2006 December 16 / E-Mail Me
This is a first course in calculus, covering aspects of derivatives, integrals, and differential equations, primarily through in-depth, applied, conceptual laboratory exercises. Required materials include
Here's how you get in contact with me:
Dr. Joshua Davis
E-mail: see here
Office: 033 Physics/Math (on West Campus, directly behind the chapel, at the end of Science Dr.)
Office phone: 660-2823
and by appointment; to make an appointment, pick a free time from my weekly schedule and e-mail me.
- Mon 9:35-10:20, in Carr 137
- Wed 9:35-10:20, in Carr 137
- Thu 1:30-2:20, in Physics/Math 033
- Fri 9:35-10:20, in Carr 137
Here some other web pages:
Blackboard: complete reading assignments, view grades, view old tests
Math 31L: the course you're taking
Information for First-Year Students: other useful stuff from the Math Department
TI Guidebooks: user manuals for TI calculators
Semester grades (A, B, C, etc.) are assigned according to an approximate curving process. The following elements contribute to this grade.
Each class session covers one or two sections of the textbook, which you are expected to read before the topic is discussed in class. After completing the reading, go to
Blackboard -> Math 31L 03-04 -> Assignments,and answer the reading questions posted there by 10 PM of the day before class. We will usually begin class by reviewing responses to the reading questions; then we will explore the topics further, working on the assumption that all students have already read the material. I don't expect that you will always understand everything in the reading; however, having done the reading, you will be in a much better position to participate in class, ask clarifying questions, and leave class understanding the material. These reading assignments constitute 5% of your grade.
Attendance is mandatory. Furthermore, you are expected to participate actively in group work, discussion, individual exercises, etc. Class participation influences final semester grades in borderline cases.
If you cannot make it to class, then you should check with a classmate or with me to see what was missed. You cannot make up missed work unless you have an excuse from the dean. If your absence is due to a serious, incapacitating illness, and you can vouch for this under the Duke Community Standard, then you may do so at Short-Term Illness Notification.
Each Wednesday the homework assigned during the preceding week (Mon, Wed, Fri) is due. This gives you a chance to ask questions on the homework in the period immediately after it is assigned, and then to work for two more days on it.
Sometimes you submit the homework itself for grading; see Guidelines For Written Work, below. On other occasions you instead take a short homework quiz, with problems taken verbatim from the homework. I notify you ahead of time whether homework collection or a homework quiz will take place. Altogether, homework counts for 5% of your grade.
The labs in this course are central, not peripheral. Labs constitute 35% of your semester grade — more than the final exam. Furthermore, lab material is referenced in lecture and tested on the midterm and final exams.
During lab on Tuesday morning, you work through involved, applied, conceptual problems from the lab manual with up to three other students. You are expected to stay for the entire period. You may also need to meet with your group outside of lab, before your work is due at the start of lab the following Tuesday.
Often you submit a group lab report for grading; see Guidelines For Written Work, below. On other occasions, you instead take an individual lab quiz. I will notify you ahead of time, whether lab report collection or a lab quiz will take place.
The Math 31L gateway test certifies basic competency in differentiation. You must pass this test sometime before the end of the semester. You may take it as many times as needed. You cannot receive a grade for the course until you have completed this test; otherwise, it does not affect your grade.
There are three midterm exams, which you take during the lab period. Each midterm counts for 10% of your grade. Each midterm focuses primarily on the material covered since the previous exam; however, since the course material is inherently cumulative, you will always need to remember concepts and skills from earlier in the course.
The first midterm is 26 September.
The second midterm is 31 October.
The third midterm is 5 December.
The final exam is scheduled for 14 December 2006, 7-10 PM. It is uniform across all sections of Math 31L, entirely cumulative, and worth 25% of your grade. You are allowed to bring with you one standard-size sheet of paper, on which you may record whatever notes you like. Both sides may be used. However, the notes must be your own creation; using a sheet of notes created by another student is prohibited.
Your written work (homework and lab reports) should be neat and complete, with the problems answered in the order they were assigned, and clearly marked. Staple your assignment into a single packet to be graded. If your paper is messy or disorganized from revisions, erasures, etc., then you may need to recopy it. Show your work, and give simplified answers. If a classmate were to read one of your solutions, she or he should be able to understand what the problem was and how you solved it. In other words, your solution should be well-written and self-explanatory. At the top of the first page of your assignment, write the short pledge
I have adhered to the Duke Community Standard.
and sign it (and print your name).
In the case of lab reports, each group submits a single report. Only group members who have contributed to the work may sign the pledge and write their names on it. They can not allow another group member, who has not contributed to the work, to sign or write his name.
You are encouraged to work with others on homework, as well. Here, however, you submit work individually, and the written work that you submit must be your own. In particular, you may not copy someone else's work or allow them to copy yours.
Late work? No. (Except in extreme circumstances beyond the student's control.)
Depending on time constraints, perhaps only a subset of your submitted work may be graded. In order to ensure full credit, do all of the assigned problems.
I want all of my students to work hard, learn a lot of math, and earn a good grade. Here are my recommendations:
You may also find the essay How To Study Calculus useful.
Here are some one-page reviews of basic topics that I wrote several years ago. It is difficult to learn math from such a terse treatment, but they may be useful in highlighting what I regard as the most important points to study. If you find yourself not understanding any of this material, then please come talk it over with me. (Some of the stuff on derivatives we haven't done yet.)
Here are the exams we've taken, both with and without answers, and some data about how the students performed. I want to stress that the letter grades here are approximate only. Letter grades are not really assigned until after the final exam, when all sections of Math 31L are compared against each other. Grades are listed here only to give you some idea of how you're performing; they do not constitute any guarantee of how your final grade might end up.
|Grade||Exam 1||Exam 2||Exam 3|