The purpose of this document is to describe the reformed precalculus program of the
Department of Mathematics of the University of Michigan. This project uses a reformed
precalculus text and emphasizes cooperative learning, gateway
testing, and technology in the form of TI-82 calculators.
This document is based on a presentation made by Robert
Megginson, who designed and implemented the UM precalculus reform project, to the
Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics on February 5, 1994. Due to the nature of
the medium in which this document appears, and because the reader may be interested in
scanning to find some particular feature of our program, this document will be in the
form of an outline organized into three sections as follows.
- Essentially involves just one course. Basically, UM precalculus
consists of only one four-semester-hour course, Mathematics 105, meeting four times
per week (or five times per week in a few sections taught through the UM Comprehensive
- There is one other low-enrollment summer course, Mathematics 103, taught along
somewhat the same lines and intended to be a bridge course for students entering the
university and needing extra preparation before taking other mathematics courses.
- Besides Math 105 and 103, there are no other courses taught before calculus
emphasizing algebra and trigonometry. For all practical purposes, Math 105 is the
only UM course that is preparatory for calculus.
- All comments here are about Math 105.
- Course Title: Data, Function, and Graphs.
- Prepare students to take calculus.
- Provide a mathematics course for students not required to take one but wanting
one, and not wanting calculus.
- Terminal mathematics course for one major (kinesiology).
- Satisfy a Quantitative Reasoning Requirement in the UM College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.
- Enrollment: 700-800 students per year.
- Distribution of students by their reason for taking the course
- 78%: Preparation for calculus.
- 14%: General interest in mathematics.
- 8%: Satisfy some requirement other than preparation for calculus.
Return to the top of this document
Go to Traditional UM
Go to Reformed UM
Last modified Wed 10 May 1995 12:37 EDT
Department of Mathematics
University of Michigan