Mike Pierce

Math5 – Precalculus

My email address is . Please feel free to email me any questions you have. You can find all the crispy details about the course in the syllabus, while all the materials for the course, exercises, readings, videos, etc, will be posted here.

Syllabus             Zoom       Recordings

Week Zero – Orientation

Let’s get oriented before the class starts. The point of the homework this week is (1) to get you practice uploading homework to Gradescope, and (2) give me an chance to get to know a little about you before the class starts. :) And here’s some reading you might find beneficial for the week.

Week One – Arithmetic, Number Sense, and Units

Tuesday we’ll talk about polynomials and rational expressions and various operations with them, and Thursday we’ll talk about converting between units and scaling units across dimensions. Here’s some reading you might find beneficial for the week.

Week Two – Functions & Coordinate Geometry

This week we’ll start on Tuesday talking about functions, then Thursday we’ll talk about $n$-dimensional space, vectors, curves, and distances. Basically I want y’all to think of functions abstractly and to think of space as being pure and geometrical before y’all get tunnel vision when we start graphing functions. ;) And here’s some reading you might find beneficial for the week.

Week Three – The Graph of a Function & Modelling

This week we’ll talk about graphing a host of different functions and we’ll talk about some situations that can be modelled with linear or quadratic functions.

Week Four – Exponential/Logarithmic Functions & Modelling

This week is all about exponential and logarithmic functions and modelling with them.

Week Five – Transformations of Functions & Angular Motion

We’ll start this week formally talking about transformations of functions (shifting, scaling, reflecting, etc), then we’ll move on to geometry. We’ll talk about the conic sections, and then discuss how to think about rotating disks in terms of how quickly they’re rotating versus how fast the edge of the disk is going.

Week Six – Polar Geometry & Trigonometry

Let’s talk about polar vs Cartesian coordinates. This seems like the right way to approach trigonometry. Then we’ll explore trigonometry. The dreaded unit circle has to come up. Then we'll talk about how trig functions are periodic and about the graphs of trig functions.

Week Seven – Yet More Trigonometry

Due to the #ScholarStrike there will be no lecture on Tuesday. On Thursday we'll talk about the inverse trig functions, about transformations of trigonometric functions, and talk about some trigonometric identities that you should feel no obligation to memorize, but you should know exist.

Week Seven + ε – The Final

The final will be held on Saturday 12th, 1–3pm, in the usual Zoom meeting room. UCR will publish your grades by September 21st, although I might want to talk to each of y'all about your grades between the final and then.

Final Exam       Personal Reflection