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Math 224/225 Course Syllabus, Spring 2024

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.

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 the physical textbook that you'll find. If you do not buy the textbook package through the Bookstore, then you'll need to purchase “Cengage Unlimited” (1 semester, 4 months). This also comes with an access code that will last you for multiple semesters including Calculus II & Calculus III and includes 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 purchased the textbook/WebAssign package or Cengage Unlimited (1 semester) from our bookstore a previous semester, then you do not have to buy it again. WebAssign comes with the ebook for the text.

If you do not purchase the textbook package from the Bookstore then your only other option as a Calculus student at Binghamton University, is to purchase “Cengage Unlimited” (4 months or 1-term). This one-time purchase provides you with access to all of your required calculus courses and is the cheapest option. You will not need to make an additional purchase when taking Math 225, 226, 227, and 323.

All information regarding on how to register for your WebAssign section and purchase Cengage Unlimited can be found here Binghamton University WebAssign Registration

In order to self-enroll yourself into your WebAssign HW section you need to submit the “Class Key” supplied to you by your instructor. This also gives you free access to WebAssign for the first 2 weeks. Just submit your Class Key here: 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

The Math Help Room, located in Whitney Hall Room 234 and 236, is staffed by the instructors who teach the course and is open during most business hours. Students can walk in any time it's staffed and ask questions of any of the instructors there, not just their own instructor. Click here for the Help Room Schedules.

There is free tutoring offered through University Tutoring Services. All information regarding tutoring can be 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. Your average on both exams (Midterm and Final) must be at least a 50% in order to pass the course, regardless of what your other course scores are.

Each Basic Skills Test counts for 10% of your final grade. The midterm and final exam will each count for 30% of your final grade. Pre-class warmups and other graded HW in WebAssign will account for 5% of your grade; in class quizzes account for 15% of your grade which also includes written HW assignments and attendance.

The grade breakdown for both 224 and 225 is the following:

Quizzes, Written HW, and Attendance 15%
WebAssign HW 5%
Skills Tests (2) 20% (10% each)
Midterm (Exam 1) 30%
Final (Exam 2) 30%

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


Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes. It is important to attend class in order to learn the material and successfully complete the course. University policy states that if a student misses more than 25 percent of the total class sessions, then the instructor has the option to fail that student and not allow them to take the final exam. So, if a student has more than 5 unexcused absences for our half semester course and they fail the midterm exam, then they will not be permitted to take the final exam and will receive a course grade of “F” if they do not withdraw from the course.

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 some of the class time doing guided work, with your instructor coaching, answering questions, and leading discussions on examples as you complete them. If you do not view the videos in advance, you will most likely not be adequately prepared for class. Class activities will expand on the video material, not review it.

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 to help you prepare for quizzes and exams. 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

The Basic Skills Tests will be administered by computer in the basement of Whitney Hall, Rooms G12 & G18. These use the same software as the WebAssign homework. Thus, you must have a WebAssign key before you take the tests. For security reasons, you must use the computers provided. You are not assigned a particular time to take the test – you will reserve a time for your test via the following link: Calculus Testing Center Reservation System. You'll receive an email once the Reservation System is ready. For each test, you have a window of about 2 weeks to pass, and you may take the test up to, but not more than, three times. You must take your first attempt the first five days it is offered. See the weekly schedule for the time windows for each test. You cannot take more than one attempt on any one day.

Only your highest score on each Basic Skills Test is counted. Thus, there is great incentive in taking the test during the first few days it's offered, so if it doesn't go well, you can take further attempts at improving your score in the subsequent two weeks.

Only exact answers are accepted in WebAssign. For example, 1/3 cannot be written as .33 and pi cannot be written as 3.14. No calculators or electronic devices are permitted during the test. You cannot use your cell phone for any reason while taking the test. If a proctor catches a student looking at their cell phone while taking the test then that student will receive a score of “0” and their instructor will be notified.

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

It is essential that you show up for your test appointments! If you decide not to take a test you've scheduled, then you must cancel at least 3 hours in advance. The testing room is filled to capacity at popular times, and if you make an appointment and then fail to show, then you are keeping someone else out.

You must have an appointment in order to take a test – no drop-ins will be accepted. Appointments can be made until immediately before the test time. However, popular test times tend to fill up well in advance, and you are strongly encouraged to reserve test times as soon as you know that you'll need them. (For instance, schedule your first try at each test at the start of the semester.)

If you need an exception to any of the Basic Skills Test rules above (for instance, an extension due to illness), speak to your instructor in advance. All exceptions are at the discretion of your instructor. Under no circumstance will a student be permitted to take a Skills Test more than three times.

You may think, in reading these rules, that the Skills Tests are harsh. Far from it! These tests nearly always end up helping, not hurting, student grades. The point of the Basic Skills Tests is to keep you on track on the most essential material, and to save you from digging yourself into a hole too deep to get out of. The questions on the Basic Skills Test are, for the most part, much more basic than the questions on the paper tests, and they cover material you need to master in order to keep up with the class. So, you should always take the first possible try at each Basic Skills Test. If you do well on your first try, then you should feel good that you have a solid foundation for studying the more sophisticated material, and you should charge ahead. If you don't get a grade you're happy with on your first try, this should set off alarm bells! It's time to drop everything and focus on getting the basics! Look at what gave you trouble on the test, and use the Practice Skills Tests, the Help Room, and your instructor to get your difficulties worked out.


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 exams, quizzes, or the Basic Skills Test will be dealt with severely and can result in suspension from the University for multiple semesters.

Students are asked to practice extra care and attention in regard to academic honesty, with the understanding that all cases of plagiarism, cheating, and unauthorized collaboration are subject to penalty. Students may not collaborate on exams or graded 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, are construed as a violation of the honesty policy.

In-class exams will be returned after they are graded. If you do not understand your mistakes, or you think your exam was not correctly graded, you should immediately bring the test to your instructor for re-evaluation. DO NOT MAKE ANY CHANGES OR WRITE NEW MATERIAL ON YOUR GRADED EXAM!! Turning in a modified exam for extra points is CHEATING. Instructors may be making copies of exams before they are returned, so if a student changes a graded exam, it will be clearly shown by comparison with the copy.

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 2024 is Dr. Walter Carlip (, Assistant Director of Calculus. 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: 2024/04/04 13:13 by kaz