Calculus I

Instructor Textbook Schedule Course Work Assignments Calculators Grading

Goals: Math 131 begins the study of Calculus by considering differentiation and integration of functions of one variable. Throughout the course, we will strive for a balance between theory and applications.


Henry M. Walker

Office: Science 2420
Telephone: extension 4208

Office Hours are posted weekly on the bulletin board outside Science 2420, with additional hours possible by appointment. You may reserve a half hour meeting by signing up on the weekly schedule, but please sign up at least a day in advance.


James Stewart, Calculus, Third Edition,. Brooks/Cole Publishing, 1995.

As shown on the Tentative Class Schedule the course will cover most sections of Chapters 1-6 and Chapter 8 in the text.

Course Work

  1. Suggested Exercises: The study of mathematics should be an active endeavor, not a passive one. Thus, each day several exercises will be suggested, but these will not be collected. Each class will begin by discussing difficulties arising from these suggested problems. You should consider working these problems as a minimum, and you should do more problems if you have trouble with these.
    Note: As an incentive for your working on these problems, between a third and a half of the problems on the test and on the exam will be taken from these suggested problems.. Click
    here for specific assignments.

  2. Required Exercises: Beyond the Suggested Exercises, approximately 10 problems will be assigned to be turned in before class on Mondays. There will be a penalty for turning papers in late. Papers over two weeks will not be accepted. Also, no work will be accepted after 5:00pm on Friday, May 8. While students are encouraged to discuss these exercises, each student must write solutions to all problems in her or his own words. Click here for specific assignments.

  3. "Real" Problem Sets: will be assigned during most weeks without labs and due on Fridays. These problems will encourage integration and synthesis of topics. Problem Set writeups may be done either individually or in teams, with one write-up per team.. Click here for specific assignments.

  4. Laboratories: Labs are scheduled during class time three Tuesdays through the semester. Students must work in teams of two or three for each lab, and each team must turn one lab write-up for the team. Write-ups are due the Friday after the scheduled lab.

  5. Project: One project is scheduled during the semester to encourage independent investigation and synthesis of topics. As with labs, students will work in groups of two or three, and each group will develop a unified write-up of its work.

  6. Hour Test: An hour test is scheduled on Tuesday, March 3.

  7. Quizzes: A 25-minute quiz is scheduled for most Thursdays during the semester. Note that in computing semester averages, the lowest quiz score will be dropped.

  8. Exam: Following the published exam schedule, an exam is scheduled for 9:00 am on Wednesday, May 13, during exam week.


Electronic Calculators are allowed, but not required, in this course. A few topics in Math 131 (and in Math 133 next semester) require some computations, so calculators can be of some assistance. However, past experience suggests that calculators can be overused in calculus, since some students try to replace thinking by pushing buttons. Therefore, students are cautioned not to become overdependent on calculators.

Any non-graphing calculator may be used during all quizzes and during the test and final exam, but weak batteries and malfunctioning calculators will not be accepted as valid excuses for poor performance. Users of graphing calculators should consult with the instructor about the use of these machines.


The final grade will ultimately be based upon each student's demonstration of her or his understanding of calculus, not on the performance of the class as a whole nor on a strict percentile basis. The following scheme approximates the relative weights attached to various activities in this course.

Requiured Exercises: 10% "Real" Problems: 15% Labs: 20%
Quizzes: 25% Test: 10% Exam: 20%

This document is available on the World Wide Web as

created January 2, 1998
last revised May 4, 1998