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Math 126 Syllabus - Fall 2006


In order to take MAT 126, you must have either

See the document first year mathematics at Stony Brook for more information about the math assessment and other calculus courses.

The textbook

 picture of textbook The textbook for the course is Calculus: Concepts and Contexts, Single Variable, Third Edition by James Stewart (Brooks/Cole 2001, ISBN 0-534-37862-5).

Basically, this course covers chapters 5 and 6, where integration is studied. You will need a strong knowledge of derivatives and of trigonometry to do well in this course. Assigned sections should be read before the lectures. See the schedule for a week by week list of the sections covered.


New material will be presented during the lectures. The recitations provide an opportunity, in a smaller class environment, to review the material and get questions answered.

The recitation grade will be determined by homework and quizzes.


There are three exams in math 126: two evening midterms, and a final exam. The dates for these exams are:

The rooms for the examinations will be announced later.

The final exam will be comprehensive.

Make sure that you will be available at all exam times, as there will be no make-ups for missed mid-term exams. If you miss an exam for an acceptable reason and provide an acceptable written excuse, the relevant mid-term will be dropped in computing your course grade. A letter stating that you were seen by a doctor or other medical personnel is not an acceptable document. An acceptable document should state that it was reasonable/proper for you to seek medical attention and was medically necessary for you to miss the exam (the note/letter need not state anything beyond this point). Incomplete grades will be granted only if documented circumstances beyond your control prevent you from taking the final exam. You must have ID to be admitted to exams.

No calculators, notes, or books, etc., are allowed during the exams. The problems will require pencil and paper reasoning only.

Warning about Calculators and Solution Manuals: Calculators and solution manuals can be of great assistance in helping you to learn the material, if used properly. If used improperly, they can actually cause great damage. Here is the proper way to use them, when you want to work on a problem:

First do the problem yourself, without touching the calculator or solution manual.

Then use the calculator or solution manual to check your work.

If the calculator or solution manual reveal any surprises, find a logical explanation for them.

Calculator abuse: When you first see a problem, your first response should be to think, not to punch buttons on a calculator; otherwise you are suffering from calculator abuse. Students with this syndrome lose out in the following ways:

They do not develop self-confidence in their own abilities to work the problems, which is essential for mathematical growth.

Mathematics is outside them, not part of them. You may have noticed that, if you write down a phone number, you are less likely to remember it. Similarly, calculator abusers often find themselves with poor memories for mathematics.

They do not learn to calculate well. Many courses in physics and the other sciences require students to be able to follow, and do, very complicated calculations.

Grading policy

Final course grades will be determined by the following breakdown:


We reserve the right, at any time, to implement a policy of taking attendance in lectures. If we choose to do this, it will be announced on the schedule page at least one week in advance. During the period for which this policy is in effect, anyone who misses a 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+).

Questions on Midterms and Final

Most of the questions will be similar to those on the homework. However, a few will be of a different nature: more conceptual, and designed to test whether you really understand the material; often you will not have seen anything similar to these questions on the homework. Some students feel it is not "fair" to be asked questions unless they have been drilled on similar kinds of questions. In fact it is not "fair" to you to give you an education where you are simply drilled on certain kinds of problems and tested on similar problems, since your ability to get and keep a job later in life depends heavily on how well you have learned to think things out on your own -- not on how well you can solve rote problems that computers can easily solve.

Keep up!

Please remember that mathematics is cumulative, so don't fall behind! If you are behind, you will find new material presented in lectures much more difficult to follow, and you will be forced to try to learn that new material on your own. This will cost you a lot of extra time.


If you have any complaints about the course, please contact your instructor first. If this does not resolve the matter, please contact the course coordinator. If, after the course is over, you wish to request a change in your final grade, send a letter to your instructor; you will receive a written reply. Grade change requests will be dealt with in writing only; that way, we have a written record of what the student says, and what we reply.

Extra help

Math Learning Center:

The Math Learning Center is located in room S240A in the basement of the Math Tower. It is staffed most days and some evenings by experienced mathematics tutors, including professors, graduate students, and advanced undergraduate students. Students may drop in, without an appointment. Your lecturer and recitation instructor will hold at least one office hour per week at the Math Learning Center. See the Math Learning Center website for more information.

Office hours

The lecturers and the recitation instructors will hold three office hours per week, two of which will be held in their office and one of which will be in the Math Learning Center (room S240A of the Math Tower). The specific times of these office hours will be announced by the lecturers and the recitation instructors and will be posted on the instructors page when the times and locations are finalized.

Students with disabilities:

If you have a physical, psychological, medical, or learning disability that may impact on your ability to carry out assigned course work, you are strongly urged to contact the staff in the Disabled Student Services (DSS) office in the Educational Computing Center Building; 632-6748v/TDD. The DSS office will review your concerns and determine, with you, what accommodations are necessary and appropriate. A written DSS recommendation should be brought to your lecturer who will make a decision on what special arrangements will be made. All information and documentation of disability is confidential. Arrangements should be made early in the semester (before the first exam) so that your needs can be accommodated.