Surely no subject in early college mathematics is more exciting or more fun to teach than the calculus. It is like being the ringmaster of a great three-ring circus. It has been said that one can recognize the students on a college campus who have studied the calculus -- they are the students with no eyebrows. In utter astonishment at the incredible applicability of the subject, the eyebrows of the calculus students have receded higher and higher and finally vanished over the backs of their heads.

Howard Eves, quoted in Thompson and Gardner. Calculus Made Easy. St. Martin's Press. 1998.

Basic Info

Instructor: Dave Feldman
Office: Second Floor, Turrets Annex
Problem Solving Session: Wednesdays, 6:30 -- 8:00, Deering Common
Office Hours: By appointment (see my schedule)
Tutors: Casey Acklin, Paul Excoffier

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 one of the big ideas of calculus: the integral.
  3. I also want you to gain a good introduction to infinite sums and series.
  4. 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.
  5. I want you to experience using a computer to help you do mathematics.
  6. I want you to learn semi-independently about a topic of your choosing and gain experience orally presenting technical information.
  7. 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, but certainly not all, of chapters 5-9.


  • Weekly Homework Assignments: 70 percent.
  • Mid-Term Exam: 15 percent.
  • Final Project: 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.
  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. This class meets three times a week, although we will not make use of all of these meeting times every week. There is not a separate lab for the course, just the three meetings.
  8. We will spend some time in class using the website wolfram alpha and perhaps a few other programs. There won't be a separate lab session for this. It will be incorporated into classes.
  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. Toward the end of the term you will do a small project.
  11. As I plan on sending out homework assignments and other information via email, it is important that you check your email regularly.
  12. The tutors will have some regular hours, and you should also feel free to contact them to find a time to meet.
  13. 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.
  14. A more informal description of the course can be found here.