Math 139, Section 5

Contemporary Topics in Mathematics




Mondays and Wednesdays 10-11:50, Gaige 213

Office Gaige 368

Office Hours M 12-1; T 4-5; Th 10-11 and by appointment

Instructor- Dr. Stephanie Costa


Website -

Text Blitzer, Thinking Mathematically, Fifth Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall.


Finals week office hours:

Tuesday 12/13 12:30-2

Wednesday 10-10:30 and 12:30-2

Thursday 12-1:30



The purpose of this course is to convey the power and usefulness of mathematics as illustrated by a variety of problems that can be modeled and solved by mathematical means. Some of the topics we will cover are probability, consumer mathematics, graph theory, and voting and apportionment.

For my part, I will be working to deliver informative and interesting class activities and presentations.  Every class regardless of the format, lecture, computer lab, discussion, or your presentation will require time, effort and planning on my part.  For your part, it will require time, effort and planning sound familiar? 

To take charge of your own education, you must be willing to spend time working through the problem material. The key to success in this course is the problem material. It is very important that you try all the assigned problems.  The problems assigned for each textbook section indicate what I feel is important in that section and which ideas and skills you should focus on. I expect each and every student to be an active participant in the class activities


Attendance and Classwork:

You are expected to attend every class.

We will be spending time during each class working on problem material. The work done in this hour will be corrected each week and count as 10% of your final course grade. 


Homework assignments will be posted on the website: You should attempt to solve all of the problems on the suggested problem list.   You are encouraged to work in groups with other students in the class in solving the problems.  Be sure to ask questions on the problems you have trouble with as they may appear on exams.



Your grade will be determined by your work on weekly assignments (10%), 3 in-class exams (20% each), a final exam (15%), and quizzes (15%).

You need to inform me in advance if you cannot make the exam.  Makeup exams will be given to students who have a legitimate reason for missing an exam.  It is not acceptable to miss an exam and call me the next day with an explanation of why were not at the exam.    

Any student with a documented disability is welcome to contact me as early in the semester as possible so that we may arrange reasonable accommodations. As part of this process, please be in touch with Ms. Ann Roccio, coordinator of services for students with disabilities at Craig-Lee 125, 456-8061

Exam 1 Monday, October 3rd

Exam 2 Wednesday, November 2nd

Exam 3 Monday, December 5


Sections Covered


August 31

11.1, started 11.2

Read sections 11.1-11.3

Do p.606 #1-21 odd

September 7


Read section 11.4-11.5

Do p. 613 #1-11 odd, 41-47 odd

Do p. 619 #1,3,29,33,35,41,43,45,47,49,51,53,55

September 12

11.4, 11.5

Read section 11.6

Do p. 627 #3-19 odd;35-39odd, 55-59odd.

Do p. 620 #56, 57

September 14

Quiz 1 sections 11.1-11.3


p. 634 #1-9odd,13,15

p. 644#1,3,5,17-29odd

September 21


11.7, 11.8

Read sections 11.7 and 11.8

p. 656 #1-21odd, 25,33,35,61-71odd

p. 664 #1,3,5,15,19

September 28


p. 683 #1 -17, 27-31odd

p. 698 #7,9,15,19,21,31,49,51,55,62

October 3

Exam 1

October 5

The Normal Distribution

p. 705 #1-3odd,17-27odd,37

p. 717 #1-21odd

October 12

12.4, 12.5, 12.6

Excel Spreadsheet

Correlation Game

p. 717 #49-53odd; 57

p. 724 #1-25odd, 27-32

p. 732 #5,7,19-25odd,26,27-30,35,37

October 19


p. 777 #1,57,11,15,19,21,23

October 24


Voting Flaws

p.788 #1,3,7,9,15,17

p. 801 #1,3,5

October 26


p. 802 #7,9,11,13,15,17

October 31


November 2

Exam 2

November 7

15.1, 15.2

15.1 #1,3,5,11,13,15,17,20,34-48

15.2 #19-31 odd

November 14

15.3, 15.4

15.3 #1-13 odd, 23,33,43,45-47

15.4 #1-9 odd, 17-21

November 16

15.4, 8.1

15.4 # 23,25,27,29,39

8.1 #1-45 every other odd, 47,49,55,57

November 21

Quiz on Chapter 15

November 23

8.2 #1,5,7,35,37,39,41

8.3 #13,15,17,21,33,39,53

November 28


Credit Card Amortization

8.4 # 1,5,9,13,17,21,27,35

8.5 #3,5