MAT 123: Introduction to Calculus

Summer Session 1, 2015


The course syllabus, with schedule, is also available as a PDF. Note that the course schedule in this document will not be updated as the course progresses. The most up-to-date schedule is availble on the Schedule and Homework page.

General Information

Course: MAT 123, Introduction to Calculus
Section: 60
Instructor: Joseph Thurman
Time and Location: MW 9:30am–12:55 pm, Stony Brook Manhattan, Room 312
Instructor email: jthurman AT

Email and this course website will be the main avenue for communication outside of class. Please check this website frequently so that you are always aware of upcoming assignments and exams. Urgent announcements (e.g., class cancellations) will be emailed to enrolled students using Blackboard. Make sure to check the email address listed in your contact information on Blackboard (most likely "").

Course Description

The goal of this course is give students the mathematical foundation necessary for future study of calculus. The focus will be on college algebra and trigonometry. From the course catalog:

Comprehensive preparation for the regular calculus sequences, with introduction to derivatives. Careful development of rational, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions, and their applications. Asymptotics and limits. Linear approximations, slope and derivatives, detailed curve sketching. General modeling examples.

Office Hours

The instructor will hold office hours after each class meeting from 1:30 - 3:00 pm at Stony Brook Manhattan. The exact location may vary, so ask the staff at the reception desk, who will be able to find the right spot.


Title: Precalculus - A Prelude to Calculus (Second Edition)
Author: Sheldon Axler

The textbook is available from the Stony Brook bookstore, although students are encouraged to consider other sources where the book may be available for a lower price.

Students will also be required to purchase an access code to WebAssign, the online homework system we will use in this course. Students purchasing the textbook from the bookstore can purchase a package that includes both the book and access code. The access code can also be purchased separately through the WebAssign system. You will be able to access WebAssign for the first two weeks of the course without purchasing an access code.

Grading Policy

Grades will be assigned based on student performance on quizzes, homework, a midterm exam, and a final exam.

Quizzes: Starting with the second class meeting, each class will begin with a short (approx. 10 minute) quiz covering the material from the previous lecture. There will be no quizzes on exam days. The lowest quiz score will be dropped. Quiz performance will count for 10% of the overall grade.

Homework: There will be homework assigned at the end of each class meeting. Shorter assignments will be given after Monday lectures, to be completed before the lecture on Wednesday of the same week. Longer assignments will be assigned after each Wednesday lecture, to be completed before the lecture on Monday of the next week. All homework for credit will be completed through the WebAssign online portal. Instructions on using WebAssign are available on the Schedules and Homework page. Late homework will not be accepted. Homework performance will count for 20% of the overall grade.

In addition to the required problems, recommended homework problems will also be assigned to give students more opportunity for practice. These problems will not be graded and do not count for any credit. These recommended practice problems will come from the textbook.

Midterm Exam: There will be an in-class midterm during the first half of class on Wednesday, June 10. Information about the format and content of the exam will be posted to the Quizzes and Exams page in the week before the exam. The midterm will account for 30% of the overall grade.

Final Exam: There will be an in-class final exam during the final class period on Wednesday, July 1. The exam will be cumulative. Information about the format and content of the exam will be posted to the Quizzes and Exams page in the week before the exam. The final exam will account for 40% of the overall grade.

Calculator Use

A scientific calculator with basic arithmetic and trigonometric functions may be necessary in this course to complete some homework assignments. A graphing calculator will never be necessary. No calculators of any kind will be allowed during in-class quizzes or exams.

Academic Integrity

Each student must pursue his or her academic goals honestly and be personally accountable for all submitted work. Representing another person's work as your own is always wrong. Faculty are required to report any suspected instance of academic dishonesty to the Academic Judiciary. For more comprehensive information on academic integrity, including categories of academic dishonesty, please refer to the academic judiciary website at

Disability Support Services

If you have a physical, psychological, medical, or learning disability that may impact your course work, please contact Disability Support Services at (631) 632-6748 or They will determine with you what accommodations are necessary and appropriate. All information and documentation is confidential.

Students who require assistance during emergency evacuation are encouraged to discuss their needs with their professors and Disability Support Services. For procedures and information go to