Math 251A, Fall 2017
Math 251A is the honors section, offered through the Honors College,
of first semester calculus. Math 251A covers the same material as the
standard first semester calculus course, Math 241, the primary
difference being the level of sophistication. In the honors section
there is less emaphasis on calculation and more on theory, including
mathematically precise definitions and reasoning. For example, you
may be asked to explain or illustrate a definition or a theorem, as
opposed to perform a calculation.
We meet four times each week: lectures are on Monday - Wednesday -
Friday, from 9:30 to 10:20 in Keller Hall 413; the teaching assistant
John (Curlee) Robertson leads the recitation period on Wednesday from
8:30 to 9:20 in Keller Hall 404. Attendance at both lectures and
recitations is mandatory; although we will not monitor attendance
students who attend class regularly tend to receive better grades.
In all class meetings I ask you to be respectful of your
fellow students and instructor. For example, to minimize
- turn off your cell phone (or at least the ringer) during class
- further, do not use your cell phone for any reason
- do not get up and leave in the middle of class, except in an emergency
- if you know you will have to leave early, notify the
instructor in advance and sit near the exit so as not to disturb
others when you leave
- etcetera, ...
Our textbook is University Calculus, by Joel Hass, Maurice
Weir and George Thomas, from Addison/Wesley Publishers. It is
available for purchase at the bookstore. Mathematics textbooks can be
quite expensive and University Calculus is no exception.
However, since we will not be using the associated online homework
system, a second hand copy (of the same edition) could suffice. Also,
on the bright side, the cost is mitigated by the fact that you will
use this text for the entire calculus sequence, Math 251A - 253A.
Both Curlee and I will have several office hours each week, and I
really encourage you to stop in and ask us questions. My office is
PSB 409 and my office hours are MF 2:30 - 3:30 and W 10:30 - 11:30;
Curlee's office is Keller 404E, and once he sets his office hours I
will post them here.
While our office hours are your first resort, you can also
in Bilger, which is staffed with tutors able
to help you with all of your science classes, including mathematics,
chemistry, etc. Finally, the
Student Success Center
in Sinclair Library offers one-on-one
tutoring by appointment. Follow the links for hours of operation and
Your course grade will be determined by in-class exams (3 at 15% of
your course grade each), a final exam (30% of your course grade),
and a recitation grade (25% of your course grade).
There will be three exams, and these are tentatively
scheduled for September 20, October 25 and November 17; precise dates for the
exams will be announced in class approximately one week in advance.
Make-up exams will only be given in unusual circumstances, with one
week prior notification (or in the event of an emergency, strong
supporting documentation). Not attending class, and hence not being
present when an exam is announced or adminstered is not an acceptable
A comprehensive and common final exam will be given during the final
exam period. Comprehensive means that the exam covers the entire
semester. Common means that every section of Math 241 and 251 will
take the same exam. Neither Curlee nor I will see the exam before
classes end. There are two important sources of practice for the
Math 241 review problems.
The Registrar has scheduled the final exam for Wednesday, Dec. 13,
12:00 - 2:00. Do not make plans to leave the islands before Dec. 13:
the final exam cannot be given early to accommodate travel plans.
Your recitation grade will be a combination of written homework,
quizzes and worksheets. Homework will be assigned after each lecture,
graded and returned in a timely fashion. It will be
posted on this web site, on which
the homework policy is described in greater detail. The recitation
instructor, Curlee, will provide you with details on the other
components of your recitation grade.
In the end, your grade will be the product of how well you understand
the course material, and how well you communicate that understanding
on written exams and assignments. If you are having trouble following
along in lecture or recitation, or your scores are not what you would
like, it is up to you
to seek advice and help. Come to speak
with me or Curlee and, for our part, we will do everything we can to
help you achieve your goals in the class.
It goes without saying that all academic work should be done with the
high levels of honesty and integrity that this University
demands. Cheating will not be tolerated. It is your responsibility to
ensure that you do not copy from another student, or let another
student copy from you.
Please read the following on
for a similar message with more detail.
Last modified: Sat Aug 19 11:50:35 HST 2017