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All new CU-Boulder first-year freshmen are required to take the ALEKS math assessment, which assesses your pre-calculus algebraic and trigonometric preparedness. Your ALEKS test results will be used to place you into an appropriate Applied Math course for your first semester at CU-Boulder. For more information about the ALEKS math assessment and to take the test, please visit the Orientation website. You should allow about 90 minutes to take the ALEKS math assessment. (Note that taking the ALEKS math assessment is required for all new incoming freshmen, regardless of any earned college credit in mathematics.)
After you’ve taken the ALEKS math assessment and obtained your score, ALEKS provides you with scores corresponding to various CU-Boulder mathematics courses. As an engineering student, you will be pre-enrolled in an Applied Math course. (If you have any questions about your course enrollment, you should consult with your academic advisor.)
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If your ALEKS score is 75%-100%, you will be pre-enrolled in APPM 1350 (Calculus 1 for Engineers), which is a challenging and fast-paced four-credit college-level exploration of the first level of calculus. This course focuses deeply on the concepts you will apply in your engineering studies, which usually demands a level of thinking substantially beyond high school calculus. It’s possible, however, that you may be ready to enroll in a subsequent course IF YOU HAVE COLLEGE CREDIT FOR CALCULUS 1 (or more).
Concurrent Calculus Work Group – Students enrolled in APPM 1350 (Calculus 1 for Engineers) may consider concurrently enrolling in the accompanying “calculus work group.” GEEN 1350 (Calculus 1 Work Group) is a one-credit, pass/fail course which emphasizes collaborative learning techniques; the course parallels APPM 1350. At each weekly class period of Work Group, you will work in groups of 3-4 students on problems that are different than your Calculus I homework. Before moving on to a new problem, all students in the group must understand, and be able to explain, the solution. The maximum enrollment in the Calculus 1 Work Group is 32 students per section. History has shown that APPM 1350 (Calculus 1 for Engineers) course grades for students who concurrently take GEEN 1350 (Calculus 1 Work Group) average approximately a half-letter grade higher than those who do not.
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If your ALEKS score is 60-74%, you will be pre-enrolled in GEEN 1235 (Pre-Calculus for Engineers), which is a four-credit course developing techniques and concepts prerequisite to engineering calculus through the study of trigonometric, exponential, logarithmic, polynomial, and other functions.
Students with ALEKS scores below 75% may alternatively consider enrolling in APPM 1340 Calculus 1A with Algebra. This course option provides only a four-week precalculus review and is appropriate for students with high proficiency in trigonometry who want to take calculus at a slower pace.
APPM 1340/1345 — Calculus 1A with Algebra (APPM 1340) and Calculus 1B with Algebra (APPM 1345) are each three-credit courses that together cover the material of Calculus 1 for engineering-bound students, spread over two semesters to allow for a slower-paced development of Calculus 1 foundation, knowledge and skills. The APPM 1340/1345 two-course sequence also includes a four-week review of algebra and trigonometry, although not as much as in GEEN 1235 (Pre-Calculus for Engineers).
The APPM 1340/1345 course sequence is equivalent to APPM 1350 (Calculus 1) plus 2 credits of algebra/trig review. Students must complete both APPM 1340 and APPM 1345 to receive credit for Calculus 1.
NOTE FOR EITHER OPTION: A strong math foundation is crucial for your success in engineering; this can be best achieved by solid preparation (i.e., enrolling in either the precalculus course or the two-semester Calculus 1 course). However, this means you may need to enroll in Calculus 2 the summer after your freshman year in order to stay on track for a four-year engineering degree program. Otherwise, your time-to-degree may require more than four years.
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If your ALEKS score is below 60%, consult with your academic advisor regarding enrollment in MATH 1011 Fundamentals and Techniques of College Algebra and/or MATH 1021 Numerical/Analytical College Trigonometry.
Students optionally may purchase a subscription to ALEKS over the summer, if desired, to improve their mathematical skills. We recommend that you use the ALEKS adaptive, online learning program if you want to improve your precalculus skills and math assessment results for placement in a higher level math course at CU. There is a personal cost for access to the online course materials and for retaking the ALEKS assessment (access for 6 weeks is $32, 11 weeks is $50, 18 weeks is $70). See aleks.com for more information and to order a subscription.
If you have further questions about your choice of Applied Math class, you may contact Professor Anne Dougherty at 303-492-4011 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep up with the latest news about the college by reading the 2013 issue of CUEngineering magazine online.