Dear Intermediate Algebra Student,

     Welcome to the  Fall of 2002 and Intermediate Algebra. I can't think of a better way to spend a semester, having fun with algebra. I would like to say hello and offer a few words of advice and encouragement before we meet on Sept 11.
I promise not to use more than 5 E 10 words in this letter. The prerequisite for this course is  DE-060 Elementary Algebra, an identifiable pulse, a temperature of 98.6F, and permission from your psychiatrist to subject yourself to this course over the next 15 weeks.

     I have a few suggestions that are intended to guarantee your success in this course. If you make a good effort there is no doubt in my mind that you will pass. I am batting 1000 so far. (What the heck does batting 1000 mean?)

               1. It is vitally, imperatively, critically important that you read the text BEFORE class and TRY TO DO as many exercises as is humanly possible!!

                               The text is "Introductory/Intermediate Algebra" by Miller, Lial and McGinnis
                               The student solutions manual is also required.
                               Please get both books before the first class so you can start reviewing chapter 1-6.

               2. Get extra help immediately if you feel you need it. I am available for extra help 24 hours a day 7 days a week except Sundays from midnight to 6am. I need to sleep sometime. We will work   in groups and I will try to arrange study groups outside of class. Tutors will be available also, in the math lab and tutor center.

                                With all the help available you can't not pass.

              3. Back to number 1. The most important thing for you to do is try as many problems before class as possible. That is correct! I am not delirious. But you say "How can I do the problems before they are explained to me??" That is the very essence of this course; to help you gain your math independence. We will work together in class on the material of the day. By the time the class is over you will know what you are doing.

     You will need plenty of time for homework. If you have a job or family pressures you will need to schedule your hours to allow for blocks of time to study. Experience shows that you need at least 3 hours outside of class for each hour of class. Some people need lots more. I suggest you do about an hour at a time instead of trying to do all the work at once. When you are studying math you can only do so much before you need a break.

      I am enclosing a copy of the schedule. Please review chapters1-6. Some of this is considered a review, material covered in basic math. I am also enclosing a writing assignment for you to complete before the first class. Bring it with you on Sept 11. Your math autobiography will help me get to know you better.  Please type it.

       If you have any questions or concerns about doing algebra in the Fall, please feel free to call me at home at 428-7538 or at school at 362-2131 x4421. I have answering machines at both places so you can leave a message and I will return your call. You may also email me at

        If you misplace any of these materials or wish to obtain copies of the syllabus or any class materials or assignments used during the semester you may find them at my web site at:

Feel free to copy anything you find on this site. If you are interested in seeing more information about cooperative learning please click on my articles or any other links you see on my web site. Also there is a neat joke file on my web page.

       One last word; if you are concerned about anything I have written here, relax!!!. There are many opportunities for extra help inside and outside of the class.

      If you are willing to work at it I can guarantee you will pass this course.

     I look forward to seeing you on Sept 11 to start a fun and interesting Fall semester.

                                                                                                                                                   Sincerely yours

                                                                                                                                                     Ted Panitz