Basic Info

Instructor: Dave Feldman
Office: Second Floor, Turrets Annex
Mailing List:
Problem Solving Session: Wednesdays, 6:30 -- 8:00, Deering Common
Office Hours: By appointment (see my schedule)
Tutors: Adrianna Beaudette, Dale Quinby, Kate Shlepr

Course Goals

  1. I want to help you improve your problem solving skills and mathematical confidence. More generally, I want you to leave this course with an increased ability to do mathematics.
  2. I want you to gain a firm, enduring understanding of two of the big ideas of calculus: the limit and the derivative.
  3. I want you to be able to correctly perform mechanical calculations using the course content, apply problem solving skills to new areas, and effectively communicate problem solving strategies in writing.
  4. I want you to have fun while learning a lot.


As our primary text we will use Calculus, fourth edition, by Hughes-Hallet, Gleason, Be sure you have the right edition of the book. Here is more information about the text. I would like to cover most of chapters 1-4.


  • Weekly Homework Assignments: 65 percent.
  • Mid-Term Exam: 15 percent.
  • Final Exam: 15 percent.
  • Lab Participation: 5 percent.

I will assign grades (for those who so opt) by following the guidelines put forth in the COA Course Catalog. I do not have any quota of A's, B's, etc. I recommend against letter grades; I believe they are more likely than not to interfere with genuine learning. But I also understand that many students believe (perhaps correctly) that grades will make it easier to get into graduate or professional school.

Policies and Details

  1. The final version of this and related documents can be found on the course web page.
  2. Homework will usually be due at the end of the day on Friday. More than one unexcused late homework assignment will result in me mentioning this in your narrative evaluation and may result in a lowering of your grade.
  3. If you need extra time for one or two of the homework assignments, it's not a big deal. But be very careful to not fall farther behind every week.
  4. I will accept late homework assignments. However, I may not be able to grade these assignments thoroughly. This means they will be of significantly less use to you on exams.
  5. More than two missing homework assignments will result in a grade no higher than a C.
  6. You are strongly encouraged to work together on homework. You can also consult me, class tutors, other faculty, friends, and family. However, the homework you hand in should represent your own understanding. This means that if your friends get a homework problem and you don't understand how they did it, you shouldn't photocopy their solution and turn it in.
  7. There will be one midterm and one final exam. Both tests will be open notes, open book, and (essentially) untimed. You may not, however, get any help from any humans during the exam.
  8. Most weeks will we have a short lab session in the Gower classroom. The purpose of these labs are to familiarize you with the computer program sage. You will need to know how to use sage in order to complete some of the homework assignments. There will be short exercises that you will do during lab and hand in. Mostly I will just check off that you've done the exercises.
  9. You will want to have at your disposal a calculator that has trig functions, logs, and scientific notation. You do not need a graphing calculator for this course.
  10. As I plan on sending out homework assignments and other information via email, it is important that you check your email regularly.
  11. The tutors will have some regular hours, and you should also feel free to contact them to find a time to meet.
  12. Academic misconduct -- cheating, plagiarizing, etc. -- is bad. Any cases of academic misconduct will likely result in a judicial hearing; see the academic handbook for details. Possible consequences range from failure of the assignment to expulsion.
  13. A more informal description of the course can be found here.