Basic Info

Instructor: Dave Feldman
Email: You can figure it out
Office: Second Floor, Turrets Annex
Problem Solving Session: TBD, Dining Hall
Office Hours: By appointment (see my schedule)
Tutors: Bianca Massacci, Ky Osguthorpe

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. We will cover most of chapters 1-4.


  • Weekly Homework Assignments: 70 percent.
  • Mid-Term Exam: 15 percent.
  • Final Exam: 15 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 less use to you on exams. Also, you may not receive full credit for assignments that are full credit for them, especially if they significantly late.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. From time to time I will make short videos that will supplement what we cover in class. Upon occasion, I may ask you to watch a video before class.
  8. 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.
  9. As I plan on sending out homework assignments and other information via email, it is important that you check your email regularly.
  10. The TAs and I will have some regular hours, and you should also feel free to contact us to find a time to meet.
  11. Please try to limit electronic distractions during class (texting, facebooking, etc.). I don't really mind if you don't pay attention, but students sometimes report finding it distracting when others around them are busy with facebook, email, texts, and so on. I strongly suggest reading Clay Shirkey's excellent essay about digital distractions.
  12. By enrolling in an academic institution, a student is subscribing to common standards of academic honesty. Any cheating, plagiarism, falsifying or fabricating of data is a breach of such standards. A student must make it his or her responsibility to not use words or works of others without proper acknowledgment. Plagiarism is unacceptable and evidence of such activity is reported to the academic dean or his/her designee. Two violations of academic integrity are grounds for dismissal from the college. Students should request in-class discussions of such questions when complex issues of ethical scholarship arise. consequences range from failure of the assignment to expulsion.
  13. In addition to the 3 hours of scheduled class time every week, I expect that between readings, going over notes, and doing assignments you will spend at least an additional 12 hours a week on this course, for a total of at least 150 hours over the term devoted to this class.
  14. A more informal description of the course can be found here.