MATH 1311: Elementary Mathematical Modeling - University of Houston
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MATH 1311: Elementary Mathematical Modeling

Section number: This information applies to ALL face-to-face sections

Delivery format: face-to-face lecture

Prerequisites: MATH 1300:Fundamentals of Mathematics, or a satisfactory score on a placement examination. *Note: This course is an introduction to Mathematics for students in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Fine Arts. This course may not apply to course or GPA requirements for a major or minor in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Students may not receive credit for both MATH 1310 and MATH 1311.

Course Description: Functions, graphs, rates of change, mathematics of finance, optimization, and mathematics of decision making.

Textbook: Functions and Change, 6th Edition, Crauder, Evans and Noell, Houghton-Mifflin 2016. ISBN: 9781337111348


*Note: The information contained in this class outline is an abbreviated description of the course. Additional important information is contained in the Departmental Course Policies statement and at your instructor’s personal webpage. You are responsible for knowing all of this information.


Upon successful completion of this course, students will understand and be able to apply properties of polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, and power functions in modeling simple real-life scenarios from business, social sciences, the natural sciences, and personal finance.  Appropriate choices for modeling come primarily from consideration of rates of growth or decay over discrete increments or from graphical representations of data, possibly data with noise.  Students will utilize graphing calculators or spreadsheet programs in simulating and analyzing models.  They will translate ordinary language descriptions of a problem into mathematical expression, employ valid, logical approaches to solving the problem, and be able to communicate the results again in ordinary language.

A student in this class is expected to complete the following assignments:

  • 3 Regular Semester Exams
  • Final Exam
  • Online Quizzes – 1 or 2 per chapter
  • Homework – for each section of the textbook covered in class
  • 20+ Poppers – in-class quizzes given daily starting the 3rd week of classes.


45%     Grading Regular Exams (15% each)

15%     Final Exam

15%     Online Quizzes

15%     Poppers

10%     Homework

            Total: 100%


Math 1311:  Elementary Mathematical Modeling – Outline

Chapter 1:  Functions

Functions given by Formulas

Functions given by Tables

Functions given by Graphs

Functions given by Words

Set Theory for Functions

Chapter 2: Graphical and Tabular Analysis

Tables and Trends


Solving Linear Equations

Solving Nonlinear Equations

Chapter 3: Straight Lines and Linear Functions

The Geometry of Lines

Linear Functions

Modeling Data with Linear Functions

Linear Regression

Systems of Equations

Chapter 4: Exponential Functions

Exponential Growth and Decay

Modeling Exponential Data

Modeling Nearly Exponential Data

Logarithmic Functions

Connecting Exponential and Linear Data

Chapter 5: A Survey of Other Common Functions

Power Functions

Modeling Data with Power Functions

Combining and Decomposing Functions

Quadratic Functions and Parabolas

Higher-degree Polynomials and Rational Functions

Chapter 6: Rates of Change


Rates of Change for Other Functions

Estimated Rates of Change

Equations of Change


CSD Accommodations:

Academic Adjustments/Auxiliary Aids: The University of Houston System complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, pertaining to the provision of reasonable academic adjustments/auxiliary aids for students who have a disability. In accordance with Section 504 and ADA guidelines, University of Houston strives to provide reasonable academic adjustments/auxiliary aids to students who request and require them. If you believe that you have a disability requiring an academic adjustments/auxiliary aid, please visit The Center for Students with DisABILITIES (CSD) website at for more information.

Accommodation Forms: Students seeking academic adjustments/auxiliary aids must, in a timely manner (usually at the beginning of the semester), provide their instructor with a current Student Accommodation Form (SAF) (paper copy or online version, as appropriate) from the CSD office before an approved accommodation can be implemented.

Details of this policy, and the corresponding responsibilities of the student are outlined in The Student Academic Adjustments/Auxiliary Aids Policy (01.D.09) document under [STEP 4: Student Submission (5.4.1 & 5.4.2), Page 6]. For more information please visit the Center for Students with Disabilities Student Resources page.

Additionally, if a student is requesting a (CSD approved) testing accommodation, then the student will also complete a Request for Individualized Testing Accommodations (RITA) paper form to arrange for tests to be administered at the CSD office. CSD suggests that the student meet with their instructor during office hours and/or make an appointment to complete the RITA form to ensure confidentiality.

*Note: RITA forms must be completed at least 48 hours in advance of the original test date. Please consult your counselor ahead of time to ensure that your tests are scheduled in a timely manner. Please keep in mind that if you run over the agreed upon time limit for your exam, you will be penalized in proportion to the amount of extra time taken.



Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) can help students who are having difficulties managing stress, adjusting to college, or feeling sad and hopeless. You can reach (CAPS) by calling 713-743-5454 during and after business hours for routine appointments or if you or someone you know is in crisis. No appointment is necessary for the "Let's Talk" program, a drop-in consultation service at convenient locations and hours around campus.