MATH 211 Brief Survey of Calculus

MATH 211 Brief Survey of Calculus

Section 002, Summer 2019

Instructor: Kevin McLeod
Office: EMS E481
Office hours: MTWR 4:00-4:50;
               (or by appointment)
Phone: 229-5269
Home page:
Class schedule: MTWR 5:00-7:15 PM, 05/28-07/06, PHY 152

Textbook: Hoffmann, Bradley, Sobecki & Price,
Calculus for Business, Economics, and the Social and Life Sciences (Brief Version, 11th edition).

Course description

The primary goal of this course is to provide you with the understanding of Calculus that you will need to progress through future college classes towards a successful completion of your degree program. A secondary goal is to introduce you to some beautiful and important mathematics. Thus, we will not simply practice algebraic procedures and computation: we will take time to understand why those procedures work, and to make sense of them. The only way to truly make sense of mathematics is to do mathematics, preferably in collaboration with other people. The course will therefore be taught on a `flipped classroom’ model: you will read the textbook as part of your homework assignments, and we will spend most of our class time working problems together. Attendance is therefore vital: you will not be able to make up for missed classes simply by working homework problems individually.

As far as mathematical content is concerned, we will cover most of the first 5 chapters of the textbook. (Chapter 1 is a review of algebra topics, and we will not spend much time on it, but we will discuss some topics that are particularly important for a good understanding of calculus.) Homework, both readings and problems, will be assigned in every class; there is not time for me to grade many problems, but I will generally collect one (or perhaps two) problems to be handed in each day, so that I can give you individual feedback on your progress. You should complete any assigned problems, whether or not they are collected, and meet with me in my office hours if you are having difficulty understanding the material or completing the assigned problems.

Mathematics does not consist entirely (or even mostly!) of computational procedures, however: true mathematics involves careful reasoning as much as it does computation. Throughout the course, we will be paying attention to the eight Mathematics Practice Standards from the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, which are also the Wisconsin State Standards. (The Wisconsin Department of Instruction has even prepared a nice graphic to serve as a reminder of these important mathematical ways of thinking.)

Class information and materials will be posted on the class website,, available through my home page, Any relevant information about the class, including homework, will be posted on the website, so you should get into the habit of checking it on a regular basis. If I find useful and relevant links during the semester, they will also be posted; if you find some yourself, please let me know. You are responsible for any information posted on the website, so please check it regularly.


Your grade for the course will be based on the following factors:

  • Homework You will be assigned homework after each class period. The homework may be given out in class, but will always be posted on the class website. Homework will usually consist of exercises from the primary text, some of which will be collected for feedback. Your homework grade will be based on completion, not correctness: this is your chance to learn from any mistakes you may make! 10%.
  • Exam 1 This will be a 1-hour exam, given on Monday, June 10. It will cover material from Chapters 1 and 2. 15%.
  • Exam 2 This will be a 1-hour exam, given on Monday, June 24. It will cover material from Chapters 1 through 4, with an emphasis on Chapters 3 and 4. 30%.
  • Final Exam This will be a 2-hour exam, given on Thursday, July 3. It will be a comprehensive exam, covering material from the whole semester. 35%.
  • Class participation 10%.

There will be no make-up for the final exam. You may have a make-up for either one of the other two exams (not both!) if I am convinced that you had a valid excuse for missing the original exam. The make-up must be taken within one week of the original exam, and will be an oral exam.

Average Time Investment

The amount of time that an average student should expect to spend on this class is as follows:

  • Classroom time (face to face instruction): 42 hours
  • Time taking exams: 4 hours
  • Time for preparation and study for exams: 16 hours
  • Time completing reading and other homework assignments: 110 hours

Total number of hours: 172.

Getting Help

Please think of me as your first source of assistance. There are other opportunities available to you on campus, however. In particular, the Department of Mathematical Sciences has extensive tutoring services—staffed by mathematics graduate students!— in EMS E425. The math department tutoring hours are MTWR 10:00 AM–8:00 PM and F 10:00 AM–2:00 PM. PASS, the University tutoring office also has walk-in tutoring thorughout the Summer. Their schedule is available at this web page.

Students with disabilities

If you feel you are a student with a disability, please meet with me as early as possible in the semester for any help or accommodation you may need.

University policies

You should keep yourself informed of important dates in the University calendar.

The Secretary of the University has a page dedicated to university policies for religious observances, grade appeal procedures, military service and other matters. You should also familiarize yourself with the information on the Dean of Students Office webpage concerning proper student conduct at the university, both academic and non-academic misconduct. You will be held responsible for
the information and policies contained at these links.

Finally, please note that I reserve the right to make changes to this syllabus in the event of a
disruption to normal classroom activities, or other needs that may arise during the semester.