paper unless otherwise requested.