Policies for Calculus 1
Math 101
Fall 2001

Instructor: Janice Sklensky
Office Phone: (508)286-3973
Office: Science Center 109
Office Hours: See my schedule
E-mail: jsklensk@acunix.wheatonma.edu

Below, I discuss

Course Materials:
Calculus, from Graphical, Numerical, and Symbolic Points of View, Volume 1, by Ostebee and Zorn.

A calculator which is at least capable of evaluating exponential and trigonometric functions is helpful. A graphing calculator is not required.

The text, and a calculator if you have one, should be brought to class every day.

Overview:
Most everything in the world changes: DNA, the orbits of the planets, weather, shopping patterns, and your annual income, to name a few. You can imagine how valuable understanding, predicting, and being able to affect how these quantities change would be! Calculus is the language of change; it allows us to describe and predict the behavior of changing quantities. In many of these situations, we of course can not predict the behavior exactly, but even a good approximation would be tremendously valuable. Calculus is all about using approximations. Often we can use better and better approximations until, by deducing what would happen if we continued this process ad infinitum, we find a precise solution!

This semester, you will begin to study this language of change. By the end of the course, you'll have the tools necessary to solve many fascinating problems. Many of the topics we will cover this semester allow us to solve problems that do not seem, at first glance, to be mathematical at all.

You will encounter a variety of topics and challenges. Most of the problems you will solve will not be solved by copying examples. Instead, you will be applying mathematical concepts to many different types of problems. You will also be faced with some open-ended questions that you and your colleagues will spend a week or more deciding how best to answer. These non-routine problems will require that you grasp mathematical ideas and communicate mathematics verbally and on paper. This course may present challenges which require more effort than you have previously experienced, but the rewards are far greater as well!

In this class, as with all others, how much you actually learn is entirely up to you. As you read through how the course is structured, you will see that a lot is expected of you. Plan to spend an average of 9 hours a week outside of class working on this course. As usual, some weeks you will spend more time on this class, especially when studying for exams while finishing up projects, while others will be less frenetic (relatively speaking).

Is This the Right Course for You?:
This course is of course intended for students who want to take it, or whose majors (or emphases) require them to take it: Calculus is not required for graduation. Those majors which require Calculus are: Math (of course), Physics, Chemistry, and Environmental Science. Calculus is also recommended for students who are Economics majors or who are Premed.

Students interested in other disciplines are of course welcome and encouraged to take Calculus, but be aware: if you are considering majoring in Economics or Psychology, you will be required to take Statistics. Statistics is also recommended for Sociology and Political Science majors. Early Childhood and Elementary Education minors are required to take Concepts of Mathematics.

Calculus I is intended to be your first exposure to Calculus! If you've had Calculus before, we encourage you to try Calculus II, whether you received credit for Calc I here or not!

Reading technical material is an extremely valuable skill, and is becoming more pervasive in all areas of our lives all the time. One of the goals of this class is that you become comfortable reading mathematical prose.

Before each class meeting, I expect you to have read the material that we will be discussing that day. Many of you have not read mathematics before, so to help you with this (and to give you credit for your efforts!) I will post questions on the web that cover each day's reading. You will send the responses to those questions by 8am of the day they are due.

You can get to the appropriate chapter's web page from the course's web page.

These reading assignments are required, and will be graded out of 2 points each: 2 points if you respond in full (whether correctly or not) and 1 point for a partial response. Late responses will not be accepted. I expect to drop each person's lowest score at the end of the semester. People who do not miss any reading assignments will receive a small amount of extra credit.

Problem Sets:
Learning math is best accomplished through a combination of group and individual efforts. For that reason, your weekly problem sets will alternate between being done individually and in groups. Problem sets will be due every Tuesday by 1:00pm at the latest (you may certainly turn them in early).

Your assignments will be posted on the web. The assignments can be found through links toward the bottom of the course web page

Begin the week's problems on Wednesday -- they represent a week's worth of learning.

Consult the Guidelines for Homework Presentation for information on how your problem sets should look.

 Late problem sets will not be accepted!

Projects:
To give you an opportunity to solve problems that are more realistic--problems which do not necessarily have one ``right'' answer, or which can be approached in a variety of ways, and which take several days of pondering and working to solve to your satisfaction--you will work on two projects, in groups, this term.

You will have one or two days of class time to work on these projects; the rest of the work you will do outside of class. The project consists not only of the mathematical solution to the situation, but (equally importantly) your description of the solution and why it is true -- in the form of a letter.

For each project, your group will first turn in a draft. Your draft must be as polished as if you were turning in a final version -- the point of it is not for me to correct grammar, but to help you organize mathematical writing, which is very different from many other types of writing. I will then make broad suggestions, and return the drafts to you. Your group will then respond to the suggestions and make any other changes you see fit to make and turn in the final version.

Do I accept late projects?
Only in case of dire emergency! Because projects are worth a sizable chunk of your grade, I am reluctant to give all the members of a group a zero when the fault may have only been due to one person. However, without a good reason I take off huge amounts of points for each day the project is late. Even with good reason, I may take off some points for each day the project is late. As with homework, it's usually better to turn in something that is not perfect than it is to wait to polish it.

Differentiation Exam:
While Calculus consists mainly of ideas relating to the study of change, some techniques and skills are necessary to this study. One of the primary skills you will learn this semester is how to differentiate. To understand the last half to third of the semester, you must be proficient at differentiation. To that end, I will give a one-page differentiation exam that you can only pass by getting every problem correct. You may retake versions of this exam as many times as necessary until you pass. At that point, you get 100%, 80%, or 50% on the exam, depending on when you pass it.

The exam is scheduled for the beginning of class on Monday 11/5/01. If you pass it the first time you take it, or any subsequent time on or before Monday 11/12/01 at 3pm, you receive 100% on the exam. (It doesn't matter how many times you took the test. You can take it three times a day every day if that's what it takes.) If you pass it after 11/12/01 (at 3pm) but on or before 11/19/01 at 3pm, you will receive 80%, and if you pass it after 11/19/01 (at 3) but on or before 11/27/01 (at 3), you will receive 50%. You will not receive any credit for passing the exam after 11/27/01 at 3pm!

Exams:
I will give three exams, to make sure throughout the semester that you have learned to solve problems which are somewhat different from those you have seen before, by putting together the concepts and skills we have covered. The dates of these exams are fairly firmly scheduled, and are listed on the course syllabus.

Each of these will take an hour (or perhaps a little more) to complete and will be given during lab. They may test some mathematical skills, but the primary emphasis will be to give you an opportunity to show me how well you've mastered the underlying mathematical ideas.

You will be allowed to bring a sheet of notes to use during the exams and to turn in with the exams -- I'll tell you the details closer to exam time. We will also, of course, have a cumulative final, scheduled for 2 - 5pm on Saturday December 15. I do not reschedule final exams.

Notify me in advance if you will be missing a midterm exam, either by phone or by e-mail. If your reason for missing is acceptable, we will arrange that you take the exam early. If you miss an exam without notifying me in advance, I reserve the right not to give you a make-up exam. I will not give any individual more than one make-up exam during the semester.

Attendance:
Clearly, missing class is not a wise idea. If you do miss class, it is of course your responsibility to find out any assignments, and to get a copy of the notes and of any hand-outs.

Evaluation:
I expect to use the weights below, although I reserve the right to change my mind if the semester does not go as expected.

 Reading Assignments 5% Problem Sets 10% Projects 15% Differentiation Exam 5% Midterm Exams 45% Final Exam 20%
If you question the fairness of any grade, bring it to me within a week of receiving it.

Honor Code:
I expect you to abide by the Honor Code. If I have any reason to suspect that perhaps a violation has occured, I will ask the Judicial Board to investigate the matter. Below are some guidelines on what constitutes violations of the honor code in this class.

Reading assignments: You may discuss the questions with your classmates, but you must enter the responses yourself, in your own words.

Homework and Projects: You may work with anybody you want. You may use any references that help you figure out how to do the problem on your own; you may not use any references (people, old projects, books, the web, for instance) which tell you how to solve it or lead you to the solution. You must understand how to do every problem, and you must cite references if you've received assistance from any source. When doing group projects or group problem sets, you may not divide it into different parts--you must do them all together, and you must make sure every member of your group understands every part. Exams: You may not use any notes, books, or colleagues as reference during the midterms and final, except for your ``cheat sheet'', which must conform to my stated rules. You may not use a calculator unless I specify that you may, and you may not use a graphing calculator.

Janice Sklensky
Wheaton College
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Science Center, Room 109
Norton, Massachusetts 02766-0930
TEL (508) 286-3973
FAX (508) 285-8278
jsklensk@acunix.wheatonma.edu

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