Department of Mathematics
Oregon Institute of Technology
Open Source College Algebra Textbook
The text focuses on the concept of a function and the exploration of the characteristics and applications of linear, quadratic, polynomial, rational, exponential and logarithmic functions. There is also a chapter on matrix methods for solving systems of equations. One of my colleagues and I have both used this text, and it is also being used by some Advanced College Placement (ACP) teachers in high schools.
The text is organized in the same manner as many publisher's texts overall, but with a few significant differences, which are pointed out below.
- Each section begins with specific performance criteria that are addressed in that section.
- Chapter 1 contains a fairly extensive review of what I would consider to be Intermediate Algebra topics.
- I have made an effort to weave "threads" through the book, so that students are brought back to previously developed ideas multiple times. There is an effort to go from specific to general, rather than the other way around (as is often the practice of "real" mathematicians).
- Rather than lumping all of the general development of functions into one chapter, there is a bit in chapter 2 that is needed for linear, quadratic, polynomial and rational functions. The topics of compositions of functions and inverse functions is left until later, prior to the chapter on exponential and logarithm functions.
- Treatment of the effect of transformations on graphs is developed throughout the book, beginning with translations and vertical reflections. Dilations (stretching and shrinking) and horizontal reflection are left until late in the text.
- There is no treatment of complex and repeated roots of polynomial functions, and the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra. I hope to eventually add an appendix on those things but, at this time, anyone who wishes to cover those topics would need to be prepared to add their own materials.
"Package" Contents and Current Status
to Open Resource Textbooks page
- The text is available here as a pdf document for download or use online. Faculty can request a LaTeX source file from me to revise under the conditions of the Creative Commons license.
- The text is in close to what I would envision as its final form, and seems to be almost entirely error-free.
- I have a moderately robust bank of test questions organized by chapters, which is available on request, as pdf or LaTeX documents.
- At this web page there are links for many of the performance criteria to online videos of examples. Most of them are the excellent videos by James Sousa from his site mathispower4u.
to Gregg's homepage
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