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MTH 152
Math for Liberal Arts II

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Master Math

The honors section of Math 152 is offered during the Spring semester on Monday afternoons 4:00 – 6:40 on the Loudoun campus.

You may qualify for the course in one of two ways:

  • your algebra score on the math placement test must be at least 40 OR
  • you are recommended by a NVCC math instructor

The honors section of Math 152 covers all the required topics that are presented in the regular 152 class (modular arithmetic, graphing, linear programming, probability, combinations and permutations, and statistics) but also covers four additional units. These extra topics are purely for enrichment and are not included as test material. Instead, students are expected to submit solutions to a series of problems on each of the topics.

Classic math problems will be introduced with some possible solutions. For example, the first honors project deals with the problem of apportionment. In the House of Representatives, there are 435 members. Each state is allocated a certain number of representatives based on their population. If a state has ten percent of the nation's population, that would entitle the state to 43.5 representatives. What is done with the ".5"? Do we round up? Then we will total more than 435 members. The apportionment problem was studied by George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and other founding fathers. We will look at the various methods used throughout the nation's history. You will be asked to allocate representatives to a legislature in a fictional country using each of the methods studied.

The format of the class will be to cover the required curriculum during the first part of the class, and then proceed to a class discussion of the enrichment topic. Other honors projects will include the topics of modular arithmetic, probability, and statistics. Handouts are provided with explanations for each of the four topics. You will have three to four weeks to complete each assignment. There will be time at the end of each class to discuss any difficulties that arise on the assignments.

The class is small to encourage cooperation among the students in completing the projects. The focus of the honors section is to introduce students to new ideas in mathematical problem solving that might not arise in other courses.

You will not be able to register by telephone or on NovaConnect for this course. Honors students can register in person at the Student Services Center.

If you have any questions regarding the Math 152 honors course, please contact Karen Barr in LR 212 or call 450 - 2611 or by e-mail at


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Last modified: November 27, 2006