Math 150 Trigonometry

Lecture: Mondays & Wednesdays, 1:30−2:20 p.m., 101 Cardwell Hall
Course Coordinator: Gabriel Nagy
Course Web page:

OBJECTIVE: Trigonometry is the field of mathematics concerned with the relationship between the angles and sides of a triangle.  Applications range across all areas of science and date back many centuries. Specifically, the study of  geography, astronomy, and engineering heavily rely on the tools of trigonometry.  Trigonometric functions are used to model continuous periodic motion, and provide excellent examples of the fundamental principles of Calculus.  For the university student, a strong foundation in trigonometry is crucial preparation for the study of calculus and higher mathematics.

TEXT: Fundamentals of Trigonometry, by Earl W. Swokowski and Jeffrey A. Cole, 9th Edition, 1999.

CALCULATOR: Calculators will be permitted during the exams, but all work needs to be shown to earn full credit.  For some of the exam and homework problems you may need the use of a calculator with keys equivalent to the following:  sin, cos, tan, INV, and yx. Most of the relevant calculations for homeworks can probably also be done using Google calculator.

CLASS FORMAT: Each week there will be two lectures, on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:30 p.m. to 2:20 p.m. in 101 Cardwell Hall. In addition, you will be expected to attend a recitation session on Tuesdays.

GRADING: Your recitation instructor will administer your exams and determine your final letter grade. You may earn 770 points in this course: 100 points for each of the three hour exams, 200 points for the final exam, 220 points for the homework (see below), and 50 recitation points given by your instructor (typically based on attendance, class participation, quizzes, etc). Your recitation instructor will explain exactly how your recitation grade will be determined. Letter grades will be assigned for each exam, but these should be considered only as an indication of your progress.

EXAMINATIONS: There will be three exams during the semester on the following Thursday evenings from 7:15−8:15pm: September 13, October 11, November 8. The exam locations will be announced in class and posted on the bulletin board in the hallway across from Cardwell 125, as well as on the webpage. The final exam is on Thursday, December 12, 11:50am−1:40pm in a location to be announced later.   You may bring to each exam one sheet of 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper, with whatever notes, equations or formulas you wish to write (written on both sides).   You need to bring writing instruments (pens or pencils and an eraser), your KSU identification card, your one sheet of notes, and a calculator to the exams.  No books or cell phones will be permitted.
Missed exams: If you expect to miss a midterm exam for a legitimate reason (illness or hospitalization, for example), please notify your instructor as soon as possible. If your instructor deems the absence excusable then your other exams will be weighted to make up for the missing one; otherwise your score on it will be zero.There will be no make-up exams. A grade of incomplete may be given to a student who has missed more than one midterm or the final exam, if verifiable circumstances warrant it. It is your responsibility to discuss the situation with your recitation instructor should your personal situation suggest this as a possibility.

HOMEWORK: The homework schedule is posted on the Web at (This link is also accessible from the course web page, as well as from your page.) Each homework assignment (written or online) is scaled to a maximum of 10 points.

Your homework grade is computed by adding your 12 best online scores (out of 16) and your best 10 written homeworks (out of 14).

TIPS FOR SUCCESS: Generally, students perform best in mathematics classes when they work consistently. You must study this course every day. You are developing a skill; no one would expect to become good at tennis if he/she only played once a month. Trigonometry is a moderately difficult college math class. The difficulty of the material increases as the course progresses. Many students may think, after the first couple of lectures, that one can get away without studying constantly or coming to the lectures. Typically such an attitude is a recipe for disaster.
Keys to success:

Kansas State University has an Honor System based on personal integrity, which is presumed to be sufficient assurance that, in academic matters, one's work is performed honestly and without unauthorized assistance. Undergraduate and graduate students, by registration, acknowledge the jurisdiction of the Honor System. The policies and procedures of the Honor System apply to all full and part-time students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate courses on-campus, off-campus, and via distance learning. The honor system website can be reached via the following URL: A component vital to the Honor System is the inclusion of the Honor Pledge which applies to all assignments, examinations, or other course work undertaken by students. The Honor Pledge is implied, whether or not it is stated: "On my honor, as a student, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this academic work." A grade of XF can result from a breach of academic honesty. The F indicates failure in the course; the X indicates the reason is an Honor Pledge violation.

Any student with a disability who needs a classroom accommodation, access to technology or other academic assistance in this course should contact Disability Support Services ( and/or the instructor. Students who require assistance during an emergency evacuation should discuss their needs with their instructors and DSS. DSS serves students with a wide range of disabilities including, but not limited to, physical disabilities, sensory impairments, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, depression, and anxiety.

All student activities in the University, including this course, are governed by the Student Judicial Conduct Code as outlined in the Student Governing Association By Laws, Article VI, Section 3, number 2. Students who engage in behavior that disrupts the learning environment may be asked to leave the class.