Syllabus for Calculus I
Professor: Mark McClure
Calculus was first developed in the late 17th century by Isaac Newton. Newton developed calculus as a tool to understand Kepler's laws of planetary motion. In the process, he answered questions dating literally past the edge of recorded history, ushered in the modern scientific era, and created mathematical tools with applications to sciences still being discovered today. In this course we will:
- Develop a stronger understanding of infinity and infinitesimal (infinitely small).
- Develop an understanding an understanding of area of complicated regions bound by curves.
- Improve algebraic skill
- Text: We will use the Contemporary Calculus text. This is an open text made freely available through the Creative Commons license. You may download a PDF for free or purchase a hard copy from Amazon for $8.
- MyOpenMath: We will have regular auto-graded homework using MyOpenMath. You can login there, using the information presented in class.
- Technology: We will not be using calculators and they will not be permitted on quizzes or exams. A calculator or other computational tool will often be useful on homework assignments, however.
- Learning mathematics: I expect that you wouldn't be in calculus if you didn't already know that mathematical study is a challenging, yet worthwhile endeavor. Mathematics is the most natural language with which we describe the world around us and, I believe, this this helps us better comprehend and enjoy the world. However, understanding this deep language has a price - it's hard and takes loads of work! I suggest that you spend at least 1.5 hours between classes and at least 3 hours over the weekend studying each math class. Remember that college is a full time job!
- The typical day: Class is 70 minutes long and will usually be divided between lecture and problem sessions. We will often have a short quiz Friday.
- Exam week: Problems for the exams will be taken from homework, in class sheets, and a small collection of review problems. The review problems will typically be available the five days before an exam and we will discuss them the period before the exam.
You are not undertaking this challenging task alone.
Here are a few sources of assistance:
- Me: I like to talk to people about mathematics! That's why I chose this profession. My schedule is posted on my webpage, including an office hour just after this class, but I'm around much more regularly than that. Please feel free to approach me any time you have questions.
- Your classmates: Most people learn mathematics best by talking it through with others. You will find that you can both learn from and help your fellow classmates. In particular, if your classmate is explaining a fine point to you, then you are helping them!
- The Math Lab: We all know the Math Lab rocks! It's open long hours and is located right across the hall from my office. You will be welcome there and will definitely find people to talk to about mathematics.
- Exams: There will be three exams during
the semester worth about 100 points apiece. Likely dates for the exams are:
- Wednesday, February 14
- Friday, March 9
- Friday, April 13
- Final exam: There will be a comprehensive, final exam worth around 180 points at 8:00 AM on Friday, May 4.
- Homework: There will be two
types of homework:
- MyOpenMath, which is online and automatically graded.
- Textbook assignments, which will not be collected but offer important practice. We might discuss some of these on...
- In class problems: We will work problem sheets together most days. Quiz and exam problems will be closely related to these sheets. In addition, you will receive a 40 point class participation grade simply for participating regularly.
- Final grades: I will determine final grades using a scale not more stringent than the standard 90-80-70-60 scale. You will be apprised of your standing as the term progresses.
- Late work: In general, I don't accept late work.
Your rights and responsibilities
It's worth understanding your rights and responsibilities as a student at UNCA. One of my responsibilities is to make sure you have the information that you need to do that. Since this is common to all classes, I've got that information on this legalese document.