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Math 121: Precalculus

Course Prerequisites

One of:

Course Description

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; polar coodinates; and, partial fractions.  Extensive computer use required.

Credit Awarded

4 hours of credit (some exceptions noted below)

Credit is not given for Math 121 if the student has credit in MATH 165MATH 170, or  MATH 180.

Course Materials


Precalculus: Mathematics for Calculus, 8th edition by James Stewart, Lothar Redlin, Saleem Watson.

WebAssign Access Code

WebAssign Access code linked to your Blackboard account is required for this course.  To ensure your WebAssign Access code is properly linked to your blackboard account you should purchase your WebAssign Access Code through the link in Blackboard.  Your WebAssign Access Code will include an electronic version of the textbook, buying a printed copy is optional.

If you wish to buy a printed copy of the textbook, a bundle including both the the printed textbook and WebAssign Access code is available from the UIC Bookstore.  You may instead wish to purchase a WebAssign Access Code via the link in Blackboard and buy a used textbook.

If you purchase your access code in any other manner than following the link in blackboard, be sure not to use this access code for any other purpose before you link your Blackboard account to your WebAssign Access account.

Sample Exams Heading link

Course Schedule Heading link

The following is a typical 15-week Fall or Spring semester schedule for MATH 121. During the Summer sessions, the schedule is condensed into 8 weeks.
Sections Topics
Week 1

Sec 2.1, 2.2, 2.3
Course Policies
Intro to Functions
Domain and Range
Graphing Functions, Inc/Dec VLT
Week 2

Sec 2.7, 2.4
Algebra of Functions: ASMD/Comp
Average Rate of Change
Week 3

Sec 3.2, 3.4, 3.5, 4.1
Polynomial Functions
Polynomial Functions
Exponential Functions
Week 4

Sec 6.1, 6.2, 6.3
Angle Measure
Right Triangle Trig
Trig/Trig Functions of Angles
Week 5

Sec 5.1, 5.2
Exam 1
The Unit Circle/Trig Functions
Week 6

Sec 2.6, 2.8
Transformations of Functions
Inverses of Functions
Week 7

Sec 4.3, 4.4
Logarithmic Functions
Log Laws
Week 8

Sec 5.3, 3.6
Graphs of Sine and Cosine
Rationale Functions and Their Graphs
Week 9

Sec 3.6, 5.4
Rationale Functions and Their Graphs
Graphs of the Tan/Cot Functions
Review Exam 2
Week 10

5.5, 7.1
Inverse Trig Functions and Their Graphs
Verifying Trig Identities
Week 11

Sec 7.2, 7.3, 4.5
Trig Identities: Add/Sub
Trig Identities: Double/Half Angle
Solving Equations: Exponential/Log
Week 12

Sec 4.5, 7.4, 7.5, 6.5
Solving Equations: Exponential/Log/Trig
Solving Equations: Trig
Law of Sines
Week 13

Sec 6.5, 6.6, 8.1
Law of Sines/Law of Cosines
Law of Cosines
Polar Coodinates
Week 14

Sec 8.2, 9.7
Graphs of Polar Equations
Partial Fractions Part 1
Week 15

Sec 9.7
Review for Exam 3
Partial Fractions Part 2
Review for Final Exam