Math 131, Fall 2013

 Calculus I

Instructor          John E. McCarthy
Class                  MWF 10.00-11.00 in Brown 118; or 11.00-12.00 in Brown 118.
Office                105 Cupples I
Office Hours     McCarthy: M 1-2, W 2-3, 12-1.
Phone                 935-6753

TA's:                Genival Fernandes da Silva
                          Alexandru Papiu
                          Ben Passer
                          Tian Wang


Text                 Single Variable Calculus 7E Early Transcendentals Hybrid  by J. Stewart,  Chapters 1-4

                       You need to purchase a WebAssign Access key for the homework assignments. You can get this bundled with the book,
                        or purchase it separately.

                        Instructions on how to enroll in WebAssign are at   
                        To enroll in WebAssign, you also need a course key. Make sure you enter the key for the

                        Section in which you are enrolled:
                        Course Key for Section 1 (meets 10-11): wustl 8952 8481
                        Course Key for Section 2 (meets 11-12): wustl 0332 5773

                        The non-hybrid version of Stewart has the same text, but more printed exercises. You don't need the extra exercises with WebAssign, but if you
                        can find a copy cheaply, you can get it instead.


Do not get the Solutions Manual. This is not just a waste of money, it is Kryptonite - every

time you open a Solutions Manual, it sucks intelligence right out of your brain.


Exams    There will be four exams in the course:

                        Exam 1 :     7.00 p.m.- 9.00 p.m. September 18                Covers: Chapter 1     Exam 1 with Answers

                        Exam 2 :     7.00 p.m.- 9.00 p.m.  October 16                   Covers: Chapter 2     Exam 2 with Answers

                        Exam 3 :     7.00 p.m.- 9.00 p.m.   November 13              Covers : Chapter 3     Exam 3 with Answers

                        Exam 4 :    Final Exam        3.30-5.30 p.m. December 12th      Covers: Chapters 1-4      Final Exam with Answers

To find your room and seat assignment for an exam, go to the Math Dept home page on exam day,

Remember to bring your Washington University student ID with you.

No notes or calculators are allowed for exams.  



There are weekly homework sets during the semester, to be done on WebAssign:   

These are due every Friday; the first assignment is due Sep 6th

Other homework (which will not be graded) is here:

If you can do these HW problems with the book shut, you are on top of the material.            

Note: Doing a homework problem by looking for a similar example and following that does not give much insight. Instead, try to do the problem without looking anything up. If you can't, reread the entire section, and then try again to do the homework problems without following worked examples.

 If you have really tried to do a homework or WebAssign problem and need a hint, email  your TA.
Note: If you wait till Friday, you won't get a response in time for the submission.


You should be familiar with trigonometry, polynomials, and their graphs.
In particular, be very comfortable with lines and slopes!



Limits. Differentiation. Finding maxima and minima. Graphing functions. 


Basis for Grading

Each midterm and the WebAssign will be 18% of your grade, the final will be 28%.  
If you do well on the final, the final grade can be substituted for one of your midterms.

Final Grades : 

A: 88% - 100%                       A-: 84% - 87.9%

B+: 81% - 83.9%                 B:  73% - 80.9%                     B-: 69% - 72.9%

C+: 66% - 68.9%                 C: 60% - 65.9%                      C-: 56% - 59.9%

D: 51% - 55.9%


Missed Exams:  If you are unable to take one of the midterms for legitimate reasons (such as verified illness or serious family emergency)  you  will be given an excused absence for that exam.              

                                 NO IN-TERM MAKEUP EXAMS ARE GIVEN.

Your grade for the missed midterm exam will be calculated by a statistical procedure which uses your scores on the other taken exams, including the Final.
Not coming because you overslept or forgot the time of the exam is not a legitimate reason  .


Homework is an extremely important part of the course. Make sure you stay current with it, or you will find it extremely difficult to catch up.


I do expect you to come to class every day, and to participate in class discussions. I also expect you to stay abreast of the material we are covering, and may call on you at any time to answer a question.


Help is Available!

There are a number of ways to get help with hard problems or for understanding some material a little better.

The most useful is the Calculus Help Room, in Lopata 323, which has math graduate students available

to help 10.00-5.00 on M,Tu,W,Th, and F. See

Your TA has office hours there, but you are welcome to go at any time.

There is also the Calculus Help Desk run by Cornerstone in the South 40 - see  or

My office hours are listed at the top of this page. You should feel free to come in and talk about any material.

Peer-led Team Learning: Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) is a voluntary study group program that is
offered for Calculus 131. You can sign-up to be considered for a
spot using the online application, which will open at 5pm on August 28  and close on September 1.
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 September 5th,
and the first group meetings will be the weekend of September 7th/8th.
To learn more about the program, visit or
contact Lisa Kuehne,
To enroll go to

Calculus Study Group: Study groups are organized as needed by The Center for Advanced Learning located in Cornerstone (in Gregg Hall on the south 40). They are conducted by graduate and undergraduate math students. If you want to belong to such a study group you must make a commitment to attend the group regularly (not just "come when you feel like it"). For more information you can look on the website or call them at 935-5970 .

Old Exams: Old Exams and solutions are posted on the web as a study guide (go to ).
Here is a direct link:
Copies of some of these exams should also be available to view or copy at the Reserve Desk of Olin Library.




Collatz Conjecture
Function Tables:
Excel Tablef:

Fibonnaci ratio: