Overview of Course Policy
Course policy for these sections follow largely the uniform syllabus except as noted below.
Lectures take place M W F 12:40p-1:30p in B117 Well Hall, and will be led by Prof. Mark Iwen and Prof. Willie Wong.
Recitations take place on Tuesday afternoons, see the recitation page for more info.
Anatomy of Lectures
- Students are highly encouraged to preview the course material to be covered in lecture prior to coming to class. We will follow the announced course schedule. This can be done by either
- skimming through the relevant section(s) in the supplementary textbook, or
- watching the MTH133 course videos.
- The first 5 - 10 minutes of class will be devoted to answering student questions. When many students have questions, preference will be given to answering questions concerning that day's topic, from students who have previewed the course material. If we cannot get to your question, please send us an e-mail or visit our office hours.
- This will be followed by a 20 - 30 minute lecture on the topic of the day, during which a number of examples will be worked.
- The final 10 - 15 minutes of most lectures will be devoted to an In-Lecture Group Quiz, on the topics covered that day during lecture. There will be 30 - 35 group quizzes in all during the semester.
- The quiz will be taken in groups of up to three students. Please arrange your group before the start of class as you enter the classroom. Extra time will not be allotted for students to form groups right before the quiz.
- Blank answer sheets will be provided in front of the classroom. Each group only needs to have one answer sheet. Please pick up an answer sheet before start of class.
- On the answer sheets make sure to record the date, as well as the names and section numbers of all members of your group.
- The quiz question(s) will be either shown on the black board or projected on the screen in the classroom.
- The quiz ends at the end of class. Please turn in your answer sheets to the lecturer before you leave.
- The groups quizzes are open everything: you may use your book, your notes, or even raise your hand to ask help from the instructor. The goal is for you to work together with your friends to try your hand at solving a math problem, and to double check whether you understood the course material.
- The quizzes will be graded on a scale of 0 - 1:
- 0: absent / turning in a blank sheet / turning in something obviously not relevant to the course material
- 1: made an honest effort toward answering the quiz question
In addition to the (highly recommended) supplementary textbook, and WeBWorK access as noted on the course website, you will also need, for the Labs,
- (required) a laptop computer with WiFi access,
- (required) an activated MathWorks account, and
- (highly recommended) a working installation of the MATLAB software.
The MathWorks Account and MATLAB software are available to all student of MSU free of charge; follow the instructions on our MATLAB Guide to set-up.
The standard MTH133 attendance policies are in effect. For grading purposes, our policy on make-up/retakes are as follows:
- In-Lecture Group Quizzes: no make-ups will be given for In-Lecture Group Quizzes. The five lowest grades will be dropped to account for most special circumstances, including short-term illnesses. Additional excused absences are granted for university sanctioned events, religious holidays, military obligation, late add, and grief absences; in these cases missed group quizzes will be dropped from the computation of end-of-semester grade.
- Labs: no make-ups will be given for Labs. The lowest grade of the 7 labs will be dropped to account for most special circumstances, including short-term illnesses. Additional excused absences are granted for university sanctioned events, religious holidays, military obligation, late add, and grief absences; in these cases missed labs will be dropped from the computation of end-of-semester grade.
- Mini-Tests: no make-ups are typically given for Mini-Tests. The lowest grade of the 5 mini-tests will be dropped to account for most special circumstances, excluding short-term illnesses. Additional excused absences are granted for university sanctioned events, religious holidays, military obligation, late add, grief absences, and medical emergencies. Excepting medical emergencies, absences need to be communicated to the course instructors in advance of the missed Mini-Tests. Instructors will work with the student to determine an appropriate course of action.
- Exam review worksheets: no make-ups will be given. Exam review worksheets are not graded, but attendance will be taken. See the section on grading for more information.
- The course-wide retake policy for quizzes are not in effect, as our sections do not have weekly quizzes; note however our makeup/retake policy for In-lecture group quizzes, Labs, and Mini-tests, closely mirror that of the course-wide policy for quizzes linked above.
The standard MTH133 grading policies largely applies, with the following modifications:
- Grades will be based on
- 8% WeBWorK
- 4% In-Lecture Group Quizzes / Attendance
- 6% Labs
- 12% Mini-Tests
- 20% Each of the midterms
- 30% Final exam
- The lowest five In-Lecture Group Quiz scores (which includes attendance) will be dropped from computation of final grade. The remainder will be averaged and scaled to make up 4% of your course grade.
- Similarly, the lowest (out of seven) Lab score and the lowest (out of five) Mini-Test score will be dropped from computation of the final grade.
- You must take the final exam to pass the course.
- The uniform grading scale (as posted here) for converting between numerical grade and a grade on the MSU 4.0 scale is applied to our sections.
- The general WeBWorK information and instruction are unchanged.
- Information concerning the uniform midterm and final exams are unchanged.
- Information concerning extra credit opportunities (including the course survey and student remediation policy) are unchanged.
In addition to the student remediation policy for Exams, we also have a remediation policy for Mini-Tests:
- Students who attend the Exam 1 Group Worksheet Day (in other words, come to recitation/lab on Tuesday 2/19), will receive a refund of 10% of the points deducted on Mini-Tests 1 and 2.
- Students who attend the Exam 2 Group Worksheet Day (in other words, come to recitation/lab on Tuesday 4/9), will receive a refund of 10% of the points deducted on Mini-Tests 3 and 4.
- Example: if you received a 52% and 60% respectively on Mini-Tests 1 and 2, and you come to the Group Worksheet day, when computing your final grade we will treat it as if you got a 56.8% on Mini-Test 1 and 64% on Mini-Test 2. This is because for Mini-Test 1 you were deducted 48% of all available points, so you get back 4.8%; for Mini-Test 2 you were deducted 40% and get back 4%.
You can check your component grades on the student portal. We have a tool to estimate your final percentage grade [Ed 2019.06.01: link removed] and help you keep track of your current performance in the class.
Anonymous Comment Box
We welcome your feedback concerning the organization and the running of this course. This is the third year we are running a Calculus II class with integrated computational mathematics aspects. The format of the class changed a lot since the first time we did it, in large part due to the feedback we got from students that took previous versions. Your ideas and experiences will help us further improve the class.
To facilitate feedback, we've set up an Anonymous Comment Box [Ed 2019.06.01: link removed]. Please feel free to send us comments about all aspects of the course:
- ... one particular lecture is super confusing to you? Let us know!
- ... you feel inspired by something we said in class? Let us know!
- ... campus WiFi suddenly stopped working for 10 minute in the middle of Lab? Let us know!
- ... you feel very well-prepared by the Mini-Tests come exam time? Let us know!
- ... you completely don't see the point of a particular Lab? Let us know!
- ... you have a suggestion about how to better organize WeBWorK? Let us know!
The Anonymous Comment Box will ask you to authenticate using your MSU NetID. This is only to make sure the comments come from members of the Spartan Community. Rest assured that your NetID is in no-way recorded by the Google Form, and your comments will remain completely anonymous.
That said, if you do have a question that requires an answer, please do not use the comment box, and instead send us an e-mail or visit our office hours.
Please consult the uniform syllabus for information regarding Academic Honesty, Classroom Policies, Limits to Confidentiality, Accommodations for Students with Disabilities, and Grief Absence.
Tips for success
- Make a date of it: statistics gathered from prior semesters show that students who study and work on homework in groups outside of class perform 15% better on exams.
- Don't fall behind: keep a regimented schedule; budget at least six to eight hours of time per week to review course material and work on homework exercises.
- Not sure if you got it?: Many of the odd-numbered exercise questions in your textbook have answers in the back. Test yourself frequently with it, and if you got it wrong: bring your work and ask an instructor after-class or in office-hours.
- Spread-out the work load: it is much more effective to do a little bit (say, 1 hour?) of calculus everyday instead of bunching up your study and reviewing.
- Think and study efficiently: you are encouraged to watch this series of five short videos by University of Texas professor Michael Starbird. He gives some great suggestions on how to better think, learn, and study overall. Following his tips you should be able to learn more efficiently across the board, and not just in math.