Franklin College
Erich Prisner

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MAT103 College Algebra





PageRank Project


NEW: Sample Midterm
Study Guide

Writing Component

You have to write one research paper of about three pages length on a mathematical subject related to the topics we cover in class. Each student is assigned a topic from the list below. The topics vary in mathematical difficulty, so check with me when you have made a choice whether I consider this topic appropriate for you. You have to give me a first draft two weeks after you have chosen the topic, a second draft one week after the first draft, and the paper two more weeks later, so overall you have five weeks for the whole project. 

For some of the topics you need sources, for some you don't. If you use sources, please cite and quote correctly and completely, also internet sources. A good but brief introduction for writing research papers (based on the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers) can be found here. Read also Stephen B Maurer's notes and Stephen L. Kleiman's notes for writing mathematical papers.

For the technical side, note that Word contains a formula editor. 

List of topics

  1. Triangle inside square
  2. A work word problem  
  3. A puzzle leading to several equations with several unknowns
  4. (Addition method) is not possible this semester!
  5. (A thermostat word problem) is not possible this semester!
  6. Shoelaces
  7. A family of radical equations
  8. Addition puzzle
  9. Composition of piecewise defined functions
  10. Number of variables versus number of equations
  11. The inverse function of a composed function
  12. (Traveling salesman problem) is not possible this semester!
  13. Radio station problem
  14. Finding the better fence
  15. Finding the better fence II
  16. Solving cubic equations
  17. T-Shirt production
  18. The complex plane
  19. Composition of functions I
  20. Composition of functions II
  21. A polynomial of high degree
  22. Mixture problem I
  23. Mixture problem II
  24. Two boats on the river
  25. (The invention of logarithms) is not possible this semester!
  26. (Proofs in Mathematics) is not possible this semester!
  27. Triangular mixture problem
  28. (The old liar) is not possible this semester, but have a look on the solution!
  29. Integer zeros of a polynomial
  30. (Inequalities) is not possible this semester!
  31. The old liar II
  32. (Benjamin Franklin and magic squares) is not possible this semester!
  33. A cinema word problem
  34. Sharing Coconuts
  35. (Arabian Algebra) is not possible this semester!
  36. Tartaglia, Cardano, and the cubic and quartic formula
  37. Abel and the impossibility of the quintic formula
  38. Placing Restaurants
  39. Upstream-Downstream-Upstream
  40. Mixture Problem III
  41. Absolute Value
  42. Absolute Value and two variables
  43. Triangle inside square II
  44. Page Rank I
  45. Page Rank II
  46. Folding Paper
  47. Factoring a polynomial
  48. Factoring a polynomial II
  49. Production
  50. ........
  51. ........
  52. ........
  53. ........

The grading will be based on

Erich Prisner, August 2003