MAT 131:  Calculus I                  Stony Brook,   Fall 1998

Text: Calculus from Graphical, Numerical, Symbolic points of view, Vol. 1, by A. Ostebee and P. Zorn.

Calculators: You are required to have a graphing calculator. We recommend the Texas Instruments TI-82, although others such as the Sharp EL-9300 or EL-9600 are also acceptable.

About this course: The goal of this course is to develop your understanding of the concepts of Calculus and your ability to apply them to problems both within and outside of Mathematics. Functions are presented and analyzed giving equal weight to tables, graphs, and formulas. You need to continue to develop your proficiency at manipulating formulas and equations, which are the language of science. Fluency in this language is essential for success in science or engineering. You will be expected to use calculators and computers to increase your intuition and understanding of functions and the infinite processes that are basic to calculus. However, you must remember that calculators are a tool-- any tool, when used without proper understanding, can be misused and even dangerous. While calculators do not ``make mistakes'', misunderstanding their results can cause you to make plenty of mistakes.

Homework: You can not learn calculus without working problems. On the schedule, all the problems marked as of ``key importance'' by the authors have been listed. Out of those, from ten to twenty have been marked in boldface: these should be written up and handed in at the first recitation section of the following week. Exercises that ask you to ``explain'' or ``describe'' should be answered with complete English sentences. It is also recommended that you work additional problems from the text; doing these will certainly increase your understanding. Some additional projects will also be assigned; there will be more details later. You are encouraged to study with and discuss problems with others from the class, but write up your own homework yourself.

Reading: The textbook is intended to be read. Read the assigned sections before the lecture! This will greatly increase your comprehension, and enable you to ask intelligent questions in class. Furthermore, the lectures will not always be able to cover all of the material for which you will be responsible.

Examinations and grading: There will be two evening exams, and the ever-popular final exam. The dates and times are listed below; the locations will be announced in lecture. Success on the exams will require correct and efficient solutions to the more difficult of the homework problems. The recitation grade will be based on class participation in both recitation and lecture, as well as grades on homeworks, quizzes, and projects.

What When % of Final Grade
Exam 1 Monday, October 19 8:30-10:00 pm 20%
Exam 2 Tuesday, November 17 8:30-10:00 pm 20%
Recitation     20%
Final Exam Thursday, December 17 7:00-10:00 pm 40%
Make sure that you can attend the exams at the scheduled times; make-ups will not be given. If you have evening classes, resolve any conflicts now. If one midterm exam is missed because of a serious (documented) illness or emergency, the semester grade will be determined based on the balance of the work in the course.

Math Learning Center: The Math Learning Center, in Physics A-125, is there for you to get help with Calculus. It is staffed most days and some evenings-- your lecturer or TA may hold some of his or her office hours there. A schedule should be posted outside the room and at the Math Undergraduate Office.

Disabilities: If you have a physical, psychological, medical or learning disability that may impact on your ability to carry out assigned course work, I strongly urge that you contact the staff in the Disabled Student Services office (DSS), room 133 Humanities, 632-6748/TDD. DSS will review your concerns and determine, with you, what accommodations are necessary and appropriate. All information and documentation of disability is confidential. Such arrangements should be made early in the semester (well before the first exam) so that we can accommodate your needs.

Course Coordinator: Scott Sutherland, Math Tower 5D-148 (Institute for Math. Sciences)
Phone: 632-7306      email:      Office Hours: Wed 11:30-1:30, and by appointment.
(Hours for other lecturers and TAs will be announced in class.)

Schedule and homework: The course will cover all of the material in chapters 1-5 of the text, except for section 4.5. If a section is to be omitted, it will be clarified in class exactly what you are responsible for.

Some sections are marked with an asterisk (*) and are optional, but should be read independently. The appendices in particular contain helpful summaries and review material. Note that the exact schedule may change a bit over the course of the semester, and differ from the one handed out at the start of classes. The most up-to-date version, complete with homework problems, etc, can always be found on the web at


Scott Sutherland