Math Camp FAQ
Additional answers can be found in the transcript from our 2013 Math Camp chat.
Math Camp is an intensive review of some basic concepts of algebra and geometry and a tiny bit of calculus. The purpose of this short and intensive course is to prepare you for SPEA masters classes that require some basic background in mathematics.
Math Camp is specially designed for those students who have not taken a math class in a very long time and need a refresher course or who feel that they might need extra help mastering some basic mathematical concepts.
Math Camp is ungraded; however, each day you will have some homework exercises to work that we will evaluate the next day.
We will meet every day for a week—Monday through Friday. We will meet from approximately 8:45am to 12:45pm. After class, you are encouraged to stick around SPEA to work on your homework. You can work in the atrium or in the Business/SPEA library. Every afternoon, the Teaching Assistant(s) (TA) will be available for a couple of hours in order to answer any questions you might have. Times and locations to be determined and announced at Math Camp.
In class, we will have lectures and in-class exercises. We will also have guest appearances from faculty members who will tell us how the mathematical concepts we have been discussing will be helpful in your future classes and in public affairs and environmental science in general.
To better help you decide whether or not you need to attend Math Camp, use the evaluation tool and then check your answers. If you score well on the test and feel confident that you know how to answer these questions, then you don’t need to be in Math Camp. If you do not score well or cannot figure out the answers to these problems, then Math Camp is for you.
Math Camp Advanced is designed for all MSES, MPA/MSES and those MPA students that intend to incorporate some of SPEA’s demanding quantitative and/or analytical coursework in their academic designs. The Advanced course will provide an intense review of mathematical skills – from Algebra to Intermediate Calculus.
To maximize your learning, come to class prepared. Read the lecture notes, then come to class and pay close attention to the lectures. Then go home and reread the lecture notes and your class notes before doing the homework assignments. Work in groups on the homework and explain difficult concepts to each other. If you still have questions, then come and see the professor or the TA.
If you want to do further reading on the subject, these are some basic textbooks that might be helpful. A couple suggestions are below. Or you can just check out a basic algebra book from the library.
Barnett, Raymond A., Michael R. Ziegler and Karl E. Byleen (2004) Finite Mathematics for Business, Economics, Life Sciences and Social Sciences (10th edition), Prentice Hall.
Gaur, Ajai S., Sanjaya S. Gaur.Statistical Methods for Practice And Research: A Guide to Data Analysis Using SPSS, Sage Publications.
Lial, Margaret L, John Hornsby, and David Schneider. College Algebra (9th edition). Addison Wesley.
Stewart, James. Calculus: Early Transcendentals (Stewart's Calculus Series) (Also, check out the author’s excellent website: http://www.stewartcalculus.com/media/4_home.php)
Sullivan, Michael. College Algebra (7th edition). Prentice Hall.
Waner & Costenoble. Finite Mathematics (2nd edition). Brooks & Cole.
All you need to bring is a basic calculator, pencil, and paper. We will provide the course pack when you arrive on the first day.
You are welcome to park in the Fee Lane Parking Garage on Fee Lane just off of 10th Street; we'll provide you with a parking pass for display in your car window that will enable you to enter and exit the parking garage during SPEA’s Math Camp week. This parking privilege is only offered to registered Math Camp attendees and will end at the close of the week. You will see signage indicating "SPEA Parking" in and around the SPEA Building and garage entrance. We encourage you to park in the Fee Lane Garage on the 4th floor for easy access to the sky bridge which leads to the SPEA building. Please refer to the campus map for directions to SPEA.
Roots and exponents
Polynomials (adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing)
Solving quadratic equations
Solving systems of equations
Functions and Graphing
Logarithmic and exponential functions
Math Camp Advanced
Solving simultaneous equations
Distance formula and midpoint formula
Equations of lines
Applying linear functions
Graphing functions (preliminary)
Review of exponents
Preview of differentials
Differentiation general form
Alternative notation for differentiation
Rules of differentiation
Interpreting first, second, and third derivatives
Applications for derivatives
Graphing higher order polynomials
Rules for integrals
Applications for integrals
Calculus of trigonometric functions
SPEA applications for calculus