By John Brown
Arizona Daily Wildcat April 16, 1997
Math Department updates curriculum, cuts lower level courses
The University of Arizona Mathematics Department will offer Math 116 and Math 117 for the last time next year as part of a three-year phase-out of non-college level math courses.
Students who want to use the grade replacement opportunity for Math 116, Introduction to College Algebra, must enroll in the course this fall, said Elias Toubassi, Math Department director of entry-level programs.
Students who need to replace Math 117, College Algebra, will have their last chance in the spring, he said.
In 1994, the Arizona Board of Regents mandated new admission requirements for incoming freshman for the fall of 1998.
This initiated changes in the Math Department curriculum, said Susan Steele, associate vice provost for undergraduate education.
New high school requirements require students to complete four years of math, Steele said.
"Students entering in the fall should be coming in better prepared," Toubassi said. "This means our lowest course, Math 116, is not needed."
He said Math 117 will be replaced by Math 121, an upgraded version of the course.
Math 121, Collegiate Algebra, will include an integrated review of key topics in Math 116 and a comprehensive exploration of Math 117, Toubassi said.
He said Math 121 incorporates the use of graphic calculators, which have become continually more important in math applications.
The pilot course for Math 121, which offered 12 sections last semester, has been gradually refined since its first offering in the fall of 1994, Toubassi said.
He said that over a period of five semesters, students enrolled in Math 121 have out performed Math 117 students in a common final.
He said the four-unit course is ideal for business students who want a good foundation and plan to take two to three more math courses. He said the course satisfies the minimum college requirement.
Math 121 is not suitable for students who test into Math 116, Steele said.
After next year, students who do not place into college level courses will need to take math at Pima Community College, she said.
Two other classes have also been integrated into the math curriculum over the past several semesters to meet the new needs of incoming freshman, Toubassi said.
Math in Modern Society, Math 122, is designed for students who do not plan to continue in math and only want to meet their college requirement, Toubassi said.
He said the course offers real life applications and general uses of math outside the classroom.
Math 120, Calculus Preparation, is intended for students with math-oriented majors, such as engineering and science, and other students who are on a intensive math track, he said.