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If you were in high school last year, coming to college requires some adjustments. As adults, you will now have more freedom, but also more responsibilities. You should be thinking about preparing yourselves for jobs after you complete your studies.
You will probably find that there are far fewer "rules" at college than there were at high school, which is a great feeling. But there are three non-obvious rules that we must insist upon.
1. Seek to obtain a real understanding, not a rote
understanding. Students with a rote understanding can only do
problems which are nearly identical to problems they have already been
drilled on. Computers can do this, almost instantly and with 100%
accuracy. Thus, any employer who needs rote problems solved will
get a computer to do it - not you.
How this will be enforced: Each midterm and the final exam will contain some problems of a type that you have not seen before. These problems will not be difficult if you have a real understanding. It will not be possible to get an A in the course, if you cannot do any of these problems.`
2. Attend the lectures. Recitations are very important, since they focus on making sure you can solve the homework problems. Lectures are very important too, since they make sure you have a real understanding.
How this will be enforced: We reserve the right to take attendance in lectures, from September 14 until November 13. Counting only days when attendance is taken, anyone who, without permission,` misses lecture, shows up more than 10 minutes late, or leaves early, more than twice, will have their final grade reduced by one unit (e.g. from a B- to a C+).
3. Do not have private conversations in class. Talking in class is rude, and affects the concentration of everyone. As you know, if there is a piece of paper lying on the sidewalk, people just naturally feel that it is okay to throw more garbage there. Similarly, if some students are talking while the intstructor is lecturing, other students will just naturally feel that what the instructor is saying must not be important. Note that, unlike in high school, it is perfectly fine to pass notes to other students, if they don't mind.
Please also keep your cellphone ringers off during class.
How this will be enforced: After a few warnings are given, students who persistently have private conversations in class will have their final grades lowered. (We do have pictures of all students.) We would hate to have to do this, so please don't put us in a position where we have to.
Calculus opens the door to many rewarding careers in the sciences. We hope that you, as responsible adults, will benefit greatly from this course.