Math 5: Calculus I (Fall 2001)

We are swimming upstream against a great torrent of disorganization,which tends to reduce everything to the heat-death of equilibrium and samenessdescribed in the second law of thermodynamics.  What Maxwell, Boltzmann,and Gibbs meant by this heat-death in physics has a counterpart in theethics of Kierkegaard, who pointed out that we live in a chaotic moraluniverse.  In this our main obligation is to establish arbitrary enclavesof order and system.  Norbert Wiener




This is the homepage for Math 5, Calculus I (MWF 9:30 - 10:20 inTrotter 303), taught by Jim Wiseman, Fall 2001.

Office: 3 Whittier Place, Room 255, 690-5763.


Office hours:  Monday 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. (all classes), Thursday2:00 - 3:00 p.m. (5 only)

Text book: Hughes-Hallett et al., Calculus,third edition,available at the bookstore.

Plan:  We'll cover chapters 2-6, omitting a few sections. Most days I'll lecture, but some days we'll do group workshops.  Amore detailed schedule is at, but it's subject to change.  In particular, we'll probably do shortworkshops on some lecture days, and short lectures on some workshop days.

Homework:  Working problems is vital to learning math; therewill be homework assignments nearly every class day.  Wednesday'sassignments are due at the beginning of class on Friday; Friday's and Monday'sassignments are due at the beginning of class on Wednesday.  Assignmentswill be posted at you are responsible for checking the assignments, as I won't give themin class.  It's very important that you keep up with the homework: if you haven't figured out Monday's lecture, Wednesday's will probablybe pretty frustrating.

Group work:  I strongly encourage you to work on the homeworkin groups.  I suggest that you work on the problems by yourself first,making a note of anything giving you trouble; then meet with your groupand work through the remaining problems together; and finally write upthe solutions by yourself.
    Every group member must write up his or her ownsolutions independently; just copying the group's (or the solution manual's)answers is plagiarism and is unacceptable.

Getting help:  As Talking Barbie says, "Math class is tough." (Unless she's the hacked version - then she says, "Eat lead, Cobra.") Chances are that sooner or later you'll get stuck on something, so don'tget frustrated.  Think hard, and if you're still stuck, do somethingelse for a while.  (It's amazing how often that works.)
    My office hours are above - these are times whenI'm guaranteed to be in my office and willing to talk.  If you wantto see me at other times, the best thing to do is to set up an appointmentwith me by email or after class.  Of course, you're welcome to justdrop by my office, as long as you don't mind if I'm not there or don'thave time to talk.
    A good resource is the MathClinic in Cornell Library, which runs Sunday-Thursday, 7 - 10 pm.
    Finally, I can't emphasize enough that your classmatesare your best source of help.

Grading:  Homework 15%, each midterm 25%, final 35%

Exam schedule:

Late work and make-ups:  Late homework won't be accepted, andyou won't be allowed to make up missed exams, except under veryexceptional circumstances (e.g., the sasquatch attacks - and even thenyou should get a note from the sasquatch).  In the case of a conflictthat you absolutely can't resolve, you may arrange to take a midterm examearly.

Feedback:  I'm very interested in your feedback throughoutthe class:  what you like, what you don't, what's working for you,what isn't - anything that you think might help me make the course better. If you have any comments (and you probably should), the easiest thing todo is to talk to me (or send email) about them.  If you want to remainanonymous, you can fill out the anonymous feedback form on my feedbackpage.

Webpage: Please check my webpage for updated information.

Jim Wiseman
Department of Mathematicsand Statistics
Swarthmore College
500 College Avenue
Swarthmore, PA 19081