Welcome to Calculus!

CALCULUS I                                     Dave’s Syllabus                                         Fall 2003

Over the next three months, you will see some of the most influential ideas humans have ever thought, ideas that are essential for most of the technological wonders that have graced our world over the last hundred years, ideas that allow us to explain the physical world around us and make predictions about it. Calculus is the study of how things change. And everything changes.

Random Facts about me:


Dave Kung


175 Schaefer Hall, x4433 (or 240-895-4433)



5K PR:


Office Hours:







 and by appointment.


Class Philosophy: One learns math by doing it, not by watching other people do it. Consequently, you will be required to participate actively during class, and work very hard outside of it. The payoff is big: Calculus is one of the truly monumental achievements of the human species, and by the end of this class, you will have begun to understand and appreciate it.

Throughout the semester, I will be giving each of you ideas about what you need to do to improve your understanding of Calculus. Some of these apply to everyone: read the section we will cover before coming to class, try some of the homework problems ahead of time, do lots and lots of homework problems (more than I assign to hand in), don't fall asleep in class, etc. Others will be more directed, and probably suggested to you when you come to my office hours (see above). The flip side of this is that you need to give me ideas about the course, and how to make sure you get the most out of it. I will give a few surveys, but if at any time you have something to share with me, just let me know.

Problem Sessions: On Wednesday evenings when we don't have exams (see below), there will be a problem session in SH134. These will be run by the TA, Rachael Wilder and offer you an excellent chance to get your questions answered in a more informal setting.  You are expected to attend these sessions every week.

Where to go for help: You have three main resources to draw on when you need help in this class. The first and most important is your fellow classmates. Calculus will go much smoother for all of us if you start getting to know them and start studying with them outside of class early in the semester. The second is me – my contact info and office hours appear above.  I will also be around at other times - feel free to drop by and see if I'm in.  If you can't find me, email or call, and we'll schedule an appointment that works for both of us.  In an emergency, you should drop me an email (I check it very frequently). Your third resource will be your TA, Rachael.

Grading:  Calculus can be learned at two levels.  At the basic, mechanical level, you will learn how to do calculus (e.g. techniques of integration, finding Taylor series, solving differential equations, etc.)  Achieving this level of competency will earn you at least a C.  Higher grades will be earned by understanding Calculus at a deeper, theoretical level.  This includes understanding why we do the calculations, why they work, and why they apply to so many of the physical situations around us.  Your ability to explain the concepts of calculus will continually be tested, both in class and on exams.


There will be a variety of ways to show that you are learning Calculus.  They will contribute to your final grade as follows:


Assessment                                    Date                                Percent  

Exam I                                           Oct. 1st                              13 

Exam II                                          Oct. 22th                           13 

Exam III                                         Nov. 19th                          13 

Group Project                                Due Dec. 9th                      13 

Homework                                     all semester                         10 

Class Participation                          all semester                         10 

Daily Emails                                    all semester                           8

Final Exam                                     Wed., Dec. 17th                20   

Total                                                                                      100 


The exams are in the evening starting at 6pm; they are not timed.  Be sure to mark these on your calendar now.  Information about the Group Project will be distributed later in the semester.  Roughly 24 hours before most classes, I will email you all a question or two regarding the reading.  After doing the reading, you should reply to the message, answering as best you can.  If you do not check your email frequently, please talk to me.


Learning in this class is considered to be everyone's shared responsibility.  Part of that responsibility is attendance; when you are not here, not only do you miss important work, but the entire class misses out on your contribution.  The Class Participation portion of your grade will reflect that.  Congrats for reading this far.  You will get five bonus points if you email me a message with subject line “hi dave” by Friday at 9:15 am.  In addition, we will be working in groups roughly once a week; how well you work with others will also factor into the Class Participation portion of your grade.  I would like nothing more than to give everyone an A; let's all work toward that goal.