Bahattin Buyuksahin

Finite Mathematics

  • Finite Math: Elementary Mathematical Models- AMERICAN UNIVERSITY FALL 2000

    Tutoring Hours and Strategy for Success

    Free walk-in tutoring is available in the Math Lab, located in Roper 122, Monday through Thursday from 12:00 until 8:00 pm and Friday from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Please use these services as well as my office hours at any time that you are having difficulty with a topic or a problem. Don’t Wait!!

    Many students have found that an excellent way to succeed in math classes is to work on homework problems in or near this time so that there is help available as questions arises. This same strategy can work effectively simply by forming study groups and setting times to meet and do problems. Therefore you are strongly encouraged to work in groups of 2 or 3 on homework, but you should not submit work on which you have no input. In particular, the mere copying of another’s homework is considered dishonest and results in a failing grade for the course.

    Don’t reserve your studying for the weekends or last week of the semester. Regular exposure is much better than cramming. I suggest an hour per day. Attend class and take good notes. Good notes will be crucial to your performance on the examinations.

    Course Overview

    This course is application oriented. That is we develop mathematical tools, as we needed to solve specific problems. In this process, we will address many of the tools from algebra like modeling with functions, solving linear and quadratic equation, solving difference equation, logarithm and graphing. We will cover most of the textbook, at a rate approximately one chapter per week. Every topic will be presented geometrically, numerically, algebraically and verbally. After introducing new material, I allow class time for students to work sample problems. This ensures that student leaves class with a working knowledge of the topic, and is prepared for the homework assignment. Since we are going to work real data sets, like population, income statistics, a graphing calculator is required for the course. I suggest Texas Instrument TI-83 graphing calculator. Any other graphing calculator is also permissible, but I may not be able to help you if you have trouble using it.

    For your homework and group projects, you are welcome to use any spreadsheet such as Excel. And also there is easy to use computer program, which is developed by Kalman for this course. You can download this program from Mathwright. To access this program first you need to install Mathwright Library Player 2.1 from the same internet address and then install Elementary Mathematical Models Mathwright Modula.We will discuss in class how to use this program. Don’t be afraid, it is very easy to learn.


    DK: Elementary Mathematical Models: Order Aplenty and a Glimpse of Chaos by Dan Kalman, The Mathematical Association of America, 1997

    Worksheets distributed in class

    Tentative Course Schedule

    Week Topics Lecture Notes Additional Readings
    1  Introduction DK Ch,1
    2 Sequences and Difference Equations DK Ch. 2
    3  Arithmetic Growth Models  DK Ch. 3
    4 Linear Growth Models DK Ch. 4 and 8

    Review of Ch. 1-4 and 8,

    Exam 1

      DK Ch 1-4 and 8
    6  Quadratic Growth Models DK Ch. 5
    7 Quadratic Models and Equations DK Ch. 6
    8 Polynomials and Rational Functions DK Ch. 7

    Review of Ch. 5-7,

    Exam 2

      DK Ch 5-7
    10,11 Geometric Growth Models DK Ch 9
    12 Exponential Functions DK Ch 10
    13 Logarithmic Functions DK Ch 11,12

    Review of Ch. 1-12,

    Final Exam

      DK Ch 1-12


    There will be two midterm exams (1 hour and 15 minutes each) and a comprehensive final exam (2 hours and 30 minutes). The first midterm exam will be held in class on Thursday September 28 and the second midterm exam in class on Thursday November 2. The Final Exam will be held in class on Thursday December 14th (8:30- 11:00 am). The format of midterm and final exam will be same but expect more questions in final exam. Each exam consists of four parts: Definitions, multiple choices, short problems and long problems. Each midterm grade constitutes 15% of the course grade, and the final exam constitutes 30% of your course grade.

    Short quizzes will be given roughly on a weekly basis and constitutes 5% of your final grade. Homework will be regularly assigned (every two weeks, total 6 homeworks), collected and scored for completeness, accuracy, and clarity of the expression. Late assignments will not be accepted. Homework is worth 10% of the course grade.


    Homework Assignments
    To be Assigned Due Date
    7 September 2000 14 September 2000
    14 September 2000 21 September 2000
    5 October 2000 12 October 2000
    19 October 2000 26 October 2000
    9 November 2000 16 November 2000
    30 November 2000 7 December 2000

    During the semester four group projects will be distributed. In the first week of classes, please form a group of 4 or 5 and let me know your group members. After forming your group, you should remain in the same group during the semester. The purpose of these group projects is to bring different ideas together and work together to solve more challenging problem. Every group will submit only one completed answer and if necessary group members are asked to present their result in the class for about 20 minutes. Group projects constitute 25% of your final grade.

    Group Projects
    To be assigned Due Date
    18 September 2000 5 October 2000
    16 October 2000 30 October 2000
    6 November 2000 20 November 2000
    27 November 2000 11 December 2000

    Based on these quizzes, homework, group projects, midterm exams and final exam we will use following scale to determine your final grade.

    Homework (Total 6) 60 points Exam 1 90 points Exam 2 90 points Quizzes 30 points Group Projects (Total 4) 150 points Final Exam 180 points Total 600 points
    Contributions to Final Grade
    Homework (Total 6) 60 points
    Exam 1  90 points
    Exam 2 90 points
    Quizzes  30 points
    Group Projects (Total 4) 150 points 
    Final Exam  180 points
    Total 600 points

    Letter Grades for this course will be determined using the following scale

    Possible points (600) Letter
    570-600 A
    540-569 A-
    522-539 B+
    498-521 B
    480-497 B-
    462-479 C+
    432-461 C
    390-431 C-
    360-389 D
    0-359 F

    Syllabus in pdf format