Lauren Wolf – work-in-progress


Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College Mathematics College 

Mathematics Department  math 150

Course: 440b / Section: 60915

Course Title: College Algebra-Trig.

Course Outline

Course Description: This course introduces the concept of mathematical functions in preparation for further studies in pre-calculus and calculus. The course content includes an in-depth treatment of the following topics: polynomial functions and factoring techniques, rational functions and equations, radical functions and equations, complex numbers, quadratic equations, graphs of quadratic functions, applications to geometry, conic sections and an introduction to the study of trigonometric functions. This course is appropriate for liberal arts students as well as STEM majors. This course will have a humanities component discussing the power of mathematics and economic access.

Course Objectives: My goal is to help you believe in yourselves mathematically, I enjoy bringing students who had math phobias to new heights. The one thing I will not tolerate is insulting other students like “duh that was easy.” Everyone learns at their own pace.

Required Text: Sullivan algebra and Trig. (can find used addition $10)

Other Requirements: Class participation and attendance is mandatory. Additional readings Radical Equation: Civil Rights to the Algebra Project.

Grading : There will be 4 in class tests worth 15% each and a final worth 25%, class participation and attendance will be worth 15%. Effort is extremely important. Class exam 4 (15%)

We Will be able to expand on some of these topics this is just a basic guideline.

Please do not let all this material stress you out, we have fun and we will work and grow together and find a common ground.


I will introduce Robert P. Moses’ book,”Radical Equation: Civil Rights to the Algebra Project,” into my college algebra class. Moses strongly believes that “[e]conomic access and full citizenship depends crucially on math and science literacy.” He firmly believes that brown and black folks are purposely held back from math courses, particularly higher levels. When access is denied to key components of education that are linked to socio-economic mobility, the end result is the suppression of economic access to the 21-century job market.

We will embark on this journey in College Algebra because this is a gateway class. Since CUNY is doing away with developmental mathematics, students must take a course like College Algebra to obtain their degree. Therefore, STEM is the only socio-economic equalizer for social and economic racism. The world of STEM can really demystify the fear and apprehension of mathematics. Once the fear is removed, STEM opens many new possibilities for students to accomplish great success and economic prosperity.

In my class, I teach from the perspective of the pedagogy of love and care. This approach fosters a learning environment rooted in the recognition of each other’s humanity. I mention this because I do not believe students would open up in the absence of real humanistic connections. I will combine this pedagogical approach with the Radical Equation to teach about systemic racism, and how we can rise above it through the power of mathematical knowledge.


  • Christine Farias


    Thank you for sharing your proposal to introduce “The Algebra Project” in your College Algebra course and how you teach mathematics from the perspective of a pedagogy of love and care. It looks very interesting.

    It would be helpful if you could provide more information on the ways in which you propose to infuse the humanities component to discuss the power of mathematics and economic access. I am trying to understand why STEM is the “only” socio-economic equalizer for social and economic racism. Could you please elaborate.

  • Amy Traver

    Hi Lauren, I think that we all bear responsibility for students’ math and quantitative literacy, so I really appreciate your framing here. As you continue integrating social-justice and algebra, you might be interested in some of the modules that we developed for this project; let me know if you are:

  • Lauren Wolf

    No STEM is not the only way to gain economic access but it does reflect the 21 st century job market. I think with cars driving themselves automated tollbooths and automated cashiers many jobs will rely on well trained computer scientists and engineers. I feel we can all do our parts bit by bit. I also teach much more during the semester about health and housing inequality. Immigrant rights and climate justice. I mat say during a class did you know the DOE gives more per academic year to white students than black and brown and this would engage us in a conversation. Honestly as a math professor the best thing I can do is teach my students to be critical thinkers.


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