Q: What are your office hours?
Tuesday 10AM to 12:05 PM, Thursday 10AM to 11:05 AM.
Q: Do I have to take the Mathematics Placement Test?
Probably so. Taking the Mathematics placement test has never proven to be fatal. If you have transfer credit from a college in Alabama for course work in Math 110 or above, then you may be eligible to attend the course sequel here. However, Math 110 IS NOT a prerequisite for any other course. Also, Math 100 at our sister institutions will not transfer here.
Think about the placement test this way: If you do well at it, it may place you in a course above where you expected. If you do poorly, then you probably are not prepared to take the course that you desire.
Before you sign up for the exam, study! I suggest any college algebra, intermediate algebra or precalculus text. Pay attention to problems involving order of operation, simplfying rational expressions, solving linear equations, graphing and solving quadratic equations, recognizing low degree polynomial functions’ graphs, elements of trigonometric, exponential and logarithmic functions.
Q: Is there a study guide for the placement exam?
I received some study guides for the state graduation exam. It turns out that this file is a very good study guide for the placement test. The files geometry 1 and geometry 2 may also be helpful to you. But the state graduation exam contains geometry as a tested subject, and our placement exam only covers geometry peripherally.
Q: When and where do I take the Math Placement Test?
You may take the placement test at any computer that has a stable internet connection. You have up to 90 minutes to take the test unless you are a special student who requires accomodation. If so see Disability Services for information.
Make sure that your little brothers and sisters won’t bother you, the television is off, and that you have time, pencil, and paper in order to concentrate. You are better off taking the test before you come to campus for orientation. Do not hit the submit button before you take the test. Be aware of the internet procedures that one usually follows. See the instructions for complete information.
Q: When will the placement test score be posted?
The placement test machine is a distinct machine from the banner registration machine. We have “scripts” that run twice a day which feed data from one machine to the other. I, and others, receive “message sent” notifications from the placement machine at 7 AM and 11:30 AM and “message received” notifications from the Banner software at 7:30 AM and 12 PM on a daily basis.
If you complete the exam in the morning, then you may register for a math class that afternoon. If you complete the exam between 12PM and 6:59 AM on the following day, then you will be able to register after 7:30 AM on the following day. Take the exam early enough to allow adequate time for the score to be processed. Your ability to understand this schedule will facilitate your registration.
Q: Which math course should I take?
If you are planning on a science, business, or engineering related major, then you will need Ma 112 or higher. Check with your advisor to be sure. Math 110 does not fulfill the requirements for every major, and it is not a prerequisite for any other course. If you are placed into a DS course or Ma 110, then check with your advisor and read your program requirements for more information.
Q: Will my calculus course from Mississippi transfer?
Calculus in Mississippi consist of four courses of three hours each. In Alabama, the courses are three courses of four hours each. To have transfer credit for Cal 1 (Ma 125), you need both Cal 1 and 2 from Mississippi. To get credit for Ma 125 and Ma 126 here, you need Cal 1, Cal 2, and Cal 3 there. There are leftover hours unless you complete the four course sequence there.
Q: I can only take my math class at a certain time. May I get a closed course over-ride?
Course capacities are set according to how many seats are available in the class room and fire marshall regulations. If a class is filled to capacity and the registration process is not complete, then keep trying. Be aware that some students reserve classes but don’t pay their fees. Such students will be dropped from the role. When? The registrar’s office announces these deadlines.
Upperclassmen who have postponed taking their mathematics courses do not garner much sympathy. You should schedule your courses in close consultation with your academic advisors. In certain majors, mathematics and statistics are prerequisites for upper division courses.
Q: I need to be advised and my advisor is out of town, what should I do?
Normally, academic advising occurs mid-semester. You should plan to see your advisor during the academic year when classes are in session and when your advisor is available. I make several efforts to communicate with our majors to remind them of advising.
Q: But I already know what I need to take!
We are providing you a service. Our faculty are here to remind you of what courses are scheduled. We examine your grades and try to steer you towards the mathematics and statistics courses that will best suit you personally. We don’t want you to be overloaded with a lot of difficult mathematics and statistics courses in any one semester. And we want to ensure that you have met the prerequisite courses in a timely fashion.
Arts and Sciences, Business, CIS, Engineering, or the College of Education will help you with your core courses. The courses within your math/stat major are what we want to discuss with you.
Your advisor may know about summer research opportunities. Your advisor may know about career opportunities, and your advisor may know about good graduate opportunities for you.
Q: I need to contact my instructor because he/she gave me an F and it ruins my financial aid.
If you just received your grades, and it is during break, then you can try to contact your instructor by e-mail. However, grades and other personal information cannot be discussed via e-mail, nor can your grades be discussed with a third party such as your parents. Your instructor may be on vacation or out of town. Please respect our need for personal time.
You should ask yourself many questions before contacting me or your instructor. Did you have a passing grade going into the final? In my own experience, the grade on the final exam for a weaker student usually is less than the grades on other exams. Your instructor may put more weight into the final than you expected. Did you understand the grading scheme? Generally, each component of a course has a slightly different weight. Roughly, each of my tests weighs 22%, the sum of the homework quizes weighs 22%,and the final weighs 34%. If you don’t understand how such weights affect your grade, then it is likely that you did not grasp the material in the course.
In mathematics courses, we do not grant grades solely on class participation or on effort alone. You must demonstrate through your homework and test grades that you have mastered the material. If you did not perform at the level expected by your instructor, you did not pass. Not everyone who dresses out gets selected for the team.
Always, you are better off contacting your instructor during the semester in which you are being graded, or if necessary contact the instructor after the next semester starts. After you have discussed grades with the instructor, and if you feel that you have been graded unfairly, then I will intercede.
Q: Why do I need a C or better in precalculus or finite math before I can get into math for elementary school teachers?
In our experience, students who do poorly in 100 level courses do not do well in subsequent courses. You will waste your time and money if you are in a course for which you are not prepared.
Q: But I will be teaching elementary school kids, they don’t need to know precalculus.
Everything that is taught up through high school is, by definition, precalculus. As a teacher you will have to have competencies beyond those of your students in all of the content areas. An in depth knowledge base is a necessary requirement to being a good teacher. My piano teacher does not keep only one lesson ahead of me, nor should you be on the same intellectual level as the children you are teaching.
Q: Where are the style files for the Journal of Knot Theory and its Ramifications?