San José State University
Mathematics 178
Mathematical Modeling
Course Code: 48854

Fall 2014
Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:00-13:15 in MH 222

Information about the Instructor

Name: Sami Khuri
Office: 207 MacQuarrie Hall
Phone: 924-5081
Office Hours: Tuesdays: 1:15 - 2:15pm.

Catalog Description

Basic modeling techniques including graphing, proportion, curve fitting and interpolation, optimization, probability and computer simulation, derivatives and differences. Technology will be incorporated to model applied problems from business/economics, physical/life/social sciences and engineering.

Prerequisite: Math 129A or instructor consent.

Main Textbook

Mathematics for the Life Sciences: Calculus, Modeling, Probability, and Dynamical Systems by Glenn Ledder. Springer, 2013. ISBN 978-1-4614-7275-9.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of Math 178, the student should be able to:

Course Requirements

  1. Dual Role of MH222: Lecture/Lab
    MH222 will be used as a dual purpose room. It can be a regular lecture room or it can be a computer laboratory for hands-on exercises.

    Lecture Mode: This is when MH222 is used as a regular lecture room. Students are expected to listen and follow the lecture. Be considerate to your classmates and follow the lecture. Do not use the computer and/or talk to your neighbor.

    Lab Mode: This is when MH222 is used as a computer lab. Use the computers and share your ideas and solutions with your classmates.

    We shall alternate between the two modes. A typical class will begin with a lecture (Lecture Mode) followed by a hands-on (Lab Mode).

  2. Hands-On Exercises:
    We will have a number of hands-on exercises. The purpose of the hands-on exercises is to develop your understanding of the material and your skills in problem-solving. You will be asked to come to the front of the class and to go through your solutions and share them with (explain them to) the rest of the class. Very often, you will be asked to finish the hands-on exercises at home and they will be graded as part of the homework.

  3. Homework:
    Five homework assignments. The purpose of the assignments (as was the case with the Hands-On exercises) is to further develop your understanding of the material and your skills in problem-solving. Only a subset of the assigned problems on any given problem set will be graded. No late homework will be accepted. However, under exceptional circumstances, one problem set per student might be accepted late. It will need to be handed in prior to the following class meeting and will be graded with 30% off. Such an extension should be requested from the instructor. Assignments are due in the beginning of the lecture on the following dates:

  4. Exams:
    Exam One: Thursday, October 9, 2014.
    Exam Two: Thursday, November 13, 2014.
    Final Exam: Thursday, December 18, 2014, from 9:45 to 12:00pm.

    Exam One and Exam Two are each one hour and fifteen minutes long. All exams are in-class, closed-book and comprehensive. You will get back your exams within one week at which time we'll go over them in class. Exams will be collected and kept with me. There will be no make-up exams.

Class Attendance

Class attendance is strongly encouraged. In class, we shall cover many topics and examples that are neither in the class notes nor in the textbook. If you miss a lecture, it is your responsibility to find out what was covered in class (this includes: handouts given out during your absence, corrected typos and errors, examples discussed in class - that are neither in the book nor in the notes - clarifications and changes made to the project, the hands-on exercises, etc...).

Grading Policy

The final grade will be computed as shown below:

Hands-On: 20%
Homework: 20%
Exam One: 20%
Exam Two: 20%
Final: 20%

[97, 100] A+
[93, 97) A
[90, 93) A-
[87, 90) B+
[82, 87) B
[80, 82) B-
[77, 80) C+
[72, 77) C
[70, 72) C-
[67, 70) D+
[62, 67) D
[60, 62) D-
[0, 60) F

Add/Drop Policy

For those wishing to add this course, the deadline is September 9, 2014. The last day to drop with a full refund is September 2, 2014. According to University and Department guidelines, dropping after September 2, 2014, requires a serious and compelling reason to drop a course. Grades alone do not constitute reason to drop a course. Students who stop attending without officially dropping will be issued a U at the end of the semester which is counted as an F in calculations of GPA.
Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drop, grade forgiveness, etc. Refer to the current semester's Catalog Policies section at Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at The Late Drop Policy is available at Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for dropping classes. Information about the latest changes and news is available at the Advising Hub at

Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material

University Policy S12-7,, requires students to obtain instructor's permission to record the course. Common courtesy and professional behavior dictate that you notify someone when you are recording him/her. You must obtain the instructor's permission to make audio or video recordings in this class. Such permission allows the recordings to be used for your private, study purposes only. The recordings are the intellectual property of the instructor; you have not been given any rights to reproduce or distribute the material.
Course material developed by the instructor is the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be shared publicly without his/her approval. You may not publicly share or upload instructor generated material for this course such as exam questions, lecture notes, hands-on exercises or homework solutions without instructor consent.

Academic Integrity

Your commitment as a student to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University. The University Academic Integrity Policy S07-2 at requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at Instances of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Cheating on exams or plagiarism (presenting the work of another as your own, or the use of another person's ideas without giving proper credit) will result in a failing grade and sanctions by the University. For this class, all assignments are to be completed by the individual student unless otherwise specified. If you would like to include your assignment or any material you have submitted, or plan to submit for another class, please note that SJSU's Academic Integrity Policy S07-2 requires approval of instructors.

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 at requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at to establish a record of their disability.
In 2013, the Disability Resource Center changed its name to be known as the Accessible Education Center, to incorporate a philosophy of accessible education for students with disabilities. The new name change reflects the broad scope of attention and support to SJSU students with disabilities and the University's continued advocacy and commitment to increasing accessibility and inclusivity on campus.