Math 130: Calculus I

   Winter, 1997.

   Instructor:  David J. Eck.

   Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 8:00 -- 9:10 AM,
   Napier 201.
   Lab:  Tuesday, 1:30 -- 4:00 PM,
   Eaton 111.

About Math 130

Math 130 is a course in differential calculus, which is the mathematical study of change. (The second half of calculus, integral calculus, is introduced in Math 131). Calculus is probably the most universal branch of advanced mathematics, with fundamental applications in science and economics.

The textbook for this course is Calculus from Graphical, Numerical, and Symbolic Points of View, Volume I, by Arnold Ostebee and Paul Zorn. We will cover almost all of the first three chapters and selected sections in the fourth chapter.

The approach to calculus that is used both in the text and in the course is very conceptual. That is, it emphasizes understanding, reasoning with, and applying the fundamental concepts of calculus. Compared with a typical calculus course (for example, one that you might have taken in high school), there is less emphasis on algebraic manipulation and memorization of formulas. That doesn't mean that algebra and formulas are unimportant -- you will still need to know them! However, you will be asked to do more writing and more thinking than you might do in a traditional calculus course.


You will need a graphing calculator for this course. The recommended calculator is the TI-82 graphing calculator, from Texas Instruments. You can buy a TI-82 in the bookstore for about $100. You can probably find it more cheaply elsewhere (at Walmart or K-Mart). If you do not already own a graphing calculator, please buy a TI-82. (If you already own a different brand of graphing calculator, you can use that instead, but you should not expect me to be able to offer you instruction or help on its use.)

Homework and Labs

Each day in class, I will assign homework problems from the text. Most of these problems will not be collected. However, I will ask you to carefully write up your answers to a few of them and turn them in.

A lab is a required part of the course. Lab will meet every Tuesday from 1:30 to 4:00. I will take attendance during labs. You can expect that if you miss labs without an excuse, then your grade in the course will be lowered.

I expect you to work in lab in groups of from two to four people. You will have a lab worksheet with a number of exercises to work on. You can expect some of these exercises to be thought-provoking and open-ended, with no single correct answer. Each person in the class will turn in an individual report each week. Reports will generally be due each Friday. The report will consist of your answers to selected exercises from the lab and from the homework. I expect these answers to be written up neatly and formally, with full English sentences and paragraphs and with properly used and clearly explained mathematical notation, as appropriate.

Tests and Quizzes

There will be three in-class tests plus a final exam. The tests will be given on January 27, February 17, and March 10. The final exam will be given during the regularly scheduled final exam period for this course, at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, March 19.

My tentative plan is that the first test will cover sections 1.1 through 2.3 of the text; the second, sections 2.4 through 3.5; and the third, sections 3.6, 3.8, 4.1, 4.2, 4.4, and 4.6. The final exam will be cumulative, with some emphasis on the additional material from chapter 4 that we cover in the last week of classes.

In addition, there will be a quiz Monday of each week when we there is no test. Many of the questions will be taken directly from assigned homework or from a lab. Some of the quiz questions might be definitions or essay-type questions.

You are allowed to use a calculator during any quiz or test. For some problems, a graphing calculator might be required.

Please try not to miss a test. I will not give you a make-up test unless you have an extraordinarily good excuse. Oversleeping is not an excuse. Car trouble is not an excuse. Having a cold is not an excuse. An athletic event is ordinarily not an excuse. An example of a good excuse would be being in the hospital under doctor's orders.


To compute your grade for the course, I will write down the following seven grades. (Note that the final exam is included twice.)

I will drop the lowest of these grades and average the remaining six grades. This means that if your final exam grade is your lowest grade, then it is counted once instead of twice.

I will then convert your numerical grade into a letter grade, based on this scale: 97-100 = A+; 93-96 = A; 90-92 = A-; 87-89 = B+; 83-86 = B; 80-82 = B-; 76-79 = C+; 70-75 = C; 65-69 = C-; 61-64 = D+; 55-60 = D; 50-54 = D-; 0-49 = F. (Finally, I reserve the right to adjust your grade downwards by up to one full letter grade if you had a serious attendance problem. I will warn you if you are in danger of having this happen.)

Office Hours and Email

My office is room 301 in Lansing Hall. My office phone extension is 3398. I am on campus most days, and you are welcome to come in anytime you can find me there. I will announce regular office hours (times when I promise to try my best to definitely be in my office) as soon as I schedule them.

My email address is ECK (or from off-campus). Email is good way to communicate with me, since I usually answer messages the day I receive them.