### Nutrition 209 Mathematics Prerequisites

Joke: The only prerequisite for Nutrition 209 is that you can do arithmetic well enough to balance a checkbook so that your tuition check clears...and we'll give you an exemption if you can get a loan!
Well, that's a bit extreme. There are mathematics prerequisites. And, the mathematics you need to know, you need to know! However, all that's needed to be successful in Nutrition 209 is facility with some topics from high school algebra. But,
anyone who is uneasy with any of these topics should see me immediately!

Students must be able to

• plug values into a formula and simplify the expression to obtain a final result. This skill is essential for calculating fundamental quantities such as basic statistics and confidence intervals.
• solve a single equation with one unknown. This skill is essential for taking a formula involving many quantities and determining one of them when given the others. The ability to perform simple algebraic manipulations is critical for understanding the connection between concepts such as test statistics and confidence intervals or odds and probability.
• plot and interpret linear (straight line) equations. This skill is essential for understanding linear regression, which is the one of the most commonly used statistical procedures.
• be comfortable with logarithms & exponents. Many studies use a logarithmic transformation as part of the formal analyses, often for sound biological reasons as well as for mathematical reasons. Logistic regression, one of the most powerful epidemiologic tools, models the logarithm of the odds of an event. A knowledge of logarithms is essential in order to interpret data and analyses correctly.
Nutrition 209 does not demand a knowlege of calculus (differentiation & integration), matrix algebra (correlation and covariance matrices are introduced, but there is no manipulation of them), or linear algebra.

There are some excellent Web-based tutorials that cover the required material.

At the moment, access to these sites is unrestricted. Please tell me if any of them become unavailable. More sites can located by using a search engine and applying the search criteria of <topic> and tutorial. Let me know if you find other useful sites that you like.

Traditional printed review texts can be found in libraries and bookstores. The necessary material is usually contained in sections labeled (Linear) Equations, Graphs, and Logarithms and Exponents. If the review series splits algebra into multiple volumes, the material is typically found in the second volume, called Algebra II or Intermediate Algebra. I've noticed there isn't as much practice material as I'd like for the specific areas mentioned here, but perhaps it's unfair to ask more of a review text.

There are computer based instruction materials (CD-ROM), too, but I don't have any specific information about them.