Math 90

Beginning Algebra

Instructor: Cary Lee, Ph.D.  
Office:  70-211 (inside Tech Mall)
Telephone:  619 - 644 -7894 
Office Hours: Mon, Wed  9:00 - 9:50am,  
                                 T,Th   1:00 - 2:00pm



 textbook photo


Beginning Algebra
 9th edition
by Charles P. McKeague

A simple scientific calculator will be enough, 
a graphing calculator is not necessary.

Note: You are not always allowed to
use calculators on exams.





Course Prerequisites:  A strong background in arithmetic and pre-algebra.


Course Overview:
Math 90 is designed to provide the student with the necessary algebra skills to be successful in Intermediate Algebra (Math103 or Math110). An introduction to the following topics is included: the vocabulary of algebra, evaluation of literal expressions, and functions. Topics covered in more depth include solving and graphing linear equations and inequalities in one and two variables: solving and graphing systems of equations in two variables; factoring; algebraic operations on polynomial, rational, and radical expressions; solving quadratics using factoring, and rational equations.


Student Learning Outcomes:
The student will be able to solve linear, quadratic rational and radical equations, linear systems and linear inequalities. The student will be able to simplify and evaluate algebraic expressions.


A student will be able to interpret linear equations numerically, graphically and symbolically and be able to transition between them. A student will be able to apply appropriate algebraic methods to solve word problems.


Quizzes and Exams:
There will be 9 in-class quizzes, 5 in-class exams, and a cumulative in-class Final Exam.
All quizzes are open book open notes.


The three (3) lowest quiz scores and the one (1) lowest exam score will be dropped. Exams and quizzes will cover material from the homework, textbook, as well as material presented in class.




If you are absent for any reason on a test or quiz day you will receive a zero on that exam or quiz.




Grading:    This is a PASS/NO PASS course. Your grade for the course is based on:

 6 quizzes*   @ 10 points each =            60
4 exams**  @ 100 points each =           400
Homework =                                                   100     
 Final Exam =                                                   200
Total Points Possible =                              760    


 *best 6 quizzes out of 9.   **best 4 exams out of 5.


If you earn:     532 - 760 points (70% - 100%) = PASS
                               0 – 531 points (Below 70%)      = NO PASS


Grades are assigned on an absolute scale, and your work will not be graded on a curve.
You get what you earn, and other people's performances have no effect on your grade.    





Homework: Homework will be assigned every day and will be collected on the next class day. If you need help on your homework, you can ask your instructor during office hours. You can also take advantage of the Math Study Center at no extra cost to you.

Class Policies:  

  1. No private conversation during lectures. If you have a relevant question, please raise your hand and ask the instructor.
  2. Any student with 4 or more absences will be dropped from the class unless a special permission is issued by the instructor.
  3. If you need to leave class early, please inform your instructor as early as you can, otherwise you will be considered to be absent on that day.
  4. Turn off all cell phones and pagers (or change them to vibration mode) during lectures. Absolutely no telephone conversation inside classroom during lecture or exam. 
  5. Since the lowest scored exam will be dropped, there will be no make-up exam.

Expectation of Students:

  1. Attend all lectures and do homework on a daily basis. You will be automatically dropped from the roster if you have more than three (3) absences unless you have a permission from your instructor.

  2. Read the textbook and handouts regularly. This course covers a large amount of materials that cannot be all presented in lectures in detail.

  3. Take notes from lecture, because a substantial amount of material will not be from your textbook.

  4. Actively participate in lectures. Share your opinion with your group members and be open to different ideas.

  5. Spend about 6 hours each week outside classroom to do homework, read textbook, and/or prepare for exams.

  6. Communicate with the instructor as often as possible either after lecture or during office hours, or through e-mail and phone.

  7. If you expect return calls to your phone message, please say your phone number clearly and slowly.

Special accommodations:

           Students with disabilities who may need accommodations in this class are
           encouraged to notify the instructor and contact Disabled Student Programs &
           Services (DSPS) early in the semester so that reasonable accommodations
           may be implemented as soon as possible. Students may contact DSPS in
           person in Room 110 or by telephone at (619) 644-7112 or (619) 644-7119
           (TTY for deaf).


Supervised Tutoring Referral

  1. Students requiring additional help or resources to achieve the stated learning objectives of the courses taken in a Mathematics course are referred to enroll in Math 198, Supervised Tutoring.  The department will provide Add Codes.
  1. Students are referred to enroll in the following supervised tutoring courses if the service indicated will assist them in achieving or reinforcing the learning objectives of this course:
  • IDS 198, Supervised Tutoring to receive tutoring in general computer applications in the Tech Mall;
  • English 198W, Supervised Tutoring for assistance in the English Writing Center (70-119); and/or
  • IDS 198T, Supervised Tutoring to receive one-on-one tutoring in academic subjects in the Tutoring Center (70-229).

To add any of these courses, students may obtain Add Codes at the Information/Registration Desk in the Tech Mall.

  1. All Supervised Tutoring courses are non-credit/non-fee. However, when a student registers for a supervised tutoring course, and has no other classes,  the student  will be charged the usual health fee.


Academic Integrity:

Cheating and plagiarism (using as one's own ideas writings, materials, or images of someone else without acknowledgement or permission) can result in any one of a variety of sanctions. Such penalties may range from an adjusted grade on the particular exam, paper, project, or assignment, all of which may lead to a failing grade in the course, and under certain conditions, suspension or expulsion from a class, program or the college.  For further clarification and information on these issues, please consult with your instructor or contact the office of the Associate Dean of Student Affairs.


Daily schedule: click here.