MTH 141 College Calculus I

Online Winter 2017

Course Information

Instructor: John Ringland. Email: ringland at Office hours: On Piazza (see below), hours TBD.

TAs: Alyson Bittner, Michael Vaiana Office hours: On Piazza (see below), hours TBD.

Prerequisites: NYS Regents Course B, or ULC 148, or MTH 115.

Text: James Stewart, Calculus: Early Transcendental Single Variable, 8th edition (regular or custom UB edition). An 8th edition bundle is available from the publisher for $105 with free shipping, and an equivalent bundle can be purchased at the UB Bookstore for $95.

Content: We will cover Sections 1.4, 1.5 and Chapter 2 - Chapter 5 (omitting 3.7, 3.9, 3.11, 4.6, 4.8) of the textbook. The precise timetable of what you will learn on which day appears on the course website (see below). That timetable is subject to amendment as needed; students will be alerted via email if changes are made.

Dates - First Day of Classes is Wednesday, Jan 4, 2017 - Last Day of Classes is Tuesday, Jan 24, 2017

Email from me to you: Class announcements and some other important information and instructions will be sent to you via email. You are expected to check your UB email at least daily for the duration of the course.

Email from you to me: While I encourage everyone to ask questions, email from you to me should only be used for personal issues. Any questions related to the course content or procedures that are not of a personal nature should be asked on the Piazza discussion forum.

Time Management: Expect to spend approximately 6-8 hours per day on work for this class (lectures, assignments, studying, reading, etc.).

Assistance: Interaction with the instructor and the TAs will be primarily through a Piazza online discussion forum. The instructor and the TAs will collectively spend at least 3 hours each day answering questions on this forum.

Course structure: The master timetable of class material is be posted on the course website This website includes links to all lecture material, announcements, assignments, etc. The course will consist of recorded lectures with accompanying note sheets to be filled in as you watch each lecture. Your watching/listening time will be approximately 2 hours for each day of material. Additionally for each section of the book there will be an associated homework assignment and ultimately a question on one of the 2 proctored Exams.

Grade: Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

Exam locations: For those in the Buffalo area, you will take the exam in NSC 225 on the UB North Campus. For those not taking the exam on the UB campus, it is the student's responsibility to make arrangements with a testing facility. All students must inform the instructor of their testing arrangements via the Google forms whose address has been emailed to them by the instructor.

Use of technology: No cell phones or other internet devices will be allowed in the Exams. Although only a scientific non-graphing calculator will be allowed in the Exams, for homework and studying you may use other tools, such as:

Academic Integrity: Cheating in any form will not be tolerated. Any violation of this policy will be pursued to the fullest extent of university policy.

Incomplete Grades: A grade of Incomplete (I) will only be given under extraordinary circumstances. Additionally, an incomplete will only be given if you have a passing average on all previously graded work in the course.

Accessibility Resources: If you have a diagnosed disability (physical, learning, or psychological) which will make it difficult for you to carry out the coursework as outlined, or requires accommodations such as note-takers, readers, or extended time on exams, please advise me before the first day of the course so we may review possible arrangements for reasonable accommodations.

Posting of grades: Grades will be posted anonymously on the public course website so that you can see how you are doing, both in absolute terms and relative to everyone else. You can provide me with an "alias" (a made-up name) of your choice, so you - and only you - know which row in the gradesheet is yours: this alias can be anything you like that cannot be traced to you (cannot be your real name or an abbreviation of it, not your person number, not your gmail account name, etc.).


Course website: This website provides almost all the information you need for the class, including the timetable and links to all lecture material and homework assignments. (This is an open unrestricted website, so a few addresses we don't want to make public will not be posted there and will instead be emailed to you.)

Piazza is the text-based discussion forum for our class. You are encouraged to ask and answer questions there. The TA and I will either answer questions directly or endorse a student answer as soon as possible. Do ask questions! Chances are good that someone else will also benefit from your question. You can also post anonymously. This will be checked daily. Mathematics symbols can be typed using Piazza’s equation editor. You will receive by email your invitation to sign up for a free account to access our forum. Activating your account is mandatory - counts as a homework assignment.

Webwork: This is the online homework system for our class. It allows you to receive immediate feedback on your work. (I found it useful to download all the homework assignments as PDFs, print them, and make myself a little book. I recommend you do the same.) I strongly recommend that you buy yourself a notebook for your pencil-and-paper work on the homework problems.


This will be helpful both as you tackle the problems and as you review for the exams.

Google Forms will be used to collect some information from you, including your exam arrangements, and your alias for online posting of grades. Addresses of specific forms will be sent to you via email.

UBlearns will be only be used as a server for the lecture videos. You will need to authenticate into UBlearns, but direct links to the videos are on the course website.

Daily routine

We are compressing a lot of learning into just 15 days. I repeat that in order to be successful in this course, most students should plan to spend 6-8 hours each day working on it.

Each day, you will be learning the content of several sections of the textbook. For each section...

Print out the note sheets for the lecture.

Actively watch the lecture: You are expected to actively watch each lecture and complete the corresponding note sheets. Active means mindfully following along, going back if something does not make sense, pausing to try an example for yourself, etc. It does not mean mindlessly copying notes.

Read the textbook for clarification and elaboration of what was discussed in the lecture, as you find it helpful.

Test your knowledge and understanding on suggested (ungraded) practice problems given in the timetable.

Do the graded homework for the corresponding section on the Webwork system, which gives you immediate feedback on how you are doing. Each homework question will be graded using an all-or-nothing scheme. Complete all the assigned problems by 11:00pm. Please note that no late work will be accepted: the system will not let you submit work after the deadline.

Post (and answer) questions on the Piazza discussion forum.

Learning Outcomes

Define the limit of a function at a point. Evaluate limits using the definition and using algebraic properties of limits. Evaluate limits of functions at infinity and interpret them as horizontal asymptotes. Define continuity and determine whether or not a function is continuous at a point and on an interval. Recognize exponential, logarithmic, and inverse trigonometric functions, sketch their graph and use their basic properties in computations. Define derivative and interpret it as the slope of a tangent to the graph of a function. Compute derivatives of polynomial, exponential, logarithmic, trigonometric, and inverse trigonometric functions. Compute derivatives using derivative rules, including the chain rule and implicit differentiation. Use derivatives to compute linear approximations of functions. Find critical points, minima and maxima of a function using its first and second derivatives. Use derivatives to solve optimization problems. Use derivatives to sketch graphs of functions. State the mean value theorem and apply it in computations. Apply L’Hospital’s rule to compute limits of functions. Use derivatives to solve practical problems involving rectilinear motion. Find the area of a region bounded by a curve and the x-axis using rectangles and limits. Find the area of a region bounded by a curve and the x-axis using indefinite integrals and the fundamental theorem of calculus. Use integrals to solve practical problems involving rectilinear motion.