MATH 121: Precalculus




The following topics will be covered: properties and graphs of functions ( polynomial functions, rational functions, exponential functions, logarithmic functions, trigonometric functions, inverse trigonometric functions); solving equations; trigonometric identities and applications of trigonometric functions; complex numbers; and an introduction to vectors.

Success in the course does require a lot of work, many hours of study and problem solving, and your active involvement in learning, both inside and outside the classroom. We have designed our course with the aim of helping you stay constantly involved with the course and the material, and within easy reach of some of your best resources: your instructor, your teaching assistants, and your colleagues.


The textbook is Precalculus by Michael Sullivan, 10th edition, published by Pearson/Prentice Hall.

You will need the MyMathLab access code. The access code comes with an electronic version of the book, so you are not required to buy the hard copy. However, if you prefer to have a hard copy of the book you can purchase both the textbook and access code separately or together.


MATH 110 or appropriate performance on the UIC mathematics placement test. Prerequisites will be strictly enforced. Students that have not met the prerequisite will not be allowed to take the course.


The class meets weekly for three lectures on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and two discussion sessions on Tuesday and Thursday. It is strongly recommended that you read the sections as posted in `Homework`__ schedule BEFORE coming to the lecture.

Starting with week 2 attendance will be taken daily at the discussion sessions and at randomly chosen lectures.

Discussion time will be devoted to problem solving, worksheets, and group work.

Quizzes will be given during lectures at the days chosen by instructor at random.

Written homework is optional, and will not be graded, but is an excellent review for exams.

MyMathLab homework is assigned for each lecture and is due the following lecture day at 11:59 PM.


Cell Phones

You may not use your phone during lecture or discussion/problem solving sessions for any reason other than class participation. We ask that you stay focused on the material while attending class. If this becomes a problem, your instructor or teaching assistant will ask you to leave the room.

No Calculators

The use of any electronic devices with computing capabilities is prohibited during exams and quizzes.


The course grade will be distributed as follows:

Attendance See Attendance Policy
Quizzes 10%
MyMathLab Homework 10%
Recitation Worksheets/Group work 10%
Midterm Exams (Three) 15% each
Final exam 25%

The grading scale is:

Percentage Grade
85% A
72% B
57% C
45% D

We guarantee an A to students with a combined final course percentage of 85% or higher, a B to students with a percentage of 72% or higher, a C to students with a percentage of 57% or higher, and a D to students with a percentage of 45% or higher. Final grades in general are not curved, however, the department reserves the right to be more lenient than this.

The midterm grades will follow the same percentage cut-offs as for the final course grades, but with the following contributions (this is assuming Exam 2 is taken and graded before midterm grades are due):

Quizzes 10%
MML Homework 10%
Discussion sheets 10%
Hour Exam 1 70%

Tips on interpreting your midterm grade can be found here.


Lectures and discussion/problem sessions: As explained in the course description, in order to successfully complete the course, your active involvement in learning is essential. Therefore, a serious commitment on your part to attend both the lectures and the discussion/problem sessions is a basic requirement of that. Attendance in the course will be taken both in lecture and in discussion sections starting with week 3.

A percentage of below 75% in lecture, or a percentage of below 75% in discussion will result in a drop of one letter grade for the course as a consequence. Below 50% attendance in either one of these categories will result in an automatic F for the course.

Appeals: Students that know ahead of time that they have an existing or potential conflict with the class must inform their instructor in the first two weeks of the semester using the absence appeals form.

Furthermore, students can appeal during week 9 and 10, as well as week 14 and 15 to their instructor using the appeals form provided below. Note: no appeals will be accepted after the final exam or at any other time!

In cases when the instructor cannot determine whether or not the reason is compelling, the instructor will forward the appeal to the director of undergraduate studies, who will decide.


Daily Written Homework assignments are posted in `Homework`__ schedule. Homework assignments for the lectures in a given week are due the following Tuesday. For example, homework #1 covering sections 4.1 and 4.2 is due on Tuesday, January 17th.

Daily MyMathLab Homework is due the following lecture day at 11:59 PM.


Your instructor will give short quizzes during lectures at randomly chosen days. During recitation, you will be given worksheets and group work. One worksheet per week will be graded, except for weeks with exams. Please also read the required attendance policy.


There will be no make-up quizzes or worksheets given, late written homework will not be accepted, but the lowest two in each category (Quiz, Written Homework, Discussion work) will be dropped.

With all exams, make-ups will not be given except under extreme circumstances. Do not schedule travel on an `exam date`__. Students who know ahead of time that they have an existing or potential exam conflict with the exam times must inform their instructor in the first two weeks of the semester.

Academic Integrity Policy

As an academic community, UIC is committed to providing an environment in which research, learning, and scholarship can flourish and in which all endeavors are guided by academic and professional integrity. All members of the campus community - students, staff, faculty, and administrators - share the responsibility of insuring that these standards are upheld so that such an environment exists. Instances of academic misconduct by students will be handled pursuant to the Student Disciplinary Policy.

Academic Deadlines

Current academic calendar and the list of deadlines can be found at the university catalog website.

Disability Policy

The University of Illinois at Chicago is committed to maintaining a barrier-free environment so that students with disabilities can fully access programs, courses, services, and activities at UIC. Students with disabilities who require accommodations for access to and/or participation in this course are welcome, but must be registered with the Disability Resource Center (DRC). You may contact DRC at 312-413-2183 (v) or 312-413-0123 (TTY) and consult the following website.

Religious Holidays

Students who wish to observe their religious holidays shall notify the faculty member by the tenth day of the semester of the date when they will be absent unless the religious holiday is observed on or before the tenth day of the semester. In such cases, the student shall notify the faculty member at least five days in advance of the date when he/she will be absent. The faculty member shall make every reasonable effort to honor the request, not penalize the student for missing the class, and if an examination or project is due during the absence, give the student an exam or assignment equivalent to the one completed by those students in attendance. If the student feels aggrieved, he/she may request remedy through the campus grievance procedure.

Grievance Procedures

UIC is committed to the most fundamental principles of academic freedom, equality of opportunity, and human dignity involving students and employees. Freedom from discrimination is a foundation for all decision making at UIC. Students are encouraged to study the University's "Nondiscrimination Statement". Students are also urged to read the document "Public Formal Grievance Procedures". Information on these policies and procedures is available on the University web pages of the Office of Access and Equity.

Docutils System Messages

System Message: ERROR/3 (<string>); backlinks: 1, 2, 3

Anonymous hyperlink mismatch: 3 references but 4 targets. See "backrefs" attribute for IDs.