MT A132-01 Survey of Calculus


This section of the course (Spring 2001) meets MWF 9-9:50AM in Ritter Hall 134.

General Description

Calculus is a clever way of studying functions. It is a particularly pleasing way of studying functions because one can get some understanding of its most basic concepts by staring at a graph of a function (e.g. a tangent line to a graph or the concavity of a graph, terms which I will explain very early in the course). Calculus ranks up there with fire, the wheel, and the modern electronic computer as one of the great discoveries of humanity because of its many applications to difficult problems in economics, life sciences, social sciences, engineering, and even within mathematics itself. I will focus on such applications during the course. The image above illustrates another of the nice geometric ideas which will arise: the method of Riemann sums for computing the area under a graph.

Here is the course schedule which gives the specific topics to be covered and corresponding section numbers in the book.

There is also a very terse course description contained in the SLU Undergraduate Catalog (PDF format). The course prerequisite is MT A120 College Algebra or three and a half years of high school mathematics.

Textbook Information

The required text for the course is Calculus: Applications and Technology for business, social and life sciences, 2nd ed. by Edmond C. Tomastik (Professor Emeritus at the University of Connecticut). Students can get the text from the SLU Bookstore. There is also a Student Solutions Manual available.

Graphing Calculator

Because we will be approaching calculus from the graphical point-of-view suggested above, you are required to have a graphing calculator for this course. We strongly recommend the TI-82 or TI-83 (the TI-81 is unfortunately not adequate). For students who haven't used these calculators in previous courses, there will be Graphing Calculator Workshops held early in the semester (TBA). Optional equipment which you'll probably want: translucent colored slide cases so you look fashionable in calculus class.

Homework and Exams

There will be some homework problems every week, unless otherwise indicated. Here is the latest homework assignment. You are encouraged to discuss homework problems with your classmates, but each student should prepare his or her own set of solutions.

There will be three in-class exams given February 9th, March 7th, and April 11th; together these exams make up 50% of your final grade. The final exam is scheduled for Monday, May 7th from 8:00-9:50AM; it is comprehensive and is worth 35% of your final grade. Class participation (group work) accounts for the remaining 15%. Make-up exams will not be given. The College of Arts & Sciences has a policy concerning academic honesty with which you should be familiar.

Getting help