Informal Description

Here is some additional information and advice that should give you a better idea what to expect from this class, how to enjoy it and do well, and help you decide whether or not this class is for you.

  • This class is a lot of work, but I think it's less work than Calculus I.

  • Falling behind in this course is not a good idea. If you're confused about something, it's very important that you seek help sooner rather than later. There are many people around who can offer help. However, we can't offer assistance if we don't know who needs it when. You need to take responsibility to seek help if you need it. On a related note ...

  • I do not expect all of the homework assignments to be easy; I don't expect you to be able to sit down and do them easily the first time. Don't let yourself get frustrated -- I strongly suggest working with others and seeking help if you need it.

  • In Calc II sage will be more integrated into the course than it was in Calculus I. Knowing how to use a computer algebra and graphing system is important and, at times, essential, if you're going to do "real-world" and not text-book math. This may be frustrating for some, but I'm convinced it's worth it.

  • This class meets three times a week, with the Wednesday time listed as a lab. My plan, however, is to treat the three meeting times pretty much the same. That is, we'll do lab stuff during class, and vice versa.

  • In many more traditional math classes the textbook has a ton of examples in them. The book we'll be using doesn't. The result is that students sometimes find the homework to be challenging, frustrating, and occasionally even annoying. However, I'm convinced that this style of homework -- where there's not an example just like the problem you're trying to do -- is much better pedagogically. You'll learn a lot more this way.

  • This course covers pretty standard Calc II material. The text book we're using is used at many other colleges and universities in the U.S.

  • Many of you haven't taken Calc I here this year, and might not have taken and Calculus at all for a while. Don't worry. In the past, people who have taken calculus elsewhere have done very well in this course. We will review Calc I material as needed.

  • This class is a lot of work. However, the workload is steady; you'll be doing approximately the same amount of work each week. We'll hit the ground running and try to get lots of stuff done the next few weeks. The workload will taper off some toward the end of the term.

  • There are four parts to the class, each with a distinct feel.

    1. Introduction to the integral. This part of the course is largely conceptual and will involve some numerical work and graphical reasoning. (Chapters 5-6.)

    2. Shortcuts to evaluating the integral. This is the most algebra-intensive portion of the course and in some ways may feel the most traditional. (Chapter 7.)

    3. Applications of integrals. Here we will learn several different ways that integrals are used in various areas of math and science. This is the most applied part of the course. (Chapter 8. We won't cover all the chapters; which ones we do will depend on student interest.)

    4. Sequences and series. This is a topic that is largely separate from the rest of the course. It has a different feel to it. The material can be a little difficult, but most students find it a nice change of pace and a good way to end the term. (Chapters 9-10.)