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Honors Precalculus

The Fine Print

Course Goals

  • Describe characteristics and properties of complex functions both graphically and algebraically 

  • Recognize and evaluate the behavior of trigonometric functions using the unit circle 

  • Learn and manipulate trigonometric identities to solve complex equations

  • Understand the relationship between linear equations and matrices in order to solve systems of linear equations

  • Explore topics of analytical geometry graphically 

  • Use standard equations to graphically represent the 4 types of conic sections

  • Demonstrate the ability to evaluate limits of sequences, series and functions 

The course will cover the following topics:

  • Characteristics of complex functions such as domain/range, increasing/decreasing, minimums/maximums and asymptotes

  • Factoring polynomials using synthetic division

  • Properties of complex numbers

  • Modeling logarithmic and exponential functions to study topics such as earthquake magnitudes, compound interest and population growth

  • Trigonometry topics such as trigonometric functions, the Unit Circle, right angles, and trigonometric identities to study topics such as linear speed and harmonic motion

  • Properties of vectors such as finding the dot product, cross product and triple scalar product

  • Solving systems of linear equations algebraically and by use of matrices to study topics such as cryptography

  • Proofs by mathematical induction

  • Introduction to probability including use of the Binomial Theorem, Pascal’s triangle and permutations

  • Exploration of conic sections including circles, parabolas, ellipses, and hyperbolas,

  • Graphing and exploring properties of parametric and polar equations

  • An introduction to Calculus through the evaluation of limits  


  • Students must have completed the equivalent of one of these high school math sequences: Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra II/Trigonometry or Integrated Math 1, 2, 3.

  • Are you ready? Take a Self Assessment Test. 


Course Details

  • Precalculus classes will be held on Tuesday and Thursday from 2:45-4:00 p.m. Eastern.

  • All classes will be recorded, so students have the option to participate live or watch the recorded videos. 

  • Please see the FAQ for class dates/breaks.

  • This class is a-g approved in CA if taken through Sky Mountain, Inspire, Ocean Grove, or South Sutter.

Instructor Demo

  • See a Zoom Demo where the instructor, Ashley Porter, demonstrates her instructional approach and previews some of the technology resources--including GeoGebra--that she and students will be using in the class.

Course Resources


  • Precalculus Functions and Graphs: A Graphing Approach, 5th edition, by Ron Larson, Robert Hostetler, and Bruce Edwards; eBook and homework through WebAssign;  ($35 purchase coordinated through instructor)

  • Look inside: a preview

  • Affordable used print copies are optional: Precalculus Functions and Graphs: A Graphing Approach, 5th edition; ISBN: 978-1439044520

  • Borrow a copy: Blue Tent OnLoan

Web Resources:

  • WebAssign, online homework and quiz program

  • GeoGebra – A free application for students to visualize characteristics of functions

  • – A free online graphing calculator program 


  • Required: TI-84 series

Technical resources:

We use ZOOM for live meetings. U.S. and international students need:

  • An internet connection

  • A computer with a web-cam

  • Recommended: a headset with a microphone (but your built-in computer audio and microphone will work if necessary)

  • Students will be emailed a link prior to each live class to join the ZOOM session.


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