FDMAT 108

Mathmatical Tools for the Real World


Course Description

This class prepares students to understand, analyze, and solve real-life problems that require quantitative reasoning. Topics include the meaning of probabilities, how to read, critique, and apply statistical information found in news reports, public policy debates, consumer reports, and other daily life and professional situations; the use of mathematical models in describing, understanding, and making predictions about real world phenomena; and the mathematics of loans and investments. Topics will be illustrated by examples and applications from current events, daily life, business, and natural phenomena. Mathematical Tools for the Real World is to inspire students to act wisely when faced with quantitative challenges in collegiate coursework, employment, and daily living.

Content & Topics

Topics may include:

    • Mathematical modeling
    • Unit conversions
    • Percentages
    • Finance mathematics
    • Probability
    • Statistics
    • Logic
    • And mathematical patterns and aesthetics.

This course will satisfy both the BYU-Idaho and Idaho Core mathematics requirements but will not serve as a prerequisite to other mathematics courses. 

Goals and Objectives

The overarching goal for Mathematical Tools for the Real World is to inspire to act wisely when faced with quantitative challenges in collegiate coursework, employment, and daily living. Students will be able to . . .

    1. Make sound financial decisions through careful budgeting, provident living, taking advantage of the power of compound interest, and prudently managing debt and tax obligations.
    2. Develop critical thinking and problem solving skills to make informed decisions with confidence.
    3. Apply properties of arithmetic and algebra in the use of percentages, unit conversions, and linear and exponential models, to solve practical problems.
    4. Use fundamental principles of probability, along with descriptive and inferential statistics, to better scrutinize statistical studies discussed in the media.
    5. Appreciate the aesthetic value of mathematics by reading and writing about enrichment topics such as the golden ratio, mathematics and music, the pigeonhole principle, or the concept of infinity.
Course Requirements

A graphing calculator may be required for each student. (See class schedule.) There will be student board work, examinations, homework exercises, and spreadsheet projects. One year of high school algebra or Math 100B with a B or higher are required.  Students who have scored below an 18 on the ACT or 430 on the SAT must complete an ALEKS refresher course.

Course Prerequisites
  • Completion of American College Test with a MATH score of 18 or higher, or
  • Completion of Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) with a Math score of 430 or higher or 
  • Completion of ALEKS Math Placement exam with a CM score of 120 or higher
Semesters Taught

Winter, Spring, Fall

Course Lead

Shane Goodwin
Shane Goodwin

E-MAIL
goodwins@byui.edu