# Introduction

This book covers the major topics within the study of algebra, including equations of lines and parabolas. General polynomial and rational functions as well as exponential and logarithmic functions are addressed. The idea of recursion plays an important role early in this work and attention is paid to the concept of a function and the associated notation. At the University of Minnesota, this material is used in the *PreCalculus I* course, which is the first of a two semester sequence leading to calculus. It comprises approximately 14 weeks worth of material at the college level; a typical college student would spend 120-140 hours total learning this material.

These materials are used as part of an active learning course, and the interplay between in-class activities that allow students to explore and discover ideas and a more formulaic study of the necessary computations is important. Each chapter has suggestions for active learning problem-solving activities designed to develop higher-order thinking skills. The video lessons in the chapter sections address a second objective, the skill-building component of mathematics. Can you successfully carry out the calculations necessary to find answers to a variety of applications? Conceptual understanding of the material is important, and instructors are encouraged make use of activities that help students advance the computational skills developed in the video lessons.

This video textbook project has been funded by the University of Minnesota School of Mathematics and by grants from the University of Minnesota Libraries Partnership for Affordable Content. My thanks go out to the many people who have contributed to this project including Susan Tade, Jennifer Englund, Colin Marron, Hue Yang, Andrew Matthews, James Ondrey and Melissa Olson with the University of Minnesota’s Academic Technology Support Services for their assistance with the recording, animation and post-production of the videos, Robbie Hank, Shelley Kandola and other instructors who helped with the design of the Beamer slideshows that form the basis of the visual presentation, Stan Pride, Kevin Charles, Alex Duhaime, Liz Anderson and others who have helped with other aspects of video editing to enhance the student experience, David Ernst for being the catalyst of the entire project by developing the *Open Textbook Network* and Kristi Jensen, Shane Nackerud and others with the University of Minnesota Libraries who have made this vision come to life in the final production stages.

Mike Weimerskirch

Director of Educational Innovation

Univ. of Minnesota Math Center for Educational Programs (MathCEP)