Approx. 4 months

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Course Summary

Math is everywhere. In this class, you’ll gain an in-depth understanding of algebraic principles, many of which you may have seen before, and learn how to use them to solve problems that we encounter in everyday life. The online version of College Algebra will cover all of the topics that you would see in more traditional class formats, but it will present the material in a way that we hope you’ll find fresh and interesting. You will learn about functions, polynomials, graphing, complex numbers, exponential and logarithmic equations, and much more, all through exploring real-world scenarios.

Why Take This Course?

In this course, you will learn...

  • To translate word problems into mathematical expressions or equations
  • To manipulate algebraic expressions and solve equations
  • To graph different types of functions and to understand the relationship between a function’s graph and its equation
  • To model growth and decay

Prerequisites and Requirements

Basic arithmetic - addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of positive and negative numbers.

See the Technology Requirements for using Udacity.


The following topics will be covered. There will be two midterms and one final exam. There are no deadlines unless you are in the SJSU Plus-Udacity for-credit program.

Lesson 1: Number
Lesson 2: Expressions
Lesson 3: Polynomials
Lesson 4: Equations
Lesson 5-1: Coordinates
Lesson 5-2: Distance
Lesson 5-3: Midpoints And Slope
Lesson 6-1: Slope And Equations
Lesson 6-2: Points
Lesson 7: Forms of the Equation of a Line
Lesson 8: Inequalities And Absolute Value
Lesson 9: More Inequalities And Equations
Lesson 10: Parabolas
Lesson 11: Factoring
Lesson 12: Quadratic and Rational Inequalities
Lesson 13: More Parabolas
Lesson 14: Completing the Square
Lesson 15: Quadratic Formula
Lesson 16: Complex Numbers
Lesson 17: Functions
Lesson 18: Domain and Range
Lesson 19: Behavior of Functions
Lesson 20: Factor Theorem
Lesson 21: Rational Zero Test
Lesson 22: Intermediate Value Theorem
Lesson 24: Asymptotes
Lesson 25: Slant Asymptotes
Lesson 26: Transformations
Lesson 29: Exponential Functions
Lesson 30: Scientific Notation
Lesson 31: Logarithmic Functions
Lesson 32: Log Properties
Lesson 33: Solving Exponential and Logarithmic Equations
Lesson 34: Population, Scrolls and Sound

Instructors & Partners

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Julie Sliva Spitzer


Julie Sliva Spitzer is a Professor of Mathematics Education in the Mathematics Department at San Jose State University, where she primarily works with prospective mathematics teachers on pedagogy. Her primary area of interest is in teaching mathematics to special education students. She is excited to help increase access to further education through this course.

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Miriam Swords Kalk


Miriam has had the privilege to contribute to student experience at Udacity from multiple angles. From creating new courses to working one-on-one with students to helping lead our team of Coaches, she’s loved it all and has only grown more passionate about changing education. Outside of work, she enjoys singing, baking, and teaching yoga. Miriam attended Stanford University, where she earned a B.S. in Physics, a B.A. in Philosophy and Religious Studies, and an M.A. in Religious Studies.

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Sarah Norell


Sarah Norell holds a PhD in Mathematics from the University of London, UK. She has lectured at the London School of Economics, University of Umeå and Mid-Sweden University, and tutored all ages. Her breadth of experience at different levels has brought insight into some of the underlying problems students have with mathematics and it is this insight she brings to the courses here at Udacity.

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