Center for University Studies and Programs 124:
Develops modern calculus by investigating the questions, problems, and ideas that motivated its discovery and practice. Studies
the real number system and functions defined on it, focusing on limits, area and tangent calculations, properties and
applications of the derivative, and the notion of continuity. Emphasizes problem-solving and mathematical
- Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00-12:25, room UW2-131.
- Fridays 11:00-12:25, room UW1-120.
- Michael Stiber email@example.com, room UW1-341, phone 352-5280, office hours Tuesdays and
Thursdays 12:30-1:30 or by appointment.
- We will be making heavy use of a course blog at http://cusp124.blogspot.com/ to provide an
alternative means of communication and a record for the quarter. Read the blog regularly, subscribe to its RSS
feed, or check the latest entries syndicated onto the course web page. Feel free to comment on postings; I will
monitor these and respond when appropriate.
- James Stewart, Single Variable Essential Calculus: Early Transcendentals, Thomson, 2007.
Additional readings and materials
- C.H. Edwards, The Historical Development of the Calculus, Springer-Verlag,
I will place additional materials on library reserve, e-reserve or link to them via the web site.
- Our class meets three times a week: twice in an ordinary classroom and once (Fridays) in a
computer lab. We will make use of the lab on Fridays to do hands-on activities, both as individuals and as
groups. Generally speaking, our Tuesday meetings will include a brief quiz that reviews the previous week’s
work. Please note that this course is still under development, and expect to see schedule revisions, pointers to
additional materials, and other announcements via the course web site and blog.
Class meetings and you
- In my mind, you are adults and I will treat you as such. I therefore do not take attendance
and leave it up to you to come to class or not and to assume responsibility for the consequences of your decision.
However, I strongly encourage you to come to class and, in fact, a portion of your grade will depend on your
participation in in-class quizzes and labs. You will be held responsible for all material covered in class, regardless
of its presence (or lack thereof) in the textbook. In fact, I guarantee that there will be material covered in class
that is neither in the text nor the additional readings.
While in class, I ask that you not engage in behavior that may be disruptive or distracting to your colleagues. In
particular, if you plan to use a computer during class, please sit at the rear of the class. In my opinion, computers
are not the best way to take notes. Here is my suggested three-step method for note-taking:
- Read the materials for the class (the textbook section(s) and any additional readings) beforehand. Take
notes while you read. Don’t just summarize; write down any questions you have — you will want to ask
these during class. Work some of the examples/exercises yourself to check your initial understanding. You
might want to leave extra space for additional notes (answers, corrections, clarifications) that you take
during class. Some people like to use a different colored pen or pencil for notes, questions, attempted
exercises, in-class versus out-of-class, etc.
- Take notes during class. Make sure you get all of your questions answered and understand why you had
trouble with any exercises you tried.
- Later that evening, review your notes. If you like, you might rewrite them, integrating together the in-class
and before-class components. Whatever method you choose, make sure that there aren’t any “holes” in
your understanding. Homework assignments will help you do this, too.
- Your grade will be composed of your performance on tests and homeworks, plus your classroom contributions as
measured by lab reports and quizzes.
Both the midterm and the final are equally weighted. The homeworks are not; each homework’s contribution to your
homework average will depend on the number of points in that homework. Laboratory reports (either individual or group)
will be graded pass/fail. You will receive credit for all quizzes that you complete (in other words, I won’t give credit for
blank sheets of paper).
Your course average will be computed as: 25% homework + 25% midterm + 25% final + 15% labs + 10%
I don’t grade on a curve. I compute everyone’s quarter average based on the formula above. I then use
my judgment to determine what averages correspond to an ‘A’, ‘B’, etc. for the quarter. Some quarters’
assignments, etc. turn out harder, and so the averages are lower. Other quarters, averages are higher. I use my
judgment to adjust for that at the end. Decimal grades are then computed using the equivalences in the UW
Catalog, linearly interpolating between letter-grade boundaries. Furthermore, I am well aware of the
significance of assigning a grade below 2.0, in terms of impact on your career here at UWB. I can assure you
that I examine in detail the performance in this course of each student before assigning a grade below
What is the difference between this and grading on a curve? With the latter, the goal is to have X% ‘A’s, Y % ‘B’s, etc.
My way, I would be happy to give out all ‘A’s (if they were earned). A shorthand summary of the qualitative meaning of
letter grades is:
- Complete or near-complete mastery of all course subject matter. Participation in all or almost all labs and
- Substantial mastery of most course material. Participation in all or almost all labs and quizzes.
C (above 2.0)
- To receive a decimal grade of 2.0 or above, you must have demonstrated sufficient mastery of
the course material to, in my judgment, be capable of taking a course that has this one as a prerequisite or
be qualified to receive a degree that has this course as one of its requirements. It may be that your test and
homework performance indicates better than ‘C’-level work, but that you have chosen not to participate in
in-class activities. Such work habits are also suggestive of future success.
- Assignments will be due at specific dates and times. I will not accept any lateness in this class — if your
assignment is submitted late, it will not be graded, and you will receive a zero for that assignment. Except for special
circumstances, such as medical and other emergencies, no exceptions will be made to this policy. You are more than
welcome to submit work before the due date.
To ease homework grading and speed return of your work, please follow these homework preparation
- Use lined paper with clean edges — no ragged spiral-pad “fringes,” please.
- Write your name and student ID number on the upper left of the first page. Write at least your last name on
each subsequent page.
- Staple your homeworks.
- Write your answers to the homework problems in order, in a single column, showing all your work. Write
neatly; if I can’t read it, it’s wrong.
- Number the problems by section, i.e., problem 5 of section 2.3 should be numbered 2.3.5. If the problems
are from a worksheet, rather than the textbook, use the numbering and order of the worksheet.
- We will be experimenting with a podcast this quarter. I will divide you into groups and assign each group a topic and
discussion framework. Each week, one group will need to research their topic so they can carry on an intelligent
conversation that addresses the issues outlined in the framework. You will deliver an MP3 file to me by email for posting
to our podcast at http://courses.washington.edu/cusp124/stiber/private/. See the course web
for additional information about podcast production (hardware, software, instructions, grading rubric). A podcast episode
will count as one 100-point homework.
- If you believe that you have a disability and would like academic accommodations, please contact Disability
Support Services at (425) 352-5307 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. In most cases, you will need to provide documentation of
your disability as part of the review process.
- You are expected to do your work on your own. If you get stuck, you may discuss the problem with other
students, provided that you don’t copy from them. Assignments must be written up independently. You may always
discuss any problem with the me or with tutors at the Quantitative Skills Center or the Writing Center. You are expected
to subscribe to the highest standards of honesty. Failure to do this constitutes plagiarism. Plagiarism includes copying
assignments in part or in total, verbal dissemination of results, or using solutions from other students, solution sets, other
textbooks, etc. without crediting these sources by name. Any student guilty of plagiarism will be subject to disciplinary
- If you have problems with anything in the course, please come and see me during office hours, or send email. I
want you to succeed in this course. If you have trouble with the assignments, see me before they are
Tentative Course Schedule
Welcome; the real number system;
Stewart, § 1.1
Lab 1: Working with functions
Stewart, § 1.2
Stewart, § 1.3
HW 1 due
Stewart, § 1.4
Lab 2: Take me to the limit
Podcast 1 due
Discontinuities and singularities
Stewart, § 1.5
HW 2 due
Stewart, § 1.6
Lab 3: To infinity and beyond
Podcast 2 due
Early notions of the tangent
Edwards, pp. 122-127
HW 3 due
Stewart § 2.1, pp. 73-76
Lab 4: Going off on a tangent
Podcast 3 due
The derivative: the difference
Stewart, § 2.1
HW 4 due
Change and the derivative
Stewart, § 2.2
Lab 5: Approximation by finite
Podcast 4 due
HW 5 due
Lab 6: Archimedes and the birth of
Properties of the derivative
Stewart, § 2.3, 2.4
The chain rule
Stewart, § 2.5
Lab 7: Working on the chain gang
Podcast 5 due
Applications I: related rates and
Stewart, § 2.7, 2.8
HW 6 due
Derivatives of special functions:
exponentials and logarithms
Stewart, § 3.1, 3.2
Lab 8: Real world project I
Podcast 6 due
Exponentials and logarithms, cont’d
Stewart, § 3.2, 3.3
HW 7 due
Applications II: Exponential growth
& decay; minima and maxima;
Stewart, § 3.4, 4.1, 4.5
Lab 9: Real world project II
Podcast 7 due
Applications III: Derivatives and
Stewart, § 4.3, 4.4
HW 8 due
Lab 10: Putting it all together
Podcast 8 due
Last modified: December 27, 2006