Math 1A - Lecture 1 - Calculus

InstructorPaul Vojta
LecturesMWF 12:00–1:00 PM, Dwinelle 155
Course Control Number24775
Office883 Evans
E-Mailvojta@math.berkeley.edu
Office HoursMWF 10:30–11:30
PrerequisitesThree and one-half years of high school math, including trigonometry and analytic geometry. Students with high school exam credits (such as AP credit) should consider choosing a course more advanced than 1A.
Syllabus This is the syllabus for the course.
A two-page pdf file, containing a summary syllabus and a weekly schedule, is available at https://math.berkeley.edu/~vojta/1a/syll.pdf.
Required TextStewart, Single-Variable Calculus: Math 1A/1B (without enhanced webassign) 8th edition, You may also get the standard hardcover edition of Stewart, but only if it is the 8th edition and is the Early Transcendentals version. (It'll cost more, though.)

Older editions of Stewart won't work because exercise numbers, page numbers, etc. will be different.

Here is a copy of the table of contents of the textbook.

GradingGrading will be based on:
15%First midtermWednesday, February 23
20%Second midtermWednesday, April 6
25%Component from discussion section
40%Final examWednesday, May 11, 3–6 pm

The component from the discussion section is left to the discretion of the section leader, but it is likely to be determined primarily by WeBWorK and weekly quizzes.

I reserve the right to incorporate exam results in the section component of the grade, in case the GSI does not provide useful grades (e.g., gives everybody A's).

HomeworkHomework will consist of weekly assignments. Most of the homework consists of problems asked on a web-based system (WeBWorK). In addition, some supplemental exercises (those not suitable for automation) will need to be done on paper. More details are given below.
CommentsThis is the first semester of the year-long calculus sequence; this particular course is intended primarily for majors in engineering and the physical sciences. This semester's topics will include differentiation, transcendental functions, and integration. This web page contains the official detailed syllabus for the course. A summary syllabus, with a weekly schedule for the course, is available here as a two-page pdf.
Support
  • The Student Learning Center provides support for this class, including study groups, review sessions, and drop-in tutoring.
  • We will use the discussion forum Ed Discussions. (I'm told by a reliable source that it's better than Piazza.) To access it, click on the link on the left.

Homework

Weekly homework assignments will consist of an online part, plus some supplemental exercises from the book. The online part will use a web-based homework system called WeBWorK. Solutions to the even-numbered supplemental exercises will be posted on bCourses.

Although WeBWorK is very flexible, there are some types of exercises that cannot be done online (e.g., exercises that require any sort of explanation). Because of that, some exercises from the textbook will also be assigned. These are listed on the syllabus.

The WeBWorK assignment for week n will be due on Wednesday of week n+1 at 6am (so for practical purposes it's due Tuesday night of week n+1). As an exception, the due dates for WeBWorK assignments 5 and 10 will be different, so that you don't end up finishing a WeBWorK assignment the night before a midterm.

WeBWorK Information

To access the WeBWorK site, log in to bCourses and click on the webwork link. More details will be provided later.

Because bCourses handles logging in, bookmarking pages on WeBWorK will not work.

There is no separate "submit assignment" button on WeBWorK. Just make sure that you've pushed "Submit Answers" for each question. (Your score on the overall page for the assignment would show a smaller percent on any problem for which you have not done that.)

After the due date for an assignment has passed, you can see solutions for the problems in that assignment. To do that, navigate to a problem, check the box "Show solutions," and then click "Preview answers."

Additional information on WeBWorK is available on the web at the URL http://webwork.maa.org/wiki/Student_Information. Since bCourses will take care of logging in, you should ignore what it says about logging in and about changing your password.

Exams

Policies for exams are as follows.

The two midterms will be given during the normal class hours (12–1 pm), and will be in our normal classroom (155 Dwinelle) unless additional rooms are announced.

Generally, about a week before each exam, a sample exam will be distributed in class and posted on bCourses. This will usually be an exam from an earlier Math 1a class taught by the instructor. Sample exams should be used to get a general idea of the likely length of an exam and the general nature of questions to be asked (e.g., the balance between computational and more theoretical questions). However, one should not (for example) note that a sample exam contains questions on material from Sections 1.5, 2.1, 2.7, 3.1, 3.4, etc., and expect to see questions from those sections on the actual exam.

Exams are cumulative, so the second midterm may have questions from material prior to the first midterm. Of course, the final exam will cover the whole course, but will have increased emphasis on the material not covered on the midterms.

This course is in exam group 11: Wednesday, May 11, 3–6 pm. Do not enroll in this course if you cannot take the final exam at that date and time, whether because of a conflict, too many exams on that day, or any other reason. (For your other courses, check their respective syllabi, or see the Registrar's page https://registrar.berkeley.edu/scheduling/academic-scheduling/academic-scheduling-final-exam-guide-and-schedules/.)

Here is a link "How to lose marks on math exams" (by a former GSI Andrew Critch).

Previous Exams

Sample exams will be distributed in class shortly before each exam.

The Math Department maintains an archive of old exams (usually without answers). Here is the link for Math 1a.

First Midterm

The first midterm was given on Wednesday, February 23, at the normal class time (12:10–1:00 PM), in our normal classroom (155 Dwinelle), VLSB 2040, and VLSB 2060 It covered all material in the lectures and textbook, up to and including Section 3.2 (Product and Quotient Rules). It also covered WeBWorK assignments 1–5.

A sample exam, solutions to the sample exam, and solutions to the actual midterm, are available in the Files area of bCourses.

The rough curve for the midterm is as follows:

A46–75
B36–45
C26–35
D15–25

The median on the exam was 36, the mean was 35.6, and the standard deviation was 11.6.

Keep in mind that these letter grades are estimates only -- only the numbers are used to compute the final grade. While it is tempting to try to predict the course grade by assigning points to letter grades and forming a weighted average (similar to a GPA), this method tends to predict grades that are more moderate (closer to a B or C) than the actual course grade ends up being.

Make-Up First Midterm

A make-up midterm will be given on Wednesday, March 9, at the normal class time (12:10–1:00 PM), in VLSB 2060. It will cover all material in:

It is only for students who missed the actual first midterm. Any papers from students who took the first midterm already will not be graded.

The lecture on March 9 will still take place as usual. Students who take the make-up midterm are encouraged to watch the lecture video later that day or Thursday.

Second Midterm

The second midterm was given on Wednesday, April 6, at the normal class time (12:10–1:00 PM), in our normal classroom (155 Dwinelle) and an additional room. It covered all material in:

Note that we skipped Sections 3.11 (Hyperbolic functions) and 4.6 (Graphing with calculus and calculators), so those sections were not covered. Also, we didn't spend much time on Section 3.7 (Rates of change in the natural and social sciences), so that section was deemphasized.

Material from the first midterm (Sections 3.2 and earlier) was not directly addressed on this midterm, but material in those sections was still be relied on (this is unavoidable in mathematics), so you should be sure to know it well.

Here are the rules for the second midterm (they were printed on the first page of the exam booklet):

  1. Check that you have all 8 pages of this exam booklet.
  2. Be sure to show all your steps. In particular, a “yes” or “no” or numerical answer by itself is never sufficient. When in doubt, over-explain rather than under-explain.
  3. Calculators are not allowed.
  4. Check your work as time allows.
  5. You may not use anything that has not been covered in the course or its prerequisites.
(These are the same rules as appeared on the first page of the first midterm, except that the last rule no longer prohibits use of l'Hospital's rule. In fact, question 5 on the exam required use of l'Hospital's rule.)

This exam is worth 100 points.

A sample exam, solutions to the sample exam, and solutions to the actual midterm, are available in the Files area of bCourses.

The rough curve for the midterm is as follows:

A62–100
B39–61
C26–38
D11–25

The median on the exam was 39, the mean was 41.6, and the standard deviation was 21.9.

RRR Week

Lectures will be held in the usual time and place on May 2, 4, and 6 (RRR week). During that time we will review the course. Participation will be optional, but is recommended.

On Sunday, May 1, a sample final exam and a sheet of review exercises were posted on bCourses. Solutions to both will be posted on Friday or Saturday.

Office hours will continue as usual during RRR week (MWF 10:30–11:30) in the usual location (883 Evans).

Final Exam

The final exam was given on Wednesday, May 11, 3–6 PM.

It covered all material in the course. Roughly 45% of the exam was on material covered in earlier midterms, and 55% was on new material.

For a list of which sections of the book were covered, see the summary syllabus.

Here are the rules for the exam (they were printed on the first page of the exam booklet):

  1. Check that you have all 15 pages of this exam booklet.
  2. Be sure to show all your steps. In particular, a “yes” or “no” or numerical answer by itself is never sufficient. When in doubt, over-explain rather than under-explain. Exception: This rule does not apply to Question 5.
  3. Calculators are not allowed.
  4. Check your work as time allows.
  5. You may not use anything that has not been covered in the course or its prerequisites.
(These are the same rules as appeared on the first page of the second midterm, except that the second rule did not apply to Question 5.)

This exam is worth 200 points.

A sample exam, solutions to the sample exam, and solutions to the actual final exam, are available in the Files area of bCourses.

The rough curve for the final is as follows:

A126–200
B84–125
C51–83
D26–50

The median on the exam was 84, the mean was 88.0, and the standard deviation was 40.6.

Incomplete Grades

University Policies: Please, consult the University policies regarding incomplete grades.

Reasons for an Incomplete: An Incomplete "I" grade is rarely given. The only justifications for an "I" grade are:

Conditions for giving an Incomplete: When requesting an Incomplete, the student must:

For more information on Incomplete grades and the conditions on making them up, see the L & S Advising web page on Incomplete grades.

Last updated 18 May 2022