Course MAT100

Precalculus/Prestatistics

Intensive and rigorous refresher of standard topics from algebra and trigonometry.  The primary objective is to ensure a working knowledge of these subjects as preparation for future course work in calculus or statistics.  Broadly speaking students will gain the computational skills needed for MAT103.  In particular, the course aims to provide both a solid conceptual grasp of variables, equations, standard functions and their graphs as well as a deeper appreciation of the uses of mathematical analysis to model real-world phenomena in the social and life sciences. Satisfies the QR requirement.  Fall Only.

Topics

As time permits:  Real numbers: rational vs. irrational, absolute value, order of operations, solving inequalities; Functions and their graphs: domain, range, compositions, inverse functions; Linear, quadratic, polynomial and rational functions; Exponentials and Logarithms; Area, Distance and Length; Trigonometry; Sequences, Series and Limits 

Description of classes

Classes meet 3 times per week, for 50 minutes in the Fall semester only. The course is organized into small precepts with 20-30 students (if staffing resources permit). 

In order to prepare adequately for future courses like MAT103, most students will need to work lots of practice problems outside of class.  We anticipate that most students will need to spend approximately ten hours per week reading the text, reviewing class notes, solving homework problems and studying for quizzes and exams.  The course will be quite fast-paced and it is essential to work steadily throughout the semester.  Frequent feedback will be given to help students keep up and monitor progress.

The course grade will be based on several components: weekly homework assignments (~15%); in-class quizzes(~25%); 90-minute midterm exam(~25%); cumulative final exam scheduled by the registrar during the final exam period (~35%).

This course usually includes popular, but optional, weekly problem sessions with undergraduate course assistants.

Notes
  • We expect that many students who take this course will continue with MAT103 in the spring semester.  Others may continue with a statistics or quantitative methods course in one of the social sciences instead.
  • If you just need to satisfy the Quantitative Reasoning requirement, and don't plan to take any additional math or statistics, you might consider a course like MathAlive instead.  Our QR courses are usually offered in the Spring semester, often on a one-time-only basis.  Check the Registrar's course offerings for a current listing of QR courses being offered.
Who Takes This Course

Students with significant gaps in their precalculus background who need to take at least one semester of calculus or statistics at Princeton.  

Placement and Prerequisites
  • Although there are no formal prerequisites, we do assume that all students have had some precalculus courses in high school.  
  • If math is not your strong suit, and if you did not take any math in your senior year or you took a gap year, you may find that you really need MAT100 in order to be successful in MAT103.  
  • Strongly recommended for students who need to take MAT103 and have a math SAT score below 650.
  • If you are not sure if you need to take MAT100 as a preparation for MAT103, try to schedule your 103 class at the same time as MAT100 so that you can switch down if necessary a few weeks into the semester.
  • For Further Information about Math Placement.