This experience is optimized for Internet Explorer version 9 and above.

Please upgrade your browser

Send the Gift of Lifelong Learning!

Algebra II

Algebra II

Professor James A. Sellers, Ph.D.
The Pennsylvania State University

Gifting Information


To send your gift, please complete the form below. An email will be sent immediately to notify the recipient of your gift and provide them with instructions to redeem it.

  • 500 characters remaining.

Frequently Asked Questions

With an eGift, you can instantly send a Great Course to a friend or loved one via email. It's simple:
1. Find the course you would like to eGift.
2. Under "Choose a Format", click on Video Download or Audio Download.
3. Click 'Send e-Gift'
4. Fill out the details on the next page. You will need to the email address of your friend or family member.
5. Proceed with the checkout process as usual.
Q: Why do I need to specify the email of the recipient?
A: We will send that person an email to notify them of your gift. If they are already a customer, they will be able to add the gift to their My Digital Library and mobile apps. If they are not yet a customer, we will help them set up a new account so they can enjoy their course in their My Digital Library or via our free mobile apps.
Q: How will my friend or family member know they have a gift?
A: They will receive an email from The Great Courses notifying them of your eGift. The email will direct them to If they are already a customer, they will be able to add the gift to their My Digital Library and mobile apps. If they are not yet a customer, we will help them set up a new account so they can enjoy their course in their My Digital Library or via our free mobile apps.
Q: What if my friend or family member does not receive the email?
A: If the email notification is missing, first check your Spam folder. Depending on your email provider, it may have mistakenly been flagged as spam. If it is not found, please email customer service at ( or call 1-800-832-2412 for assistance.
Q: How will I know they have received my eGift?
A: When the recipient clicks on their email and redeems their eGift, you will automatically receive an email notification.
Q: What if I do not receive the notification that the eGift has been redeemed?
A: If the email notification is missing, first check your Spam folder. Depending on your email provider, it may have mistakenly been flagged as spam. If it is not found, please email customer service at ( or call customer service at 1-800-832-2412 for assistance.
Q: I don't want to send downloads. How do I gift DVDs or CDs?
A: eGifting only covers digital products. To purchase a DVD or CD version of a course and mail it to a friend, please call customer service at 1-800-832-2412 for assistance.
Q: Oops! The recipient already owns the course I gifted. What now?
A: Great minds think alike! We can exchange the eGifted course for another course of equal value. Please call customer service at 1-800-832-2412 for assistance.
Q: Can I update or change my email address?
A: Yes, you can. Go to My Account to change your email address.
Q: Can I select a date in the future to send my eGift?
A: Sorry, this feature is not available yet. We are working on adding it in the future.
Q: What if the email associated with eGift is not for my regular Great Course account?
A: Please please email customer service at ( or call our customer service team at 1-800-832-2412 for assistance. They have the ability to update the email address so you can put in your correct account.
Q: When purchasing a gift for someone, why do I have to create an account?
A: This is done for two reasons. One is so you can track the purchase of the order in your ‘order history’ section as well as being able to let our customer service team track your purchase and the person who received it if the need arises.
Q: Can I return or Exchange a gift after I purchase it?
A: Because the gift is sent immediately, it cannot be returned or exchanged by the person giving the gift. The recipient can exchange the gift for another course of equal or lesser value, or pay the difference on a more expensive item
Video title

Priority Code


Algebra II

Course No. 1002
Professor James A. Sellers, Ph.D.
The Pennsylvania State University
Share This Course
4.4 out of 5
29 Reviews
82% of reviewers would recommend this series
Course No. 1002
Video Streaming Included Free

Course Overview

Algebra II is the fork in the road. Those who succeed in this second part of the algebra sequence are well on their way to precalculus, calculus, and higher mathematics, which open the door to careers in science, engineering, medicine, economics, information technology, and many other fields. And since algebraic thinking is found in almost every sphere of modern life, a thorough grounding in this abstract discipline is essential for many nontechnical careers as well, from law to business to graphic arts.

Such benefits aside, Algebra II is a deeply rewarding subject in its own right that goes well beyond the rudiments of signed numbers, symbols, and simple equations learned in Algebra I. Indeed, the transition from Algebra I to Algebra II is like the leap from the first to the second year of a language, when you make your first steps toward genuine fluency. With the basic concepts firmly in place, you are ready to extend your skills in exciting new directions and to start to think mathematically.

Therefore it is essential that you stay the course in your study of algebra. Among the advantages cited in Algebra II by award-winning Professor James A. Sellers of The Pennsylvania State University are these:

  • Perseverance in algebra pays off: Those who master algebra in high school are much more likely to succeed not just in college-level math courses, but in college in general.
  • Algebra is a valuable tool of reasoning: With countless daily uses that may not seem to be algebra problems, algebra comes in handy for everything from planning a party to organizing a trip to negotiating a loan.
  • Algebra is the foundation of calculus: Those skilled in algebra will find calculus more comprehensible—which makes all the difference in understanding a mathematical field that underlies physics, engineering, and so much more.

Through Professor Sellers's clear and inspiring instruction, Algebra II gives you the tools you need to thrive in a core skill of mathematics. In 36 engaging half-hour lessons, Professor Sellers walks you through hundreds of problems, showing every step in their solution and highlighting the most common missteps made by students.

A Course for Learners of All Ages

A gifted speaker and eloquent explainer of ideas, Professor Sellers shows that algebra can be an exciting intellectual adventure for any age and not nearly as difficult as many students fear. Those who will benefit from Professor Sellers's user-friendly approach include

  • high-school students currently enrolled in an Algebra II class and their parents, who seek an outstanding private tutor;
  • home-schooled students and others wishing to learn Algebra II on their own with these 18 hours of lessons and the accompanying mini-textbook;
  • college students struggling with math requirements and who need to strengthen their grasp of this fundamental subject;
  • math teachers searching for a better approach to Algebra II, guided by a professor who knows how to teach the subject;
  • summer learners who have completed Algebra I and want a head start on Algebra II;
  • anyone curious about the rigorous style of thought that underlies mathematics, the sciences, and our technological world.

Step Up to the Next Level

Taking your mathematics education to the next level, Algebra II starts by reviewing concepts from Algebra I and sharpening your problem-solving skills in linear and quadratic equations and other basic procedures. Professor Sellers begins with the simplest examples and gradually adds complexity to build confidence. As the course progresses, he introduces new topics, such as conic sections, roots and radicals, exponential and logarithmic functions, and elementary probability.

As you solve problems with Professor Sellers, you will see that the ideas behind algebra are wonderfully interconnected, that there are often several routes to a solution, and that concepts and procedures such as the following have a host of applications:

  • Functions: One of the simplest and most powerful ideas introduced in algebra is the function. Defined as a relation between two variables so that for any given input value there is exactly one output value, functions are used throughout higher mathematics.
  • Graphing: Professor Sellers notes that "algebra is much more than solving equations and manipulating algebraic expressions." By plotting an equation or a function as a graph, algebra's key properties often come sharply into focus.
  • Polynomials: By the time you meet the term "polynomial" in lecture 19, you will have dealt with dozens of these very useful expressions, including linear and quadratic equations. Professor Sellers shows how to perform complex operations on polynomials with ease.
  • Conic sections: Among algebra's countless links to the real world are conic sections, the class of curves formed by slicing a cone at different angles. These curves correspond to everything from planetary orbits to the shape of satellite TV dishes.
  • Roots and radicals: You are probably already familiar with square roots, but there are also cube roots, 4th roots, 5th roots, and so on. "Radical" comes from the Latin word for "root" and refers to symbols and operations involving roots.
  • Exponents and logarithms: Exponential growth and decay occur throughout nature and are modeled with exponential functions and their inverse, logarithmic functions. Like so many tools in algebra, the concepts are simple, their applications truly awe-inspiring.

With your growing mathematical maturity, you will learn to deploy an arsenal of formulas, theorems, and rules of thumb that provide a deeper understanding of patterns in algebra, while allowing you to analyze and solve equations more quickly than you imagined. Professor Sellers introduces these very useful techniques and more:

  • Vertical line test tells you instantly whether a graph represents a function.
  • Quadratic formula allows you to solve any quadratic equation, no matter how "messy."
  • Fundamental theorem of algebra specifies how many roots exist for a given polynomial.
  • Binomial theorem gives you the key to the coefficients for a binomial of any power.
  • Change of base formula permits you to use a calculator to evaluate logarithms that are not in base 10 or e.
  • "Pert" formula applies algebra to the real-world problem of calculating continuously compounded interest.

Professor Sellers ends the course with three entertaining lectures showing how to solve problems in combinatorics and probability, which have applications in some intriguing areas, whether you need to calculate the possible outcomes in a match of five contestants, the potential three-topping pizzas when there are eight toppings to choose from, or the probability of being dealt different hands in poker.

Dispel the Fog of Confusion!

Practically everyone who has taken algebra has spent time in "the fog," when new ideas just don't make sense. As a winner of the Teresa Cohen Mathematics Service Award from The Pennsylvania State University, Professor Sellers is unusually adept at dispelling the fog.

He does this by explaining the same concept in a variety of insightful ways, by carefully choosing problems that build on each other incrementally, and through his years of experience in addressing areas where students have the most trouble. Whenever the going gets tough, he shows you the path through to a solution and then makes doubly sure that you know the way.

This sense of ease and adventure in tackling the richly varied terrain of algebra characterizes the experience you will have with this superstar teacher and Algebra II. You will learn to solve problems that look impossible at first glance, find that you enjoy them more than you ever thought possible, and look forward to even more challenging exploits as you continue your mathematics education.

Hide Full Description
36 lectures
 |  31 minutes each
Year Released: 2011
  • 1
    An Introduction to Algebra II
    Professor Sellers explains the topics covered in the course, the importance of algebra, and how you can get the most out of these lessons. You then launch into the fundamentals of algebra by reviewing the order of operations and trying your hand at several problems. x
  • 2
    Solving Linear Equations
    Explore linear equations, starting with one-step equations and then advancing to those requiring two or more steps to solve. Next, apply the distributive property to simplify certain problems, and then learn about the three categories of linear equations. x
  • 3
    Solving Equations Involving Absolute Values
    Taking your knowledge of linear equations a step further, look at examples involving absolute values, which can be thought of as a distance on a number line, always expressed as a positive value. Use your critical-thinking skills to recognize absolute value problems that have limited or no solutions. x
  • 4
    Linear Equations and Functions
    Moving into the visual realm, learn how linear equations are represented as straight lines on graphs using either the slope-intercept or point-slope forms of the function. Next, investigate parallel and perpendicular lines and how to identify them by the value of their slopes. x
  • 5
    Graphing Essentials
    Reversing the procedure from the previous lesson, start with an equation and draw the line that corresponds to it. Then test your knowledge by matching four linear equations to their graphs. Finally, learn how to rewrite an equation to move its graph up, down, left, or right—or flip it entirely. x
  • 6
    Functions—Introduction, Examples, Terminology
    Functions are crucially important not only for algebra, but for precalculus, calculus, and higher mathematics. Learn the definition of a function, the notation, and associated concepts such as domain and range. Then try out the vertical line test for determining whether a given curve is a graph of a function. x
  • 7
    Systems of 2 Linear Equations, Part 1
    Practice solving systems of two linear equations by graphing the corresponding lines and looking for the intersection point. Discover that there are three possible outcomes: no solution, infinitely many solutions, and exactly one solution. x
  • 8
    Systems of 2 Linear Equations, Part 2
    Explore two other techniques for solving systems of two linear equations. First, the method of substitution solves one of the equations and substitutes the result into the other. Second, the method of elimination adds or subtracts the equations to see if a variable can be eliminated. x
  • 9
    Systems of 3 Linear Equations
    As the number of variables increases, it becomes unwieldy to solve systems of linear equations by graphing. Learn that these problems are not as hard as they look and that systems of three linear equations often yield to the strategy of successively eliminating variables. x
  • 10
    Solving Systems of Linear Inequalities
    Make the leap into systems of linear inequalities, where the solution is a set of values on one side or another of a graphed line. An inequality is an assertion such as "less than" or "greater than," which encompasses a range of values. x
  • 11
    An Introduction to Quadratic Functions
    Begin your investigation of quadratic functions by visualizing what these functions look like when graphed. They always form a U-shaped curve called a parabola, whose location on the coordinate plane can be predicted based on the individual terms of the equation. x
  • 12
    Quadratic Equations—Factoring
    One of the most important skills related to quadratics is factoring. Review the basics of factoring, and learn to recognize a very useful special case known as the difference of two squares. Close by working on a word problem that translates into a quadratic equation. x
  • 13
    Quadratic Equations—Square Roots
    The square root approach to solving quadratic equations works not just for perfect squares, such as 3 × 3 = 9, but also for values that don't seem to involve squares at all. Probe the idea behind this technique, and also venture into the strange world of complex numbers. x
  • 14
    Completing the Square
    Turn a quadratic equation into an easily solvable form that includes a perfect square—a technique called completing the square. An important benefit of this approach is that the rewritten form gives the coordinates for the vertex of the parabola represented by the equation. x
  • 15
    Using the Quadratic Formula
    When other approaches fail, one tool can solve every quadratic equation: the quadratic formula. Practice this formula on a wide range of problems, learning how a special expression called the discriminant immediately tells how many real-number solutions the equation has. x
  • 16
    Solving Quadratic Inequalities
    Extending the exercises on inequalities from lecture 10, step into the realm of quadratic inequalities, where the boundary graph is not a straight line but a parabola. Use your skills analyzing quadratic expressions to sketch graphs quickly and solve systems of quadratic inequalities. x
  • 17
    Conic Sections—Parabolas and Hyperbolas
    Delve into the algebra of conic sections, which are the cross-sectional shapes produced by slicing a cone at different angles. In this lesson, study parabolas and hyperbolas, which differ in how many variable terms are squared in each. Also learn how to sketch a hyperbola from its equation. x
  • 18
    Conic Sections—Circles and Ellipses
    Investigate the algebraic properties of the other two conic sections: ellipses and circles. Ellipses resemble stretched circles and are defined by their major and minor axes, whose ratio determines the ellipse's eccentricity. Circles are ellipses whose eccentricity = 1, with the major and minor axes equal. x
  • 19
    An Introduction to Polynomials
    Pause to examine the nature of polynomials—a class of algebraic expressions that you've been working with since the beginning of the course. Professor Sellers introduces several useful concepts, such as the standard form of polynomials and their degree, domain, range, and leading coefficients. x
  • 20
    Graphing Polynomial Functions
    Deepen your insight into polynomial functions by graphing them to see how they differ from non-polynomials. Then learn how the general shape of the graph can be predicted from the highest exponent of the polynomial, known as its degree. Finally, explore how other terms in the function also affect the graph. x
  • 21
    Combining Polynomials
    Switch from graphs to the algebraic side of polynomial functions, learning how to combine them in many different ways, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and even long division, which is easier than it seems. Discover which of these operations produce new polynomials and which do not. x
  • 22
    Solving Special Polynomial Equations
    Learn how to solve polynomial equations where the degree is greater than two by turning them into expressions you already know how to handle. Your "toolbox" includes techniques called the difference of two squares, the difference of two cubes, and the sum of two cubes. x
  • 23
    Rational Roots of Polynomial Equations
    Going beyond the approaches you've learned so far, discover how to solve polynomial equations by applying two powerful tools for finding rational roots: the rational roots theorem and the factor theorem. Both will prove very useful in succeeding lessons. x
  • 24
    The Fundamental Theorem of Algebra
    Explore two additional tools for identifying the roots of polynomial equations: Descartes' rule of signs, which narrows down the number of possible positive and negative real roots; and the fundamental theorem of algebra, which gives the total of all roots for a given polynomial. x
  • 25
    Roots and Radical Expressions
    Shift gears away from polynomials to focus on expressions involving roots, including square roots, cube roots, and roots of higher degrees—all known as radical expressions. Practice multiplying, dividing, adding, and subtracting a wide variety of radical expressions. x
  • 26
    Solving Equations Involving Radicals
    Drawing on your experience with roots and radicals from the previous lesson, try your hand at solving equations with these expressions. Begin by learning how to manipulate rational, or fractional, exponents. Then practice with simple equations, while being on the lookout for extraneous, or "imposter," solutions. x
  • 27
    Graphing Power, Radical, and Root Functions
    Using graph paper, experiment with curves formed by simple radical functions. First, determine the domain of the function, which tells you the general location of the graph on the coordinate plane. Then, investigate how different terms in the function alter the graph in predictable ways. x
  • 28
    An Introduction to Rational Functions
    Shift your focus to graphs of rational functions—functions that are the ratio of two polynomials. These graphs are more complicated than those from the previous lesson, but their general characteristics can be quickly determined by calculating the domain, the x- and y-intercepts, and the vertical and horizontal asymptotes. x
  • 29
    The Algebra of Rational Functions
    Combine rational functions using addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and composition. The trick is to start each problem by putting the expressions in factored form, which makes the calculations go more smoothly. Leaving the answer in factored form also allows other operations, such as graphing, to be easily performed. x
  • 30
    Partial Fractions
    Now that you know how to add rational expressions, try the opposite procedure of splitting a more complicated rational expression into its component parts. Called partial fraction decomposition, this approach is a topic in introductory calculus and is used for solving a wide range of more advanced math problems. x
  • 31
    An Introduction to Exponential Functions
    Exponential functions are important in real-world applications involving growth and decay rates, such as compound interest and depreciation. Experiment with simple exponential functions, exploring such concepts as the base, growth factor, and decay factor, and how different values for these terms affect the graph of the function. x
  • 32
    An Introduction to Logarithmic Functions
    Plot a logarithmic function on the coordinate plane to see how it is the mirror image of a corresponding exponential function. Just like a mirror image, logarithms can be disorienting at first; but by studying their properties you will discover how they make certain calculations much simpler. x
  • 33
    Uses of Exponential and Logarithmic Functions
    Delve deeper into exponential and logarithmic functions with the goal of solving a typical financial investment problem using the "Pert" formula. To prepare, study the change of base formula for logarithms and the special function of the base called e. x
  • 34
    The Binomial Theorem
    Pascal's triangle is a famous triangular array of numbers that corresponds to the coefficients of binomials of different powers. In a lesson connecting a branch of mathematics called combinatorics with algebra, investigate the formula for each value in Pascal's triangle, the factorial function, and the binomial theorem. x
  • 35
    Permutations and Combinations
    Continue your study of the link between combinatorics and algebra by using the factorial function to solve problems in permutations and combinations. For example, what are all the permutations of the letters a, b, c? And how many combinations of four books are possible when you have six to choose from? x
  • 36
    Elementary Probability
    After a short introduction to probability, celebrate your completion of the course with a deck of cards. Can you use the principles of probability, permutations, and combinations to calculate the probability of being dealt different hands? As with the rest of algebra, once you know the rules, it's simplicity itself! x

Lecture Titles

Clone Content from Your Professor tab

What's Included

What Does Each Format Include?

Video DVD
Video Download Includes:
  • Ability to download 36 video lectures from your digital library
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
Video DVD
DVD Includes:
  • 36 lectures on 6 DVDs
  • 312-page printed course workbook
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps

What Does The Course Guidebook Include?

Video DVD
Course Guidebook Details:
  • 312-page printed course workbook
  • Lecture outlines
  • Practice problems & solutions
  • Formula list

Enjoy This Course On-the-Go with Our Mobile Apps!*

  • App store App store iPhone + iPad
  • Google Play Google Play Android Devices
  • Kindle Fire Kindle Fire Kindle Fire Tablet + Firephone
*Courses can be streamed from anywhere you have an internet connection. Standard carrier data rates may apply in areas that do not have wifi connections pursuant to your carrier contract.

Your professor

James A. Sellers

About Your Professor

James A. Sellers, Ph.D.
The Pennsylvania State University
Dr. James A. Sellers is Professor of Mathematics and Director of Undergraduate Mathematics at The Pennsylvania State University. He earned his B.S. in Mathematics from The University of Texas at San Antonio and his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Penn State. In the past few years, Professor Sellers has received the Teresa Cohen Mathematics Service Award from the Penn State Department of Mathematics and the Mathematical Association...
Learn More About This Professor
Also By This Professor


Algebra II is rated 4.3 out of 5 by 29.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from
Date published: 2016-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Follow-Up to Excellent Algebra 1 Course This course is does exactly what their algebra 1 course did, which is a good thing. The presentation is fantastic and Prof. Sellers is an excellent teacher who wastes no time in teaching the important info. The only main difference between this course and the algebra 1 course in terms of presentation is an on-screen prompt that tells you when to pause the video, so that you can solve whatever example problem is on the screen yourself. This is a good addition, because attempting the problems yourself is what everybody should be doing when being taught math, rather than just watching someone else do it. I would also definitely recommend doing all of the problems in the included workbook, as well as taking notes while watching the lectures: the great step-by-step breakdown of each problem displayed on screen makes it very easy to take thorough notes. As a stand-alone course, I don't have many complaints. My only concern with the actual content here is with conic sections. I feel like they could have had an extra lesson on those, beyond the two included in the course. Unlike all of the other lessons in the course, they didn't really give much in-depth info with the conic sections. For example, they would normally give you an exact breakdown of the process to find an asymptote in a rational function. For conic sections, however, finding the asymptotes of hyperbolas is kind of thrown in briefly as a given, like the viewer already knows how to do it. Prof. Sellers gave a brief verbal explanation of that specific concept but didn't give a step-by-step process like he would with any other concept, so that felt kind of jarring to me. The course also doesn't cover moving the centers of conic sections at all. So I feel like they could have easily included a third lesson on conic sections, and replaced the "Uses of Exponential and Logarithmic Functions" lesson (it's not a bad lesson, but it's mostly just extra problems based on concepts already taught) with it in order to maintain the lesson number of 36. The only other complaint I would have is the lack of word problems. There's only a few in the entire course. I don't really understand why there is so little, because there was quite a few in the Algebra 1 course. It's not the biggest deal in the world, but I think word problems are important to learn in math and there should have been more in this course. As I said, those are my only problems I have with this course, as a stand-alone course. However, I would assume that many people taking this course also took the algebra 1 course, taught by the same professor. While they are both excellent and teach the material well, I find it odd that they don't reference each other at all. It feels like they weren't made to be complements of one another. I understand why, as there certainly are students who may only be taking one of the courses, but I feel like they should have referenced the other course at some point. Since the courses are basically treated completely separately, a good third of this algebra 2 course is material covered in the algebra 1 course. I actually like that and i have no problem with it, as knowing the algebra 1 material is necessary for what new things are introduced in the algebra 2 course, but I just find it odd that they make no attempt to complement each other. So be aware of that if you are going to get this course after taking the algebra 1 course. I know this review seems critical, but it's easier to write about negatives than positives. Those are the only negatives in this course, though! Everything else is truly excellent, and I can't recommend it enough. The explanations are consistently thorough and there are plenty of good example problems done in each lesson. It would be hard to get lost using this course, especially if you are using it as a supplement to an algebra 2 course you are already taking.
Date published: 2016-06-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Algebra ll Great review course during the summer break from college.
Date published: 2016-06-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Returning to college after 20 years. Returning to college after 20 years. Purchase this course and Algebra I and Algebra II course as refresher and to get back in swing of attending college-level courses and assignments. I found the professor engaging and information being relevant which I don't remember was the same when I was in college 20 years ago. I thought examples and course workbooks challenging. Originally I took college placement course with a local community college and was placed in intermedia Algebra course. After spending summer going through this course as well as this professors other two courses (Algebra I and Algebra II) and doing all the math problems in the supplemental course workbooks, I took college placement exam at another community college and placed to enter Calculus 1. FYI: I do know there was some material on the math placement exam that I didn't remember; however, I will believe this professor's 3 math courses gave me a strong foundation to be able to narrow down choices to have a 50% chance of guessing right answers. I owe this professor's courses to be able avoid wasting time and get back into learning again. Thank you.
Date published: 2016-05-14
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Using math, not doing math First some good things: He speaks clearly. He doesn't ramble. The graphs and other visuals are competently done. But he tends to present procedures as recipes to be followed, not as the natural manifestation of an understanding of concepts. For example, although he presents factoring and completing the square before moving on to the quadratic formula, he doesn't use either of the techniques to derive the formula. (It's easy to derive by completing the square; I had my son do it with minimal assistance. It's somewhat more difficult to derive the quadratic formula by factoring -- I had to walk my son through that derivation with a lot of help -- but the ideas involved are interesting, and the habit of approaching the same material in multiple ways is an important theme in math.) From time to time, he even says things that aren't true. For example, he says that the idea of moving a negative distance in a particular direction doesn't make sense. The distance itself can't be negative, but a negative distance-in-a-direction is simply that distance in the opposite direction. There's always something true like that, that he's trying to say, but he gets it wrong way too often. Going through the motions of doing math, trying to math by rote, can be incredibly difficult -- even when the math involved is pretty easy to actually do as math, by understanding it. This is at the heart of many students' troubles with math, and these lectures make it worse, not better.
Date published: 2016-05-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I liked very much the partial fractions lecture To me it was very difficult to understand some of the methods of integration. In particular, integration by partial fractions decomposition, which is basically and algebraic method. I was surprised how Professor Sellers explained this method in a very friendly manner. This course is good, although I tend to agree with other reviewers that several lectures are a repetition of lectures of Algebra I. I think it is a pity that Professor Sellers lost the opportunity to include other topics of Algebra (instead of repeating Algebra I), such as an introduction of the Algebra of complex numbers. However, I regard Professor Sellers as an excellent teacher; and this course as very valuable.
Date published: 2016-03-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Clear and helpful I have been using this course as a refresher after 30 years away from maths. The course starts fairly slowly but builds up to a steady pace after the first few lectures. I like Professor Seller's style of teaching very much - he understands and acknowledges issues which might trip up students, and his explanations are extremely clear and articulate. I can understand why some reviewers might have wanted more coverage in the course, and would also welcome an "Algebra III". However, for my part I am glad that this course didn't bite off too much and rush it. It covered the main issues well, and motivated me to look up certain topics in more depth. I feel I now have a good basis to tackle Professor Edwards' Precalculus and Trigonometry Course.
Date published: 2016-01-30
Rated 2 out of 5 by from I don't like James Sellers, at all. I don't like this professor... To the point where I couldn't finish the course. He does a number of things that are very irritating to me. I wish TGC got another professor to teach this course. 1) He laughs, all the time, for no reason. He'll be in the middle of explaining a problem or answer, and he'll just laugh... For no reason... No joke has been made, at all... He laughs for reasons that make absolutely no sense, and he does it all the time. I think he does this to be more "personable", and to be more likable... But it has the opposite effect. It doesn't make sense for him to laugh for completely arbitrary reasons, all the time, in the middle of explaining problems. It's distracting, makes no sense, and is very, very annoying. There is no other TTC professor I've seen who does this. It actually makes me angry. 2) His voice constantly gets high pitched and cracks... All the time. Imagine the sound you get if you put water on your hands & rub a balloon... His voice does that, all the time. The worst thing is, it really sounds as if he's doing it on purpose... For the same reason he laughs all the time for no reason... As if he thinks it'll make the viewer enjoy his lectures more... But in truth, it's literally painful on my ears to hear him speak. It wouldn't be as bad if it was by accident... But to think he's doing it on purpose (which is what it sounds like) is annoying beyond belief, and like I said... Literally painful to listen to. 3) He wastes way too much time... Throughout the entire course, the amount of time he wastes is just far too much. He'll go over things that don't need review, and he'll spend far too much time explaining very simple concepts and ideas, rather than pushing to depths which should be in an Algebra 2 course. At times, he acts like he's teaching Pre-Algebra. 4) I'm not picky when it comes to professors. I've watched a number of the Great Courses (over 2 dozen) and I almost never complain about the professors. In this case, this professor is truly irritating... And because James Sellers is teaching this course, I can't recommend this course.
Date published: 2015-11-20
  • y_2017, m_2, d_19, h_10
  • bvseo_bulk, prod_bvrr, vn_bulk_0.0
  • cp_1, bvpage1
  • co_hasreviews, tv_3, tr_26
  • loc_en_US, sid_1002, prod, sort_[SortEntry(order=SUBMISSION_TIME, direction=DESCENDING)]
  • clientName_teachco
  • bvseo_sdk, p_sdk, 3.2.0
  • CLOUD, getContent, 8.47ms

Questions & Answers


1-10 of 11 Questions
1-10 of Questions

Customers Who Bought This Course Also Bought