Math 380: Elementary Algebra
The Adobe Reader
To use the textbook and Optimath system in this course, you must have properly installed and configured the Adobe Reader on your computer. You will need to download a free copy of the Acrobat Reader to read them. Click the following icon to obtain a free copy of the Acrobat Reader.
It is important that you have the most current version of the Acrobat Reader that your system will allow. The above links will take you to the Adobe site. The Adobe site will analyze your system, but you may be asked to choose the appropriate version of the reader for your system. If this happens, carefully select the appropriate version of the reader for your system.
Installation Instructions:
 If you use a Windows PC, please follow these installation instructions for the Adobe Reader.
 If you use a Macintosh, please follow these installation instructions for the Adobe Reader.
Course Description and Prerequisites
At College of the Redwoods, Math 380 is the course number for our Elementary Algebra course. This course is designed to give an introduction to the study of algebra. We begin our exploration of algebraic concepts using graphical, numeric, and analytic methods. Graphing calculators and computer are used to illustrate and investigate the key concepts. Colaborative learning activities will be used to further the understanding of mathematics in realworld settings and assist students in seeing mathematics as a human endevor. Students will learn to communicate algebra in written and verbal formats.
Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in Math 376 (Prealgebra) or equivalent, or an appropriate score on the math placement exam.
Course Description: A study of the real number system, first degree linear equations and inequalities, polynomial expressions and equations, factoring, radicals, quadratic equations, and the quadratic formula, interpretation of graphs, and problem solving techniques. Small group work and exploratory activities (including the use of the graphing calculator) are involved in this course.
Elementary Algebra Textbook
Each semester, every student in Math 380 at the College receives a free copy of the textbook and solutions manual on CD. To help you get started using the textbook on the CD, watch the video Getting Started with the Elementary Algebra Textbook (note: the video refers to the "Prealgebra" textbook, but the instructions are similar).
The latest version of the textbook is also available online at:
http://mathrev.redwoods.edu/ElemAlgText/
Interactive features in the online and CD versions of the textbook:
 Each example has a corresponding link to a "You Try It" problem. You can watch the movie You Try Its on the Mac to get a sense of how to use the You Try Its on both the Mac and PC.
Features in the printed version of the textbook:
 Each example has a printed "You Try It" problem in the margin. Answers are also included.
Printed Versions of the Elementary Algebra Textbook
For those who prefer a printed version of the textbook, there are two different printed packages which can be ordered from lulu.com.
 Textbook: This package includes the entire textbook, i.e., exposition, exercises, answers to the oddnumbered problems, and an index. Solutions for the exercises are not included in this package. To purchase from lulu.com, go to:
http://www.lulu.com/shop/davidarnold/elementaryalgebra/paperback/product20276557.html  Solutions Manual: This package contains just the detailed solutions to the oddnumbered problems in the textbook. To purchase from lulu.com, go to:
http://www.lulu.com/shop/davidarnold/elementaryalgebrasolutionsmanual/paperback/product20276540.html
All printed packages are bound paperback books in blackandwhite.
If you order from lulu.com during the summer, you are granted free shipping for all purchases over $20. To purchase both the textbook and solution manual costs $38, so you will be granted free shipping. However,
 Free shipping is by U.S. Mail and can take anywhere from 13 weeks. In my case, it took 13 days to receive my copies from the time I ordered them online until the time I received them at my home.
 Other forms of shipiping are available for an additional price.
Tabbed Browsing
Most browsers allow tabbed browsing. To see how tabbed browsing can help you make more efficient use of the textbook, watch the movie Tabbed Browsing.
Elementary Algebra Textbook Errata
Lists of errors for the 20122013 version of the Elementary Algebra textbook can be viewed on the textbook web site at:
http://mathrev.redwoods.edu/ElemAlgText/
You will find separate "Errata" links for each chapter.
Graphing Calculator
Students are required to use a graphing calculator in the Math 380 course. Students can rent a calculator for the semester for $20. Instructions are available at the following link:
Graphing Calculator Rental Program
Online Practice and Testing in Mathematics (OPTIMATH)
OPTIMATH is our locallydeveloped online practice and testing system. The portal for OPTIMATH is:
http://msenux2.redwoods.edu/optimath
There are numerous resources to assist students and instructors.

For information on how to get started, read:
 For assistance with Optimath Syntax, read Writing Mathematical Formulas in Optimath, then try your hand with our new Syntax Checker (Firefox required).

For assistance in logging on to the OPTIMATH system, we have two videos, the second of which deals with names containing hyphens and apostrophes. Note: If you have the Flash plugin loaded, clicking links in the first column of the following table should start the video up in your browser. Use the links in the second column to save the file to your hard disk, then open the saved file in Quicktime or ITunes.
Flash format iPod m4v format 
If you are still struggling with OPTIMATH syntax, try watching these three videos. Note: If you have the Flash plugin loaded, clicking links in the first column of the following table should start the video up in your browser. Use the links in the second column to save the file to your hard disk, then open the saved file in Quicktime or ITunes.
 Even if your instructor does not use OPTIMATH as a formal part of the course, you can still access a set of online practice exercises that are keyed to the exercises in the textbook.
Further Resources
Here is a list of further resources to help student successfully complete the course.

If you need tutorial help, then you will want to enroll in the Mathlab. A description of the Mathlab and instructions for enrolling can be found at the following link.

Paid Tutors: The following link (needs updating) contains a list of

Generic Help: Tami Matsumoto has compiled a sheet of generic help (needs updating) resources available at the college and other locations.