MAT100 Foundations of Calculus

Schedule: 10AM MWF, Fall semester only. Optional review sessions are very helpful, but they are scheduled only after classes begin.

Prerequisites:  There are no formal prerequisites but high school experience with algebra, trigonometry and other precalculus topics is expected.

Brief Course Description: Intensive treatment of algebra, geometry and trigonometry as a preparation for further courses in calculus. Topics include area and distance, circles and triangles, functions and their graphs, equations involving polynomial and rational functions, exponentials and logarithms, trigonometric functions and their inverses. Discussion of limits and tangent lines is incorporated into precalculus review to give a better foundation for MAT103.

Why take this course? This course is designed for students who need to review and strengthen their precalculus skills before attempting MAT103. It satisfies the QR requirement.

How can you decide between MAT100 and MAT103? How many of these descriptions apply to you? Each is an indication that you should consider MAT100.

  • You took as little math as possible in high school because you never expected to specialize in a field where math is needed. You never really liked math and you did not take any math in your senior year, but now you see that calculus is a requirement for majors that probably interest you.
  • Math was never a big interest for you and you took a gap year. Your standardized test scores are less reliable because they are more than a year old and you did not do much math in that time.
  • When you last took math, you would normally rely on your calculator to translate a function or equation into a graph, to solve equations or to find values of trigonometric functions at the standard angles. Trigonometric functions were mostly just a button on a calculator or a list of values on a cheat sheet for exams and you don't feel comfortable working with them.
  • You did not take calculus in high school and your precalculus skills have gaps.
  • Your math SAT score was below 670 or your math ACT score was below 29.
  • Your academic advisers recommended that you take MAT100 before trying calculus.
  • You attempted to solve the sample problems taken from past MAT100 exams and the type of problems there were very not very familiar to you.

Other Considerations:

  • If you are undecided, sign up for MAT103 at 10AM or make sure that you keep the MWF 10AM slot free so that you can switch to MAT100 if things do not go well in 103. The sooner you get to the right course the better, but it can be done even after the end of drop/add. Seek help early!
  • If you do not need to take calculus and you just want to satisfy the QR requirement, then you might consider a course like MathAlive (APC199/MAT199) instead. This course is a survey of applied mathematics aimed at a general audience with relatively little in the way of mathematical prerequisites.  Courses like MathAlive 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.


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