Mercyhurst UniversityMath DeptDr Williams Home

Math 108 Mathematical Problem Solving

Course Information

Meeting Times:
      Section 02: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 2 - 2:50 pm
      Section 03: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 3 - 3:50 pm

Location: Hirt 209 (both sections)

Office Hours:
      Monday 9-10 and 12:30-1:30
      Tuesday 1-3
      Wednesday 12:30-1:30
      Thursday 8-9

Course Description

This course is intended to put the mathematical skills you already have to good use, and learn some new ones along the way. We'll see how mathematics can help us better understand the world around us. Most importantly, we'll understand how the strategies used to solve a specific problem can be expanded and used in a wide array of real life situations.


On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

Required Materials

There are no books or other materials that you will be required to purchase or bring to class. There may be assignments or study materials that require internet access.

Course Units

Unit 1: Essentials of Mathematical Problem Solving

Unit 2: Statistics, Counting, and Estimation

Unit 3: Numbers and Functions

Unit 4: Mathematics in Society


You will be given brief homework assignments at the conclusion of most classes, approximately two per week. The problems in the homework are your opportunity to try out the techniques we'll see in class on your own, and maybe even come up with your own strategy.

Your lowest homework grade will be dropped when calculating your final grade, including a missed homework assignment. Late homework will not be accepted unless you arrange an extension in advance of the due date.


There will be four exams, each based on the homework and notes for a single unit of the course. Exams will be given on the dates below. There will not be a final exam, and we will not meet during finals week.

Exams are scheduled for the following dates:

Make Up Policy

Please let me know as soon as possible if you will not be able to attend class on the day of an exam. If you will be missing class the day of an exam for athletics or other planned reason, you are required to arrange a time to make up the exam before the exam is given in class. Make-ups after the class takes the exam will only be given in exceptional cases, with documentation from the Provost's Office or the Office of Academic Affairs.

Final Grades

Basis of Final Grade
Up to 500 points are available to earn throughout the semester, as follows:

50% Midterm Exams
Four exams
50%Homework Assignments
Lowest assignment grade dropped
Grading Scale

Other Policies and Information

Learning Differences

Mercyhurst University is committed to making reasonable accommodations to assist individuals with disabilities in reaching their academic potential. Students with disabilities requiring accommodations should consult with the Learning Differences Office to discuss eligibility for services or submit the online accommodation request to the Director of Equal Opportunity Programs (DEOP) at

For students requiring accommodations for learning differences, it is the policy of Mercyhurst University that it is the student’s responsibility to provide documentation of his/her disability to the DEOP.

Students are advised to request accommodations at the time of acceptance or prior to the start of the semester. Students may request accommodations at any time throughout the program, however accommodations are not retroactive.

Academic Honesty

Students are required to uphold academic integrity throughout the course. In particular, plagiarism of any sort, unauthorized collaboration on exams, quizzes and other assignments, and other incidences of academic dishonesty will be handled according to the policies set forth in the Student Handbook.

Course Evaluation

Near the end of the semester, you will be asked to complete an online course evaluation. The evaluation will be completed in class during the last two weeks of the semester using any laptop, tablet, or mobile device. The response tool allows you to note aspects of the course that helped you learn, as well as aspects that might be modified to help future students learn more effectively. You will receive an email letting you know when the evaluation window for our class is open. Please note that these course evaluations are anonymous and instructors do not see the results until after the grades for the course are submitted.