Arithmetic Syllabus
Fall '08

INSTRUCTOR:  Geoff Hagopian 
PHONE: 776-7223


Syllabus Calendar Grades Links

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course provides an understanding of and competency in the basic operations of elementary arithmetic.  Topics include adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing whole numbers, decimals, and fractions.  Other topics include: arithmetic with signed numbers, percents and its applications, ratios and proportions, the metric and American system of measurement, including the conversion of units, and elementary geometry concepts such as perimeter, area, and volume.

Course Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

    • Compute using the four basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and factoring with the whole numbers, integers, and rational numbers.
    • Apply the basic operations appropriately to solve application problems.
    • Comprehend the use of whole number exponents and compute with them.
    • Apply the order of operations to simplify expressions involving several operations.
    • Know the use of rounding and estimation and use these skills to solve problems.
    • Comprehend the concept of a fraction as a part of a whole.
    • Reduce fractions to lowest terms and convert between improper fractions and mixed numbers.
    • Apply prime factorization to find the least common denominator of two fractions.
    • Know decimal notation and place value, and compare, order, and round decimals.
    • Know the concept of a ratio and use ratios to solve proportion problems.
    • Comprehend percents and convert between percents, decimals, and fractions.
    • Solve percent problems using an equation or a proportion, including applied percent problems.
    • Recognize and convert between units of measurements in both the American and metric system, especially units of length, volume, and weight.
    • Apply units and unit conversion appropriately to solve application word problems that involve their use.
    • Use basic concepts and formulas from geometry, including perimeter, area, and volume.
    • Compute the square root and use the Pythagorean Theorem to solve simple right triangle problems.

Course Learning Objectives
1. Demonstrate an understanding of mathematical operations with integers, prime numbers, fractions,
percents, decimals, ratios, and the beginnings of algebra.
3. Integrate and synthesize mathematical concepts with art and common events, such as those found in
design courses, physics, and environmental science.
4. Be mathematically qualified to take MTH082 – Pre-College Mathematics.
5. Be able to enter mathematical problems into a hand-held calculator.
Specific Course Learning Outcomes
1. Perform elementary calculations with signed numbers and identify the proper order of mathematical
2. To break any given number down into its prime multiplicative components and apply this
knowledge to fraction problems, including problems with mixed numbers.
3. Be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide fractions in ratio and/or decimal form on a scientific
calculator and apply this knowledge to problems involving percents and ratios.
4. Solve proportion problems – percents, ratios.
5. Calculate elementary unit conversions.
6. Solve simple linear equations.
7. Measure with a ruler and identify specific lengths on a ruler – even lengths described by mixed


TEXTBOOK: Basic College Arithmetic, by Tussy and Gustafson.

LECTURE/HOMEWORK/ LABS :  Generally, you can expect to learn more algebra applying yourself to the problems assigned for homework and lab time.  Of course, you will have a much easier time doing homework and performing well on exams if you pay attention and take excellent notes during lecture. Complete the homework assignment for each section to be well prepared for quizzes and exams. Do assignments to the best of your ability before the next class and have specific questions about places where you become stuck or confused.  You should be prepared at the beginning of each class with questions from the homework.  Homework notebooks will not be routinely collected; rather, I will ask to see your homework notebook from time to time and pose spot quizzes from the homework. 

Homework assignments are accessed through the web site at  Launch a browser like Internet Explorer or Firefox and enter the "ILRN.COM" into the dialog box. This should take you to the Cengage site where you can access the Arithmetic homework.


The ILRN.COM web site will probably rename itself to something involving "Cengage" and will examine your computer to be sure that First find College of the Desert using their search and then fill in the dialog boxes as follows:
    username: your email address (as given on your college application, unless otherwise specified)
    password: your student number (7 digits)

We will have have computers available in the classroom and assistance for how to navigate the homework system.

  There will be a tests after each chapter and a cumulative final exam. It is important to remember that the point of these exams is to test your understanding of the concepts covered; that is, they will not necessarily consist of just homework problems with the numbers changed, but may involve novel problems testing your understanding of how to use basic principles of calculus in context.

TECHNOLOGY:  A calculator is not required for this course and you will not be able to use a calculator on the tests.

ATTENDANCE:  You are required to attend all lecture and lab sessions: three 75 minute sessions per week for 16 weeks: a total of 60 hours.  The two most significant indicators for success in this course are attendance and completion of the homework. If you're not there doing what it is that defines the class, you missed it. If you do well on the homework and labwork then that will show on your test scores.

GRADE:  Your grade in this class will be a weighted average of your attendance, homework quiz, chapter test and final exam scores, using the following apportionment:

Attendance: 15 pts.
Homework/labwork: 25 pts.
Chapter tests: 45 pts.
Final Exam: 15 pts.