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Math 121 - Essentials of Plane Geometry- Course Syllabus

Instructor: José Alberto Macias, Email:

Office Hours: Approximately 30 minutes prior to start of class.

Textbook: Elementary Geometry For College Students, by Alexander and Koeberlein, Third Edition.

^ Tools: Ruler, compass, brain and a great attitude!

About this course:

Welcome to Geometry!!! Congratulations on choosing to further your understanding of mathematics. This course will expose you to a new, precise way of thinking and envisioning mathematical concepts. In Geometry you will start by learning basic properties about lines, angles, triangles, and other shapes you often see in the real world. From these basic concepts you will derive profound, amazing results that cannot be perceived unless you examine and experiment and question and probe little details. All throughout this process you will be introduced to a very important concept in the class: PROOFS! The process of proving theorems is at the very core of this class. You will take given facts and derive, step by step, beautiful results. How are proofs relevant to mathematics? Mathematics is built on proofs. Every equation you ever write, every property you ever use has been derived and proved to be 100% correct, for every instance, for all time.

Class Policies: The following shows the policies to follow in this course.


  • There will be periodic examinations testing recently covered material (I will let you know in advance of a pending examination.)

  • There will be one midterm examination.

  • There will be one final examination.

  • There will be homework assigned.

The weight of each category follows

You will receive one of these grades

I will drop your lowest scoring periodic examination. Because of this feature I will not administer any make-up examinations.

Attendance: I hope to spend time with you at every class meeting and hope you make the time to attend all classes. Please understand that I will drop a student after three absences.

The material will be presented quickly, so make it a point to attend every lecture and save yourself some hours of your own time.

^ Class Schedule:

We have a short amount of time together and the class pace will be swift. DO NOT allow yourself to fall behind, as one concept builds on another. If you have difficulty with the material covered in class, COME SEE ME during office hours; keeping current will ensure your success, falling behind is not an option.


Please silence your cell phones, PDA’s, etc. upon arrival.



To introduce the student to topics in differential equations and their applications to science and engineering. To introduce and or encourage critical thinking.

UNITS: Three (3) CSU: UC-transferable

PREREQUISITES: Completion of Math 267 with a grade of "C" or better, or concurrent enrollment.


A First Course in Differential Equations – Zill- 6th ed, Houghton/Mifflin

Differential Equations – Bronson - 2nd edition McGraw

CLASS FORMAT: One and a half(1 1/2) hours, twice a week, of lecture, discussion and practice on theory and applications. Class participation is part of the curriculum.

^ STUDY HABITS: At least two(2) hours per day, seven(7) days a week of study to keep current with the course.

ASSIGNMENTS: Do all assigned work, it is an integral part of learning mathematics. Forty percent of your grade will be determined by homework assignments.

EVALUATION: Grading for all exams, assignments and course grade will be based on the following percentage distribution: 100 - 90% A

89 - 78% B

77 - 60% C

59 - 40% D

39 - 0% F

Grade distribution for the course will be approximately as follows:

Midterm Exam 30% - 100 pts

Assignments/quizzes 40% - 133 pts

Final exam 30% - 100 pts

Total 100% - 333 pts

ATTENDANCE: Be here. Class participation and attendance will be part of your grade.

OFFICE HOURS: 9:30 - 11:00 A.M. MW in LA 132

or by appointment Phone: 310-233-4501



8:00 AM - 2:00 PM F

^ IMPORTANT DATES: 3/03/05 Last day to drop without a "W"

3/03/05 Last day to option for "CR/NCR" grade

3/21 - 3/26 Spring Recess

4/05/05 Midterm exam

5/05/05 Last day to drop with a "W"

6/02/05 Final exam – 10:30 – 12:30 Noon

^ Topic or Activity

Time Allocated


Types of differential equations : separable

variables, exact and linear equations, substitution

methods, linear, homogeneous and non-

homogeneous equations reduction in order of a

differential equation with constant coefficients.


12 hours

State and apply solution methods and theorems related to ordinary differential equations

Solution of differential equations with constant

coefficients: undertermined coefficients,

annihilator variation of parameters and Cauchy-Euler methods. Applications

9 hours

State and apply solution methods and theorems related to ordinary differential equations

Systems of linear differential equations, nonlinear differential equations

9 hours

State and apply solution methods and theorems related to ordinary differential equations

Modeling with differential equations: initial value problems, spring mass systems, boundary value problems

9 hours

Formulate sophisticated methods of problem solving and critical thinking using differential equations

Solution of differential equations using power series

6 hours

Develop techniques for applying differential

equations to the solution of problems arising in

science and engineering

Laplace Transforms. Numerical methods

9 hours

Develop techniques for applying differential

equations to the solution of problems arising in

science and engineering.

Attain further proficiency in methods of mathematical analysis.

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