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Math 223 – Introduction to Calculus – Fall 2018


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 223: you must pass it or you will not be allowed to take the course. See for details.


OpenStax ``Precalculus'' and

OpenStax ``Calculus Volume 1''

Both are freely available online at the above links.

A calculator is not required. In fact, their overuse is heavily discouraged. Neither calculators nor any other electronic item, e.g., a cell phone as clock, may be visible to you during tests (except as described below on Skills Tests).

Objectives and Course Contents

MATH 223 covers the precalculus needed for calculus and some introductory differential calculus, 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 231 and 233, is staffed by some of the instructors and is open during most business hours. Students can walk in any time it's staffed and can ask questions of any of the instructors there, not just their own instructor. Click here for Help Room Schedules.

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

Also, if you have test anxiety the Discovery Program has helpful information regarding test taking strategies found here

Exams and Grading

The class will have two written exams, a midterm and final. These are paper tests, graded by your instructor, and you will not be allowed to re-take these. These exams are taken during normal class times.

The midterm and final exam will each count for 30% of your final grade. Quizzes (approximately one per week) will count for 8% of your final grade. Homework on WebWork including “warmup exercises” will count for 30% of your grade. Written homework and class participation will count for 2% of your final grade.

Homework and in-class work

Before most class meetings, you'll 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 WebWork system for class warmups and homework. The problems you do in class will prepare you to do the homework. You will be given instructions on how to use WebWork by your instructor.


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. Don't even think about it. Cheating on homework has a less severe penalty, but it will be dealt with nonetheless. Getting a solution from Wolfram Alpha and putting that solution in your homework is considered cheating.

In-class exams will be returned after they are graded, and an answer key will be available. 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 reevaluation. 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 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 ( and the course coordinator is Dr. Walter Carlip ( Barring exceptional circumstances, queries about the course should be directed to your instructor.

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.

people/wolak/math223224/syllabus.txt · Last modified: 2018/08/21 15:29 by wolak