MAT 171 Pre-Calculus

Exit Skills:  The successful student will be able to solve a variety of problems within the following range of topics: 

  1. Solve quadratic equations, equations of quadratic form and miscellaneous equations.
  2. Solve quadratic, rational, compound and absolute value inequalities, writing solutions in interval notation.
  3. Solve higher order polynomial equations using the Remainder, Factor, Rational Root and Conjugate Pairs Theorems.
  4. Graph rational functions, identifying key components including vertical and horizontal asymptotes.
  5. Find the rule for the inverse of a function and graph the inverse.
  6. Graph exponential and logarithmic functions.
  7. Solve exponential and logarithmic equations. 
  8. Solve systems of non-linear equations and inequalities. 
  9. Solve 3 x 3 systems of linear equations using Gaussian elimination, inverse of a matrix and Cramer’s Rule.
  10. Perform matrix algebra operations including addition, subtraction, products and the evaluation of determinants by the minor-cofactor method. 
  11. Graph conic sections including circles, parabolas, ellipses and hyperbolas. 
  12. Find terms of a sequence using recursion and explicit formulas, and find the nth-term formula for arithmetic and geometric sequences. 
  13. Use summation notation, and find the sum of arithmetic series, and the sum of finite and infinite geometric series.
  14. Define the trigonometric functions using the circular and triangular definitions.
  15. Convert between degree and radian measure.
  16. Locate and find trigonometric functions of special angles and angles corresponding by reference.
  17. Use amplitude, period, phase shift and vertical shift to graph trigonometric equations.
  18. Identify the range restrictions for the inverse trigonometric functions and find inverses.
  19. Prove and use basic, Pythagorean, angle sum and difference, double angle and half angle identities to simplify expressions, verify identities and solve conditional equations.
  20. Graph, add and subtract vectors and solve associated applications.
  21. Prove and use the Law of Sines and the Law of Cosines, and solve associated applications.
  22. Convert between rectangular and trigonometric form of complex numbers.
  23. Multiply and divide complex numbers in trigonometric form, and use DeMoivre’s theorem and the Nth-Root theorem to find integer powers and roots of complex numbers.
  24. Convert between rectangular and polar coordinates and equations and graph common polar equations.

Office Info

Office Hours

8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday

Office Location

Administration Building, Room 1242

Office Phone Number


Office Coordinator

Phyllis Marchand

Program Contact

Joseph (Joe) W. Howe

Joshua (Josh) J. Niemczyk