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Math 224/225 Course Syllabus,Spring 2021*

(*Some parts of the syllabus are still under review and revision for Spring 2021.)

This syllabus includes information common to all sections. Your own instructor will give you additional details.


You need a good background in algebra and trigonometry, which is usually satisfied by a High School precalculus course or Binghamton University's Math 108. The Mathematics Department administers a Placement Test, which is designed to identify students who do not have adequate preparation for the course. The Placement Test is an absolute prerequisite for Math 224: you must pass it or you will not be allowed to take the course. See for details.


``Calculus Single Variable'' by James Stewart, Ninth Edition (with WebAssign Access Code), Cengage Learning, 20 Channel Center Street, Boston, MA. The version available in the University Bookstore covers the material in Calculus II as well.

Logging into WebAssign for the first time you will need to self-enroll yourself with a “Class Key”. The “Class Key” will be provided to you by your instructor. You will also eventually need an access code. If you buy the book through the Binghamton University Bookstore then it comes with an access code. This is a Multi-term Access Code and can be used for multiple semesters including Calculus II & Calculus III. This is the most affordable package with textbook that you'll find. If you do not buy the textbook package through the Bookstore, then you'll need to purchase ($119.99) “Cengage Unlimited” (1 term, 4 months). This is a multi-term access code and comes with the ebook. It can also be purchased through our Bookstore. You will have temporary free access to WebAssign for two weeks into the semester without an access code. If you already have a Multi-Term WebAssign Access Code from a previous semester, then you do not have to buy it again. (Exception: if you only purchased one-semester access, then you'll need to buy it again.) WebAssign comes with the ebook for the textbook. All information regarding how to login with Class Key and purchase an access code can be found here WebAssign Student Quick Start Guide

WebAssign Login Page

Your username is your Binghamton University username and the institution code is “binghamton”.


A calculator is not required. In fact, their overuse is heavily discouraged. On some homework problems you may find it useful to use a calculator. Neither calculators nor any other electronic item, for example a cell phone as clock, may be visible to you during tests. The tests will be written such that calculators are not needed.

Objectives and Course Contents

MATH 224 and 225 cover the basics of differential and integral calculus, covering most of Chapters 1-5 of the text. The precise sections to be covered are listed in the weekly schedule. The objective of the course is to acquire mastery of the material covered in the course in the following senses:

1. Mathematical understanding, as demonstrated by the ability to solve appropriate mathematical problems.

2. Practical understanding, as demonstrated by the ability to solve appropriate word problems in the sciences, in engineering and in the social sciences.

Help outside of class

There is free tutoring offered through University Tutoring Services. All information regarding tutoring can be found here:

If you have test anxiety, the Discovery Program has helpful information regarding test-taking strategies, found here:

Exams and Grading

First, be mindful that MATH 224 and MATH 225 are separate courses. You will receive a grade in 224 at the end of that course, and upon successful completion, you will move on to 225 and receive a separate grade there.

Each course will have two types of tests:

The Basic Skills Tests will cover basic computational skills that you absolutely must be able to do for any class that has Math 224/225 as a prerequisite. There will be two Basic Skills Tests for 224 and two Basic Skills Tests for 225. These tests are administered by computer, with no partial credit, and you may take each test up to, but not more than, three times. More details on this below. You can find a Practice Test for each Basic Skills Test on WebAssign. These practice tests contain all the possible problems you could be asked on the actual Basic Skills Tests.

The Midterm and Final will cover higher-level problems. These are paper tests, graded by the instructors, (and you will not be allowed to re-take these). They will not focus on the sort of basic computational problems covered by the Basic Skills Tests, although of course you may be required to do some basic computations as part of a bigger problem.

Each Basic Skills Test counts for 5% of your final grade. For both courses, the midterm and final exam will each count for 35% of your final grade. Pre-class warmups, graded WebAssign HW, and quizzes will count for 20% of your grade.

The grade breakdown for each course, 224 and also 225, is thus as follows:

Assignments, Quizzes 20% (WebAssign HW will count for 10%)
Skills Tests (2) 10% (5% each)
Midterm (Exam 1) 35%
Final (Exam 2) 35%

One final, extremely important, note about grading: instructors do not “give grades.” Instructors simply award points based on the work the student produces. Each student's point total will correspond to a letter grade decided at semester's end, and it will be the same for all sections. Very little subjectivity is involved in the grading process. The following is a typical letter grade distribution given for past semesters. This distribution could change due to exam scores.

Your Percentage Grade
92% - 100% A
89% - 91% A-
86% - 88% B+
81% - 85% B
78% - 80% B-
73% - 77% C+
69% - 72% C
63% - 68% C-
60% - 62% D
< 60% F

Homework and in-class work

Before most class meetings, you will be assigned one or more short videos to watch, as well as “warmup exercises” that are intended to check that you have watched and understood the videos. This is required homework, due before class starts. The videos will cover aspects of the material that you just need to listen to and understand. Covering these aspects on video allows you to re-watch or pause as needed; it also frees up class time for more interactive work.

You will spend much of class time doing guided work, with your instructor coaching, answering questions, and leading discussions on examples as you complete them. Your instructor may grade your work, either by checking it in class or asking you to turn it in at the end of class. Grade will be based on participation and preparedness – it will not be stressful as long as you come to class prepared. If you do not view the videos in advance, you will probably not be adequately prepared for class, and you may not get a passing grade for that day. Class activities will expand on the video material, not review it.

If you need to miss class for a serious reason, contact your instructor as soon as possible (in advance if possible). Your instructor will give you an alternate assignment in lieu of the classwork.

The videos and in-class work will replace a lot of traditional homework. (The stuff you would be doing in homework in a more lecture-based class is now partially moved to class work.) Your instructor may assign some traditional homework.

We will be using the WebAssign system for class warmups, homework and the Basic Skills Tests. There will also be many optional practice problems available on WebAssign. It is important that you buy the version of the textbook with a WebAssign access code: otherwise your homework will not be graded and you will not be able to take the Basic Skills Tests. WebAssign is an online question answering program that comes with an e-book. Your instructor will be able to schedule assignments for you to complete online, and it will guide you and grade your answers. You will be given instructions on how to use WebAssign by your instructor. The first assignment, “Getting Started with WebAssign”, will give you practice on how to use WebAssign and will not be graded.

More on the Basic Skills Tests

There are two Skills Tests for 224, and two for 225. These are timed tests, which will be done remotely, within WebAssign. You will be able to take each particular Skills Test up to three times, and only the best score of your three attempts will be counted. Instructions for how to take these tests are being sent by email.

Note: There are corresponding “Practice Skills Tests” in WebAssign, which you should do in advance of taking the Skills Test itself.

Scores on the Skills Tests will be rounded such that scores between 70% and 79% will count as a 79%, scores between 80% and 89% will be recorded as 89%, and scores 90% to 100% will receive 100%. If a student's highest score is lower than 70%, their highest percentage among the three attempts will be recorded and will not be rounded.

Your Percentage Rounded Percentage
90% - 100% 100%
80% - 89% 89%
70% - 79% 79%
0% - 69% no rounding


Make-up exams for the in-class tests will only be given for serious, documented reasons, and all make-ups must be approved by your instructor before the test date.


Academic honesty

You are reminded of Binghamton University's Student Academic Honesty Code.

Cheating on tests or quizzes will be dealt with severely and can result in suspension from the University for multiple semesters.

The shift to remote and hybrid teaching due to the COVID-19 pandemic has required that both instructors and students make changes to their normal working protocols for courses. Students are asked to practice extra care and attention in regard to academic honesty, with the understanding that all cases of plagiarism, cheating, multiple submission, and unauthorized collaboration are subject to penalty. Students may not collaborate on exams or assignments, directly or through virtual consultation, unless the instructor gives specific permission to do so. Posting an exam, assignment, or answers to them on an online forum (before, during, or after the due date), in addition to consulting posted materials, constitutes a violation of the university’s Honesty policy. Likewise, unauthorized use of live assistance websites, including seeking “expert” help for specific questions during an exam, can be construed as a violation of the honesty policy.

Any cases of cheating will be subject to investigation by the Academic Honesty Committee of Harpur College.

General Comments

The structure of this class may be different from what you are used to. In contrast to many courses, where the material is introduced in class, then analyzed in-depth out of class in the homework, in this class you need to cover the basics before class (by watching the videos), then do the in-depth work actively in the classroom. We have found that most students come to greatly prefer this format to traditional lecture format (and they learn more too). But it is absolutely essential that you come to every class prepared and participate actively.

Even if you've taken a previous Calculus course, this course is likely to be taught from a more sophisticated perspective, and if you think this class will be “review” you're probably mistaken.

You should expect to average about 8 hours per week studying outside of class.

In contrast to most high school math classes, if you don't understand the material being covered, you should NOT assume that your instructor will repeat the material until you get it. Ideally, you should ask questions at the time in class. Of course, you'll also probably need to spend time thinking things through on your own, but if you've tried that and are still confused, make use of the Help Room and office hours. Don't wait! The material in this course is very cumulative, so anything you don't understand now is likely to keep giving you trouble as the semester goes on.

The Director of Calculus is Dr. L. William Kazmierczak (

The Course Coordinator for Spring 2021 is Prof. Walter Carlip ( Barring exceptional circumstances, queries about the course should be directed to your instructor. If you are unable to get clarification from your instructor, feel free to contact the Course Coordinator.

Students in M courses will demonstrate competence in an area such as calculus, symbolic logic, the logic of computers, the logic of deductive and inductive reasoning, or probability and statistical inference.

calculus/math_224_225/syllabus.txt · Last modified: 2021/02/02 13:54 by kaz