[Book Cover]

College Algebra: A View of the World Around Us, 1/e

David Wells, The Pennsylvania State University
Lynn Schmitt, The Pennsylvania State University

Published March, 1997 by Prentice Hall Engineering/Science/Mathematics

Copyright 1997, 539 pp.
ISBN 0-13-571019-7

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    College Algebra with Graphing Calculators-Mathematics

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This text places mathematics into a real-world setting. Concepts are developed through the “Rule of Four”—Numeric, Analytic, Graphic, and Verbal. Graphing utilities are integrated as a tool while the focus is on the mathematics.


Establishes a connection between abstract mathematical concepts and the physical world through sections titled Mathematical Looking Glasses. These sections are designed to deepen understanding by introducing mathematical ideas in a familiar physical context.
Provides analytical, graphical, numerical, and verbal approaches to all major topics. Students who find one particular approach to a topic most natural can use that approach to enhance their understanding of the other three.
Includes regular use of Polya's problem solving strategies. By frequently identifying Polya strategies used in the exposition, the book provides students with a large number of examples of how each strategy can be used effectively.
Incorporates the use of graphing utilities where appropriate as well as discussions of the advantages and limitations of technology.
Identifies exercises according to purpose, allowing both instructors and students to see what the objective of an exercise is. Among these identifiers are:

  • Creating Models.
  • Interpreting Mathematics.
  • Making Observations.
Foreshadows important calculus concepts like approximations, average rate of change, parametric equations, and implicit functions. This helps to smooth the transition from algebra to calculus for students who will go on to study calculus.
Integrates mathematical history into the body of the text.
Written in a style that is student-friendly and conversational.
Exercises are placed at strategic points within each section, increasing the likelihood that students will read sections rather than skipping immediately to the exercise sets at the end.
Contains an extensive review of basic algebra skills in an appendix. This arrangement allows instructors to assign review exercises at appropriate times without interrupting the flow of current material.

Table of Contents
    1. Modeling and Problem-Solving.
    2. Functions.
    3. Linear Functions.
    4. Linear Systems.
    5. Quadratic Functions.
    6. Quadratic Relations.
    7. Polynomial Functions.
    8. Rational Functions.
    9. Exponential and Logarithmic Functions.
    Appendix A: Basic Algebra Reference.
    Appendix B: Tips for Graphing Functions with a Calculator.


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