Policies for Calculus I
Math 101
Fall 1999

Instructor: Janice Sklensky
Office Phone: (508)286-3970
Office: Science Center 103
Office Hours: See my schedule
E-mail: jsklensk@wheatonma.edu

Below, I discuss

Course Materials: Calculus, from Graphical, Numerical, and Symbolic Points of View, 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 just this one semester, 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 days 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!

You will learn to use a combination of symbolic, graphical, and numerical methods, and to decide which is the most helpful tool in any given context. You will develop your understanding of the mathematical concepts and learn how to apply them to realistic problems, rather than simply performing operations mechanically. You will learn to interpret results, not just to obtain answers.

This class has several important aims. You will be presented with the opportunity to learn: how to learn, mathematical thinking, to read and write mathematics, to use technology, and lastly, specific mathematical skills.

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. In order to get enough out of this course, you will need to spend an average of 9 hours a week outside of class on reading, homework, and projects!

Is this the right math 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 9am 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.

Problem Sets:
Learning math is best accomplished through a combination of group and individual efforts. To ensure that you get the benefits of both experiences, (and for other reasons as well), every other problem set will be a group homework, while for the rest I will require that you each turn in an individual problem set. (You may, of course, consult each other on the individual efforts, but the final effort on it must be your own!)

For the group problem sets, you will benefit most from the experience if you have already made a sincere effort on every problem before your group meets. Points on the group homework will be based on each person's honest assessment of the effort and contribution made by each member. Groups also must make note of who was the recorder for each problem set, and the recorder must alternate.

I will assign several problems each Friday. The problems will be listed on this course's web page.

You are, of course, responsible for all of them, but you only turn in 3 or 4 of them, which I will specify. On Wednesdays, I will answer questions on a few of the problems I am not collecting. Solutions will be due by 4 pm each Friday.

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

I do not accept any late problems sets.

I expect to drop each person's lowest score at the end of the semester.

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 2 projects, in groups, this term. Each group will describe the problem and its solution in a joint paper.

Differentiation Exam:
One of the primary skills you will learn this semester is how to differentiate. The differentiation exam will be a one page exam that is graded with no partial credit. The bad news is, you must get every problem correct to get credit on the exam. The good news is, you may retake versions of this exam as many times as necessary until you pass. At that point, you get 100% on the exam, and that's the really good news.

While you may take the differentiation exam as many times as you need to, there is a deadline. The exam is scheduled for 11/3/99. If you pass it the first time you take it, or any subsequent time on or before 11/18/99, you receive 100% on the exam. If you pass it after 11/18/99 but on or before the last day of classes on December 14, you will receive 50%. You may not take the exam after December 14!

Other Exams:
It is important for me to make sure throughout the semester that not only have you mastered the techniques (which are to math as grammar is to English), but that you understand the concepts and can put the concepts and skills together to solve problems which are somewhat different from those you have seen before (which ability is to math as writing clearly and creatively is to English). To that end, we will have three midterm exams.

Each of these will take an hour (or perhaps a little more) to complete. 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.

We will also, of course, have a cumulative final. This final will be self-scheduled. Please make sure that you allow yourself time to take it when you are making your travel plans: it always depresses me when students' grades suffer because they rushed studying for the final ! Do not plan on squeezing it in early, just to get home earlier--in order to be ready for the final, you will need to study many, many hours.

You will be allowed to bring an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper, with handwritten notes, front only, to use during the exam and to turn in with the exam.

Notify me in advance if you will be missing an 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 to not give you any 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% Individual Problem Sets 9% Group Problem Sets 6% Projects 16% Differentiation Exam 9% Midterm Exams 39% Final Exam 16%
If you question the fairness of any grade, bring it to me within a week of receiving it.

Honor Code:
Abide by the Honor Code. While I take the Honor Code seriously, and will bring a case before the Hearing Board if I see or find anything suspicious, that is not the main reason not to cheat. Cheating is also a complete waste of money (assuming this is one of 4 classes, this class is costing you close to \$4000!). It hurts not only the cheater but the entire class, and me. Moreover, cheating often doesn't result in a very good grade, even if it's not caught. And of course, cheating simply isn't right, and a person who cheats is less of a person for it. Here ends my rant.

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 (unless groups are assigned). 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 exams, 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@wheatonma.edu

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