Sunday, August 24, 2008

Teach to learn

If you're a calculus student and it fits into your schedule, consider being a student tutor this semester. The math department always has need for students to work as peer tutors in the Math Learning Center and the Learning Resource Center. Calculus students are especially encouraged to work as student tutors because they are familiar with more of the math curriculum than other students.

There's no better way to sharpen your math skills than to explain to other students how to solve problems. I heartily recommend it!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Math 402 (Summer 2008): Course grades

The final exam has been graded and I've double-checked the scores. Congratulations on an impressive class average of 82.9% (which was sweetened only slightly by my making it possible to score up to 105% on the final exam, which one student actually did). The course grades are shown below. The format is the same as what I've been using for the grade distributions that were posted in the back of our classroom. The only difference is the addition of a column for the final exam score and editing the grade formula to take the final into account. Your composite course score is based 15% on the homework/quiz score, 70% on the chapter tests (omitting your lowest score), and 15% on the final exam.

Thank you for a very interesting summer session. I wish everyone continued success as your education progresses and I want you to know that you are welcome to call upon me if you need letters of recommendation in the future. You know where to find me, I'm sure.

The solution key for the final exam has also been posted. I hope it clears up any remaining questions you might have.

[Click on the grade chart if it's too small for you to read.]

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Math 402 (Summer 2008): Bonus problem

I'll add ten points to your quiz score if you write out a neat solution to the following and hand it in on Thursday:

Parameterize the sphere ρ = a in terms of φ and θ. Use the parameterization to find dS for the sphere. (Don't forget to include and θ in your final answer.)

A good way to check your result is to see whether the integration of 1 over the entire sphere produces the correct value for its surface area. Or use it to see if you get the right answer (10π) for Quiz 32.

Friday, June 06, 2008

An invitation to stroll through calculus

Summer session has begun and I have posted a pdf of the first part of the book manuscript for A Stroll through Calculus. (To download it, just click on the filename in the widget in the left sidebar.) It's a casual introduction to the ideas behind calculus and is written at a deliberately nontechnical level. I wrote it to help people get some notion why calculus is so powerful and what its fundamental concepts are. The book begins with a discussion of measuring area and how one can generalize this notion to cover a broad range of useful computations.

Anyone who wants to take a look at it is welcome to download the 1.3 megabyte file and peruse it at leisure. I would, however, greatly appreciate hearing what people think of it. Use the button in the left sidebar to e-mail me with feedback.