BLC150: The Algebra Workshop

Spring 2020- Now Remote


 -Professor: Daniel Newsome      -Office: In the Aether]



-Parent Webpage:

         -Office Hours:  Mondays and Fridays from 3:00-4:00: 

         Coming Soon: Virtual Office Hours


-Class schedule: Friday, 1:00-3:00 pm, Heg 102


         Calculator: Any basic scientific calculator.  IOS/Android calculators will work.


I'm revising all of the worksheets and homework as I go, so always...

Refresh Me      Refresh Me

[Use the reload/refresh button on your browser to see the latest updates.]

Last Up-Dated: 4/24/20 4:01 PM


All Homework and "Additional Materials" are listed on this table when they are due, not when I assign them.

PreVirus Assignments moved to another page:  PreVirus-BLC-150-Sp2020

[I did this to clean up this page.]


Class #-

Due Date


Additional Materials


HW-6 - Sample Quiz

Quiz Today


Cancelled due to Viral Issue


Class 7: First fully Remote Class

Do the following in the order shown.


1-Watch this: SIR Video [14']


2-Read this: Modeling with SIR


3-Watch this: GoogleSheet Tutorial-pts1-3 [video-49']

The homework for April 3 (HW-8) is posted below, in the April 3 assignment box.


Addendum: Click-Drag-Copy Video 

[very short]


Spring Break

We have set up virtual tutoring here:

Contact Olive at: to set up an appointment.


HW-8: Due 4/3.

Make SI model and play with SIR models:  Follow these instructions:  HW-8 PDF

This is a PDF Form, so you should be able to type numbers directly into the table on page 1.  Anybody's guess if this will work for you.  If you have a problem, just print it out and write on it.

I'll post the answers to this later.

Class 8:

This is the "lecture" part of the class.  It includes a mixture of video and reading.

This will be posted on or before 4/3.




Optional materials:


NYTimes-Interesting Graphics- Virus on the Move- This is another approach to modeling the infection.


Flattening the Curve- NYT


Mandavilli-NYT-Can You Become Immune to the Coronavirus? - Finally, some news on immunity for the Recovered population.



Class 9: Average vs. Median and Statistics Introduction


Read and do: HW-9 [You may want to "read and do" along with the audio/visual materials linked below.


Listen to: Stochasticity-RadioLab


Watch: Video Tutorial: Making Average-Median Calculator in a SpreadSheet


Optional Materials:

Nothing so far.


HW-10: Probability

HomeWork PDF


Class 10 - Final Class


Due May 1st



Final Exam: BLC150Final [PDF]

Download this file... then...

Just highlight each of your answers and send it back to me.  Please re-title the pdf with your last name: E.g. Newsome-BLC150Final.pdf.

Send it back to me at:

...and you'll be done!   YEAH!


2020.4.24-Final Class on Zoom

This goes over most of the problems on the Final Exam.



         Math Study Room - Now Online (sort of)

         Contact Olive at: to set up an appointment





Julia Sheffler


Jiangli Liu

Yuexin Ma, (Echo)

Riti Bahl

Riti Bahl temporarily


Felicia Flores


Yiyang Zhou




         The Math Study Room is a place where you can casually do your homework and

         have other students with math backgrounds help you when you need it. 

         It is a great place to get the help you need without the pressure of a professor.


         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.


Properties of Exponents


How I Feel about Logarithms - Short video/animation


Trig Identities Derived


John Oliver on Compound Interest and Fees



Podcasts and other resources that might be of interest:




IOT-Muslim Spain




IOT-Early Islamic Maths


IOT-Prime Numbers




RadioLab-For the Love of Numbers


IOT-Indian Maths




U.S. Students Lacking in Object Permanence Skills


Insane Clown Posse - Miracles

         Course Description and Policies- To be updated for Virtual Class


         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. []


         Also use the Math Study Room, which has qualified math tutors available for walk-in 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 anti-discrimination 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 ( 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.