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Physical Address:
Brink Hall 300

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive, MS 1103
Moscow, ID 83844-1103

Phone: 208-885-6742

Fax: 208-885-5843


Web: Department of Mathematics and Statistical Science

Math 108

Math 108 Intermediate Algebra

Math 108 Course Syllabus - Fall 2021

Please carefully read the requirements for this course.


Note: All time references listed in this syllabus are Pacific Time Zone time references.

The primary purpose of Intermediate Algebra is to improve your skills and competency in algebra so that you will be successful in College Algebra, the other math courses required for your major, and in the courses that use mathematics. Another goal is to help you develop your mathematical learning skills so that you will be more confident in future mathematical courses.

After completing Math 108, the student should be able to [SBOE and UI objectives in brackets]:

  • Solve linear equations in one variable, radical equations, absolute value equations, rational equations, and quadratic equations [Learn and Integrate, Think and Create]
  • Graph linear equations and linear functions [Learn and Integrate, Communicate]
  • Solve systems of two linear equations and solve word problems using a system of linear equations [Learn and Integrate, Think and Create, Communicate, Clarify Purpose and Perspective]
  • Factor polynomial expressions [Learn and Integrate]
  • Use the properties of exponents (including rational exponents) to simplify exponential expressions [Learn and Integrate, Clarify Purpose and Perspective]
  • Simplify, add, subtract, multiply, and divide rational expressions and simplify complex fractions [Clarify Purpose and Perspective]
  • Add, subtract, multiply, and divide complex numbers [Clarify Purpose and Perspective]

Must be purchased at the U of I Bookstore. Students will be required to bring this course notebook to class and to the Polya Mathematics Center.

Inclusive Access Pearsonmylabandmastering (MML):
Students must opt into the MML Courseware to complete the course. See the “How to get started” instructions for details.
Students who fail to register for MML via Inclusive Access and complete the orientation quiz within 48 hours of their first class meeting may be dropped from the course.

All students need a computer account. If you need help with your login information, go to University ITS ( in the TLC Room 128.

You will need your Vandal Card in order to take an exam in the Polya Math Center and to earn “Polya Minutes” which are described in detail below.

Headphones are needed to listen to the video lectures at the computers.

You will need this calculator to work on some problems from the assignments, quizzes and/or tests. The TI 30-X IIS calculator is THE ONLY CALCULATOR allowed when testing. You must have your own calculator. A picture is pasted below. Note the II is the Roman numeral 2.

In-Class Notebook Assessment/Participation: Max 50 points

(5 points per class meeting; one class meeting dropped)

  • There will be a notebook assessment each non-test week in class. You will be asked to turn in specific pages of your notebook and/or you will participate in another in-class activity as determined by your instructor. Make sure to bring your notebook to class. In-class notebook assessments/activities are worth 5 points. The work that you submit must be completely filled out and of good quality. The only possible scores are 0 or 5 points.
  • Notebook pages must be completely filled out prior to the beginning of class. All appropriate work must be shown to obtain credit.
  • In-class activities must be thoughtfully completed to obtain credit.
  • You must turn in only your own notebook pages. You cannot have another student turn them in if you are absent. Only pages from the Fall 2021 notebook will be accepted.
  • Note that it usually takes up to three business days for Notebook scores to be posted. If your class meets on a Friday, the scores may not be posted until the following Wednesday.
  • Grade sheets are included in your notebook for each week of the semester. You may be asked to submit the information or the page of grade calculations for any given week (except week 1) as part of the notebook assessment for that week.

Polya Lab Attendance: Max 45 points (See the page immediately following the syllabus for more details)

(5 points per week; one week dropped)

  • Students will earn 5 points/week for attending the Polya Mathematics Center for at least 150 minutes (Note: 149 minutes = 0 points).
  • Students must only use Polya Computers while attending the lab. Students are not allowed to use their own laptops, tablets, phones while attending the Polya lab.
  • Students who are not working on mathematics while attending the Polya Mathematics Center may be asked to leave and will automatically receive 0 points for the week.
  • Students who are on their phones while attending the Polya Lab will be asked to leave and will receive 0 points for the week. Students who need to use their phones must scan out of the Polya Lab and use their phone outside.

Homework: 80 points

There are 20 homework assignments; (Two assignments every non-test week; four will be dropped)

  • Students will earn up to 5 points for every homework assignment.
  • There will be two homework assignments in MyLabs every non-test week.

Homework Due Dates

If your class meets on Tuesdays:

HWA is due for full credit Friday after class at 9:00 PM
HWB is due for full credit Monday before the next class at 9:00 PM

If you class meets on Wednesdays:

HWA is due for full credit Saturday after class at 9:00 PM
HWB is due for full credit Tuesday before the next class at 9:00 PM

If you class meets on Thursdays:

HWA is due for full credit Sunday after class at 9:00 PM
HWB is due for full credit Wednesday before the next class at 9:00 PM

If your class meets on Friday:

HWA is due for full credit Monday after class at 9:00 PM
HWB is due for full credit Thursday before the next class at 9:00 PM

  • If a student does not meet the HWA deadline, then students may continue to work on the HWA assignment. However, a 10% penalty will be assessed for all homework A problems that are submitted late. Similarly, late HWB questions will be assessed a 10% penalty. Assignments cannot be submitted after 9:00 PM on the day class meets.
  • There may be prerequisite questions about course policies and procedures associated with assignments. Prerequisite questions must be answered in order to access graded work.

Quizzes: 80 points

(There are 10 quizzes; two will be dropped)

  • Students will earn up to 10 points for every quiz. There will be a quiz in MyLabs every non-test week, due the night of the student’s class meeting.
  • Quizzes may be worked up to 10 times; only the highest score will count.
  • Quizzes are due at 9:00 PM on the evening of your class meeting (one day after HWB is due for full credit.)

Tests: 400 points

(4 tests worth 100 points each)

  • Exams are closed book and closed notes.
  • There will be four tests throughout the semester, each worth 100 points.
  • Each test has two parts: a computer portion which is taken in the Polya Lab, and a written portion which is taken during your class meeting.
  • The last day to take a computer test will be the day BEFORE the student’s class meeting.
  • Students will have the opportunity to take each computer test up to 3 times with only the highest score counting toward the test grade. Students may only take one test per day. If a student takes more than one test per day, then only the lowest test score for that day will count.
  • Students must receive at least 60% on the corresponding practice test before taking computer version A of each test.
  • You must have a valid Vandal card or government-issued photo ID to test in the Polya Lab and to take your written test in class.
  • If you do not bring a valid Vandal card or government-issued photo ID to your written test, then you must bring an approved photo ID and take the make-up written test in the Polya Lab by closing time on the day of the in-class written test. There will be a 10-point penalty. If you do not take the make-up written test as described above, then the written test grade will be recorded as a zero. Note that if you hand in a written test without a valid photo ID, then you will receive a zero on your written test.
  • Early written tests must be requested by email through Polya Web at least 24 hours or one business day (whichever is greater) before you wish to take the test. Your instructor will determine whether you are eligible to take an early test.
  • If you are approved for an early test, you must sign up for an early test session via Vandalstar.
  • Tests are worth 100 points, which are calculated as: 80% of the best computer score + the written score. For example, suppose you took the computer portion of Test 1 three times and received a 60, 75, and 89 out of 100. You then took your written test and received a 19 out of 20. Your total point score for Test 1 would be 0.8*89+19, or 90.2.
  • Makeup tests will only be given for students with a valid and documented excuse (see Section 9 below).
  • If you are approved for a makeup test, you must sign up for a makeup test session via Vandalstar.

Final Exam: 150 points

  • There will be one comprehensive final exam worth 150 points.
  • The final is closed book and closed notes.
  • The final will be Wednesday, December 15 at 7:00 PM. The location of the final exam will be announced during class.
  • Students should not make travel arrangements until after the last day of Finals Week.

Total: 805 points

Grade Component Points for Each Number Total Points Possible Notes





 Lowest 4 Dropped





 Lowest 2 Dropped





 Lowest 1 Dropped

 Polya Time




 Lowest 1 Dropped











 Total Points for Course      805  


Students have the opportunity to earn up to 10 points of extra credit: All students are allowed access to this Extra Credit Assignment. The Extra Credit Assignment will be due on Friday of the last day of the semester prior to Finals Week and the due date cannot be changed.

You should check your in-class notebook/activity scores and Polya time commitment on the course web page each week to verify that they are correct.

Your course grade will be based on the total number of points that you have earned as follows:

725 points guarantees an A

644 points guarantees a B

564 points guarantees a C

483 points guarantees a D

When adding up your points, remember to drop your lowest non-test scores as specified in the table!

In most three credit college courses the average student spends 9 to 12 hours per week to be successful in the course. In traditional courses, students spend 3 hours in a lecture and 6 or more hours working alone, usually doing homework assignments and studying. In this course, you will spend one hour in a classroom setting (attending a class meeting), and as much time as you need participating in Polya activities per week. We require that 2.5 of those additional hours be spent with us in the Polya Center where some of our best resources are available to you, but you are always welcome to spend more—many of our students report that they like to spend all their math time in the Polya Center where tutors are available. You will receive credit toward your final grade for conscientiously attending class and putting in the 2.5 hours a week in the Polya Center.

Computer Lab

Monday – Thursday 9:30 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Friday 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Saturday 12 - 5 p.m.
Sunday 12 - 8 p.m.

Testing Available

Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.*
Friday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.*
Saturday 12:30 - 5 p.m.*
Sunday 12:30 - 8 p.m.*
(*Latest start times 90 minutes prior to closing to guarantee test completion. Best testing times are in the morning to ensure a computer.).

Review Sessions

There are 9 review sessions given each week. See the white board in the Polya Center or the review session schedule for times and locations.

Announcements about the course, special sessions, changes in schedules or procedures, and so forth, will be made in your class, on the Polya web page and by e-mail. You are expected to check your University e-mail regularly.

The best way to communicate with your teacher is to speak to them in person during their office hours or when they are working in the Polya Lab. Office hours will be posted once the semester begins.

All emails must be sent through the email form located at: . Any emails sent without using this form will not be read.

All emails must follow standard grammar and punctuation rules. Any email which fails to adhere to these standards will be returned to you for revision. Emails should also follow basic email etiquette. Any emails that violate the student code of conduct regarding respect of others will be sent to the Dean of Students as appropriate.

Polya students are expected to maintain Academic Honesty in all their work. Collaboration is encouraged on many assignments such as homework, and tutors are available to assist you with this kind of work. However, your teacher may assign other work or quizzes that should be completed independently. Copying another student’s work on any assignment, homework or quiz is considered cheating. All tests and the final exam are considered individual work and must be completed without unauthorized assistance of any kind, including the help of other students, tutors, notes, or any calculator other than the TI 30xIIS. All test materials and scratch paper are to be turned in with the test paper and attempting to bring test work out of the testing area and/or share that work with other students is considered cheating.

The University of Idaho has defined acceptable behavior in the Student Code of Conduct Article II.A-1 – Academic Dishonesty [rev. 7-98, 7-05, 7-14, ed. 7-09]. The following summarizes relevant points related to your math course:

Because academic honesty and integrity are core values at a university, the faculty finds that even one incident of academic dishonesty may merit expulsion.

  • Cheating on classroom or outside assignments, examinations, or tests is a violation of this code. Falsifying Polya scan records is a violation of this code.
  • Plagiarism, falsification of academic records, falsification of records and the acquisition or use of test materials without faculty authorization are considered forms of academic dishonesty and, as such, are violations of this code.
  • Instructors and students are responsible for maintaining academic standards and integrity in their classes. Consequences for academic dishonesty may be imposed by the course instructor. Such consequences may include but cannot exceed a grade of "F" in the course.

(The full text of the Student Code of Conduct may be found at )

Make up work for assignments missed because of absence are only allowed for absences that are consistent with Catalog Section M. For these cases, make-up arrangements should be made prior to the absence. In cases of medical or family emergency, documentation of the emergency will be required. Documentation must be provided within two business days of the assignment’s due date, not to exceed the Friday before final exam week. Bring appropriate documentation to your instructor during their office hours.

If ongoing illness or other circumstances fitting the catalog definition of an excused absence prevent you from bringing documentation for your absence within two business days, then each additional delay must also be documented and the documentation for the delay must be presented with the documentation for the original absence. (See University Catalog under General Requirements and Academic Procedures, section M for details about absences.)

Field trips and official student travel require preparation and notification in advance of departure. See the catalog for details.

Proper documentation will always be required to make up course work. IF YOU ARE HEALTHY ENOUGH TO BE ON CAMPUS ON THE DAY THAT A TEST OR OTHER ASSIGNMENT IS DUE, THEN A DOCTOR’S NOTE WILL NOT BE ALLOWABLE AS AN EXCUSE. The deadline to request an extension is 8am the Friday before finals week, and extension due dates will not exceed 5:00 pm on the Friday before finals week, unless warranted by extenuating circumstances at Instructor discretion. A valid doctor’s note will be written on letterhead from the doctor’s office, will be dated and signed, contain the dates for which the student is excused, and will contain a disclaimer indicating that schools are authorized to verify the information contained in the note.

Problems with your personal computer or internet connection are not grounds for an extension. When using a personal computer, it is highly recommended to use Firefox or Chrome as your browser.

If an extension is granted, the length of the extension will be determined by the number of days listed on the documentation.

We are committed to accommodate students with disabilities. Reasonable accommodations are available for students who have documented temporary or permanent disabilities. All accommodations must be approved through the Center for Disability Access and Resources (CDAR) located in the Pitman Center Room 127 in order to notify your instructor(s) as soon as possible regarding accommodation(s) needed for the course. Contact information:

Student Resources: The University of Idaho provides student support to ensure a successful learning experience. Please see the Student Resources Webpage (

The Office of Equity and Diversity engages in social justice advocacy through policy implementation, programs and services that promote access and inclusion for cultural and diverse populations. We collaborate with stakeholders to develop an intentional, culturally literate and responsive community founded on respect for the individual and the collective. We are committed to ensuring bias-free, safe spaces for our entire Vandal family, to achieve our University’s mission of focused and inclusive excellence.

Phone 208-885-2468

Counseling and Testing Center: The Counseling & Testing Center’s (CTC) staff of full-time psychologists and supervised graduate intern and practicum students offers students, faculty and staff access to a wide range of counseling services, resources and referrals.

Phone: 208-885-6717

University of Idaho Classroom Learning Civility Clause:
In any environment in which people gather to learn, it is essential that all members feel as free and safe as possible in their participation. To this end, it is expected that everyone in this course will be treated with mutual respect and civility, with an understanding that all of us (students, instructors, professors, guests, and teaching assistants) will be respectful and civil to one another in discussion, in action, in teaching, and in learning.

Should you feel our classroom interactions do not reflect an environment of civility and respect, you are encouraged to meet with your instructor during office hours to discuss your concern. Additional resources for expression of concern or requesting support include the Dean of Students office and staff (5-6757), the UI Counseling & Testing Center’s confidential services (5-6716), or the UI Office of Human Rights, Access, & Inclusion (5-4285).

  • Purchase notebook on or before the first day of class
  • Opt into Inclusive Access on or before the first day of class (You will receive a notice when your BBLearn course is available and you will be able to opt into Inclusive Access at that time.)
  • Complete every page of the notebook
  • Complete homework as outlined in the course calendar
  • Check your University of Idaho email at least one time every day
  • Be on time and prepared for class and pay attention for the entire class period
  • Bring the course notebook to class, with appropriate pages completed for the day
  • Accurately complete notebook materials
  • Attend the Polya Mathematics Center for 150 minutes (2 ½ hours) each week
  • Take each computerized test three times (or until at least 90% is achieved on one of the attempts)
  • Take each written test during the designated course period
  • Keep track of my grades by using the grade summary sheets in this notebook
  • Maintain Academic Honesty in all my work
  • Fill out the grade calculation sheet at the beginning of each week (beginning in week 2)

  • Be on time and prepared for class
  • Be prepared to present upcoming material and answer student questions
  • Respond to emails during business hours (Note: It may take more than one day to research and respond to an email. I will check my email at least once during each business day.)
  • Establish office hours and Polya hours
  • Be available during designated office and Polya hours
  • Grade notebook assessments and make them available for student pickup (may not be available immediately)
  • Help students with math in the Polya Center

U of I Moscow is located on the homelands of the Nimiipu (Nez Perce). We extend gratitude to the indigenous people that call this place home, since time immemorial. U of I recognizes that it is our academic responsibility to build relationships with the indigenous people to ensure integrity of tribal voices.


Physical Address:
Brink Hall 300

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive, MS 1103
Moscow, ID 83844-1103

Phone: 208-885-6742

Fax: 208-885-5843


Web: Department of Mathematics and Statistical Science