Instructor: Denis Auroux (auroux@math.berkeley.edu)

**Office:** 817 Evans.

**Office hours:** Mondays and Tuesdays, 10:30-12.

**Lectures:** Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 2–3pm, 155 Dwinelle

**Discussion sections:** Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays, at various times. See list.

See below for important **course information** and
**policies.**

# Course information and policies

**Section enrollment/changes** are performed via CalCentral. Instructors have no control over the enrollment
process. Due to serious issues with the new Student Information System's
waitlist handling, the math department no longer uses waiting lists for
lower-division classes; once the class fills up you will need to keep
checking in CalCentral and hope that some space opens up.

## Textbook

The textbook for Math 53 is:
**Stewart**, *Multivariable Calculus: Early Transcendentals,* UC
Berkeley custom edition, 8th edition, Cengage Learning. (ISBN: 978-1-305-75645-8)

This is a custom edition containing chapters 10 and 12-16 of Stewart's
"Calculus: Early Transcendentals", 8th edition; the regular edition is
also fine. The 7th edition is also acceptable, but you will need to
watch for differences in the numbering of assigned homework problems.

**Other resources:**

**Video lectures:**
MIT's OpenCourseWare project has a nice set of
video lectures for MIT's multivariable calculus class, taught by
a familiar instructor. The overall course topics are roughly the same,
but they are covered in a different order and not quite in the same
manner, so don't use this as a replacement for attending lectures!
There are also various sets of video lectures for Berkeley's Math 53.
**Student Learning Center:**
The Student Learning
Center offers an adjunct course and drop-in tutoring for this class.

## Grading and course policy

Weekly homework and quizzes 25%; two midterms 25% each; final exam 25%; the lowest
midterm can be dropped and replaced by the final exam grade. There will be
**no make-up exams**. This grading policy allows you to miss one midterm, but check
your schedule to make sure you have no conflict for the final exam.

Make sure to read the detailed **course
policy** for important information.

# Frequently asked questions

*Q: I really want to get into the class,
but the sections that fit my schedule are full, please help me!*

A: Instructors have no control over the enrollment process. I cannot get
you into the class magically if it is full. Keep in mind that, even if
there is space in the lecture, you cannot enroll in a discussion section
that is full. Due to serious issues with the new Student Information System's
waitlist handling, the math department no longer uses waiting lists for
lower-division classes; once the class fills up you will need to keep
checking in CalCentral and hope that some space opens up.

If you really need to take this class, you should look for any remaining
spaces at the less popular discussion section times, or
look into Math 53 Section 2 with Prof. Frenkel,
and/or consider rearranging your schedule of classes as needed.
The math department is aware that both sections of
Math 53 are full as of mid-July, and is working to add sections. See

this page for updates on the department's attempts
to keep up with demand.
Keep checking CalCentral regularly to see if any space has opened up;
there is always a bit of movement at the start of the semester, though
I do expect that many discussion sections will remain full.
In cases of genuine hardship (rather than personal preference), try
to meet with a student services advisor to discuss your scheduling
constraints; the math department's advisors are in 964-965 Evans.

*Q: Can I attend a different discussion
section than the one I'm registered for, which doesn't fit my schedule?*

A: Unfortunately not. GSIs for this class already face a very heavy
workload, and cannot reasonably be asked to deal with additional students.
In addition, many discussion classrooms are not large enough to accommodate
extra students.

*Q: Can I use an older edition of the
textbook?*

A: The 7th edition of Stewart is fine; watch for alternative problem
numbers in footnotes of homework assignments. The non-"early
transcendentals" version should also be okay, you will just need to shift
all chapter numbers by one (and adjust page numbers).
Older editions of Stewart are not recommended
because you'll need to borrow someone else's book to figure out what problems are assigned.

*Q: I don't have my final exam schedule
yet. How can I tell if there is a conflict?*

A: As a general rule, final exams for classes with lectures at different
times in the week are scheduled at different times during finals week.
See the

registrar's website for final exam groups.
Final exams for MWF 2-3pm classes are scheduled for Tuesday Dec 12,
11:30-2:30pm. If you don't have a conflict for the lecture then you
shouldn't have a conflict for the final. Unfortunately, the math
department does not have the resources to provide alternative exam times;
if you are worried about multiple back-to-back finals, check your schedule
carefully and make the necessary adjustments to your course selections.

*Q: What are your policies about
assignments, midterms, and grading?*

A: See

**here**.

*Q: Why is the homework harder than the
quizzes and midterms?*

A: Quizzes test your ability to quickly apply the concepts
seen in class to routine problems. Homework is an occasion to think more deeply about the
material, going slightly beyond the content of the lectures and exams.
This is key to achieving a greater level of understanding, and to ensuring
that you really master the concepts. This difference is also the reason why
quizzes take place before the homework due date: by Monday you should
have reviewed the week's material, attempted the homework problems, and solved at least the
straightforward ones, but the more challenging homework problems may require some
clarifications from your GSI in Monday's discussion or in office hours.

*Q: Do you have any study tips?*

A: First and foremost, stay on top of the material. If you fall behind, it
is very hard to catch up in this class. Do the homework in installments,
attempting it early on so you can ask questions at the Friday and Monday
discussions if needed. Make use of resources available to you: office hours
(both mine and your GSI's), study groups, etc. If you need extra help,
look into extra resources such as the

Student Learning Center. If you work with others,
make sure that you arrive at your own understanding and can do the
work yourself (you'll be on your own for exams!).

If you are worried about
exam stress or time pressure on midterms and final exams, practice under real conditions,
with a timer and without study materials, possibly together with a
classmate, whenever you get the chance.
Try to finish your GSI's weekly quizzes as fast as you can (then use
the leftover time to make sure you got it right). Replicating test-taking
situations as closely as possible even when you are not taking a test
can go a long way towards overcoming testing anxiety.

After quizzes and midterms, review your answers to understand what you
missed: not just what
the correct solution was, but also how you went wrong, what clues in
the statement of the problem or along your path of solution should have
alerted you that something was wrong, or, if you were stuck, how you should
have gotten started. Ask yourself if there were multiple ways to approach
the question -- which ones were correct, which ones weren't, and why.
And, once again, if you are confused
about something, ask about it in office hours, in discussion, etc.

*Q: Are grades curved?*

A: Yes and no. Curves are used to compare scores on midterms and
on the final, and to adjust for their relative difficulty levels,
so that "dropping the lowest midterm" means
the midterm on which you performed worst relatively to the class as
a whole.
Curves are also used to adjust quiz scores so that
discussion sections with harder quizzes are not penalized. See

detailed policy.
On the other hand,
overall course grades are not curved on any fixed scale, and the
grade cut-offs are not predetermined in any manner. If the class performs
strongly as a whole, there will be more A's. However,
the grade distribution is usually centered on B-, consistent with
other lower-division math classes. Please do not try
to second-guess the grading process, instead ask me if you think there may
be an error and want a detailed accounting of your grade in the course.

# Exams

There will be two midterms, on **Monday 10/2 and Wednesday 11/15 (2-3pm)** in the usual lecture room.

The final exam will be on **Tuesday December 12, 11:30-2:30pm.**

Practice exams and solutions to midterms will be posted here.
I recommend that you first review the material carefully, and only
attempt the practice midterms, with the indicated time limits, once
you feel ready. Attempting a practice midterm under conditions that closely
replicate an actual exam (closed book, no documents, with time limit) is
a good way to prepare, but only works if you already know the material.

**Midterm 2 score distribution:** the quartiles are 57, 71, 83.
(i.e.: 25% of the class got above 83, 25% got between 71 and 83, 25% got
between 57 and 71, 25% got below 57). Individual scores and graded papers
can be found in Gradescope. A very rough estimate of what this might mean
in terms of letter grades: cut-off between A- and B+ = somewhere around
83-85; cut-off between B- and C+ somewhere around 64-66; cut-off between C-
and D somewhere around 48-50.

**Midterm 1 score distribution:** the quartiles are 60, 76, 86.
(i.e.: 25% of the class got above 86, 25% got between 76 and 86, 25% got
between 60 and 76, 25% got below 60). Individual scores and graded papers
can be found in Gradescope. A very rough estimate of what this might mean
in terms of letter grades: cut-off between A- and B+ = somewhere around
86-88; cut-off between B- and C+ somewhere around 68-70; cut-off between C-
and D somewhere around 52-54.

Remember your lowest midterm score will be dropped and replaced by your
final exam score if that one is better; make sure to go over the things you
missed, review any concepts that may be giving you trouble.