Math 104 - Calculus II - Course Policies

Overview | Goals and Expectations | Working with Other Students | Evaluation
Reading Assignments | Group Projects | Exams | Antidifferentiation Exam
Homework | Attendance | Getting Help


This course is a continuation of the topics covered in Calculus I. One of the most fundamental, and most slippery, topics in mathematics is the relationship between the finite and the infinite. A recurring theme throughout the semester will be the relationship between an approximation and the exact value. We will spend quite a bit of time this semester trying to determine just how good any approximation is. One of the most beautiful aspects of calculus is that by taking better and better approximations and extending from the finite to the infinite, we will often be able to find a precise solution.

Many of the topics we will cover this semester allow us to solve many problems that do not seem to be immediately related to calculus. Here are just a few:

  • How much foam goes into a Nerf football?
  • If you look in the front cover of the text, it will tell you that the volume of a sphere of radius r is 4/3 * Pi r3. Why is this correct?
  • If you ask Maple (or your calculator) for the value of Pi , it will tell you that PI is approximately 3.141592654. How do we know that? In the same way, e is approximately 2.718281828. Why?
  • A company manufactures corrugated tin for roofing by taking a flat piece of tin and pressing it until it is wavy. If it wants to produce corrugated pieces that are 10 feet wide, how wide should the flat pieces be to begin with?
  • We will show how to design an apartment building that has a center wall which is infinitely long (and has infinite area), but the building itself has finite volume. In other words, all the tenants can move into the building, but the workers will never finish painting the hallway!

Course Goals and Expectations

Two of the goals of this course are that you learn to read a math text and that you learn to communicate mathematics with other students. Mathematics is a very personal discipline that is best learned by doing rather than by observing.

Therefore, the class will be structured with some lectures to emphasize particular topics, but much of the time will be spent on in-class work. The class meetings are not intended to be a complete encapsulation of the course material - There will be material in the text for which you are responsible that we will not cover in class.

You will have a reading assignment for nearly every class meeting, and it is extremely important that you complete the reading before the next class meeting!

You should expect to put in approximately 2 hours outside of class for each hour in class. In other words, expect to spend at least 8 hours per week on Calculus II outside of class. There will be some weeks where you spend more time (e.g. working on projects or preparing for exams), and there may be some weeks where you do not spend the full 8 hours.

Working with Other Students

Many of the assignments this term will be group assignments where you will work in groups of two or three (of your choosing). Each assignment will receive a grade, and the group will determine how the points are allocated to each member. For example, if a group of three receives an 85 on an assignment, then the group will have 3 x 85=255 points to distribute among them. I will be available to mediate this process, if necessary.


Your final grade will be determined by
    Reading Assignments 5%
    Three Group Projects 20%
    Three In-Class Exams 40%
    Antidifferentiation Exam 10%
    Comprehensive Takehome Final Exam 15%
    Homework 10%

Reading Assignments

I will put a copy of each reading assignment on the Math 104 homepage. Each assignment will indicate which parts of the section are especially important and which can be skipped. Each assignment will also have two or three questions that you should be able to answer after you have read the section.

See the Guidelines for Submitting Reading Assignments for more information.

Group Projects

There will be three group projects assigned during the semester. You will have two class periods to work together on the project, and your written report will be due a week or so later (see the syllabus for specific dates).

One of the main goals of the projects is that you learn to communicate mathematics precisely, both verbally with your group and in writing. The reports should be written in complete sentences explaining the results and major ideas involved. You may divide the writing of the report in whatever way is agreeable to the group, but everyone should completely understand the whole of the paper. Further, each member should proofread the entire paper for consistency and typos. I will give you a handout that explains my expectations for the written reports in more detail.


The dates for the exams are given on the syllabus. I will give you a set of sample problems before each exam, and we will have a question and answer session before each exam to discuss the sample problems.

For each exam, you will be allowed to bring an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper, handwritten on one side, which you will turn in with the exam.

The final will be a takehome exam and is due Monday, May 17.

Antidifferentiation Exam

One of the fundamental skills you will learn this semester is antidifferentiation, or finding an antiderivative of a function. The Antidifferentiation Exam will consist of four or five problems and is graded with no partial credit. You either get every problem correct, or you get no credit for the exam. However, you may retake a similar exam as many times as you need until you pass.

The Antidifferentiation Exam will be given in class on March 5. If you pass the Exam (or any version of it) on or before March 26, you will receive the full 10% credit. After that date (until the end of classes on May 11), you will receive 5%. You are not allowed to take the exam after the end of classes.


Homework will be collected every Wednesday. Three or four problems will be graded from each assignment, with each problem graded fairly leniently and assigned a score of 0, 1, or 2. The most important aspect of the homework is that you make an effort on every problem.

The homework assignments will alternate between Individual assignments and Group assignments. For the Group assignments, each group will turn in one paper. On each assignment, one student will be designated as the primary author who writes-up the solutions. The role of primary author must rotate among the members of the group.

For the Individual assignments, I encourage you to work with other students, but each person must turn in a separate paper.

Here are a few guidelines for the presentation of your homework. If you do not follow these, I reserve the right to return your homework ungraded!

  • Your writing must be clear and legible.
  • Your homework should be well-written, using complete sentences to justify your results where necessary.
    A list of answers without explanation is not acceptable.
  • Here is a good rule of thumb to follow when writing up your homework:
    Write your solutions so that you could hand them to a student in a different section of Calc~II and she could understand your explanation.
  • If you write in pen, there should be no scratch-outs.
  • Do not turn in paper torn from a spiral notebook with ragged edges.
  • Clearly label each problem.
In order to give you some time to look over your assignment after you have asked questions, I will leave 10 minutes of class on Monday for homework questions. The homework is due in my office by 4:00 on Wednesday. Be aware that
Late homework is not accepted!! No exceptions!!
You will be allowed to drop one individual assignment and one group assignment at the end of the semester.

Class Attendance

Although class attendance is not a specified percentage of your grade, I will keep a class roll to help me determine borderline grades at the end of the semester. If you do miss class, you are responsible for the material that was covered.

Getting Help

Please come see me during my office hours! If you have a conflict and cannot make my office hours, please call or email me and we can set up an appointment for another time.

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Last modified: Wednesday, January 20, 1999, 11:08 AM