Math 131 - Syllabus



Quiz solutions














Math 131, January 12, 2009

Meeting times and locations
Lecture: 9:00 - 10:00    McDonnell 162    Russ Woodroofe (Instructor)
Discussion A:    9:00 - 10:00 January 10A Baili Min (TA)
Discussion B:    10:00 - 11:00 January 10A Baili Min (TA)
Discussion C:    12:00 - 1:00 Eliot 103 Baili Min (TA)

Web page:

Baili also maintains a web page for Discussion Section at
where quiz solutions and other helpful material will be posted.

Math 131 is Calculus I. Our starting problem will be finding a tangent to a curve. In order to solve this problem, we will introduce limits, and then derivatives. We will study several applications of derivatives. Later, we will use limits again to understand area, which will lead us to the idea of an integral. We will start study of integrals, although we will leave many topics for Calculus II!

The prerequisites is high school algebra and precalculus, including trigonometry. You should be comfortable with factoring polynomials, for example; and know the main facts about sines, cosines, exponentials, and logarithms.

Instructor:Teaching Assistant:
  Russ Woodroofe  Baili Min
  Cupples I 114  Lopata 323
  Office hours: Tues 1:00pm - 2:00pm
                        Thurs 1:30pm - 2:30pm + by appt
  Office hours: Wed 10:00am - 11:00am
                        Wed 1:00pm - 2:30pm
  russw at math,wustl,edu             minbaili at gmail,com

Hass, Weir, and Thomas, University Calculus Elements with Early Transcendentals
I will cover chapters 1-4 carefully, as shown in the schedule.

Class Format
In Lectures, I will discuss new material from the textbook. The course schedule will give you an estimate of where I will be in the book on any given day, although I may run slightly ahead or behind. Please read the relevent section before coming to class.

In Discussion Section you will do and discuss problems. Bring questions you may have.

Your regular attendance is expected in both Lecture and Discussion Section.

Assignments and Exams
Weekly problem sets will be graded on the WeBWorK system.
In addition, problems for each section are assigned on the course schedule. I will not collect these. Working them, on your own or with your classmates, may help you greatly.
There will be occasional quizzes in lectures and somewhat more frequent quizzes in discussion section. I will not give makeup quizzes, although I will drop the lowest score.

Math 131 will have 3 evening midterm exams and a final. See the course schedule.

Exam Policies
You may bring a 3x5 card to all exams as a cheat sheet.
Graphing and programmable calculators are not permitted on exams. You may use a simple calculator, but exam problems will not require one.

Exam Absences
The exam dates were set by the University well in advance, and you are expected to attend them at their scheduled time. If you are away due to a university sporting event, then you may arrange for your coach to administer the exam. Excused absences may be granted in case of severe illness, bereavement, or other extraordinary circumstances. All excused absences must be approved by Professor Blake Thornton.

Your course grade will be determined from the following components:
Midterm exams        15% each
Final exam25%

Class attendance and participation may be used to decide border cases.

The grading scheme will not be stricter than the following:
80-89        B

If you are taking the course Pass/Fail, you need to do the equivalent of C- work to pass.

Help Resources
There are a number of resources you can draw upon to help you succeed in the course.

First: you should seek out myself or Baili in office hours.
We are also happy to meet outside of office hours. You can stop by my office in room 114 of Cupples I; or, better, you can email myself or Baili to make an appointment.

Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL): is a voluntary study group program that is offered for Calculus 131/132/233. You can sign-up to be considered for a spot using the online application, which will close on Friday, January 16 at 5:00 pm:
An attempt will be made to accommodate all students who apply, but there are a limited number of spots available. If necessary, students will be selected via a lottery. Placement e-mails will be sent out by January 21, and the first group meetings will be the weekend of January 24/25. If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Kuehne,

There are also a variety of other resources available: a Calculus Help Room and mentoring at Cornerstore. See for details.

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