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Photo of Catalin Zara UMass Boston, Fall 2009
Math 140: Calculus I

  Syllabus Last modified:
October 27, 2009
Objectives: At the end of this course students should be able to:
Understand the fundamental concepts of calculus
Demonstrate ability to use calculus to solve problems
Build and improve analytical and communication skills
Appreciate the beauty and power of Mathematics
Course Description : Math 140 (Calculus I) is the first course in the sequence of calculus courses for science and math majors. The focus will be both on understanding mathematical concepts and techniques, and on applying this knowledge into other fields. We will study limits and continuity, derivatives and their applications, we will begin the study of definite and indefinite integrals with applications to geometric and physical problems, and we will conclude with an introduction to transcendental functions. A more detailed list of topics is available under Topics. Math141 (Calculus II) will continue with more topics on integrals.
Credits: 4
Prerequisites: [MATH 130 with B or better] OR [Placement Test C with 26 or better].
Admission to the course is contingent upon satisfying the pre-requisites. The rule is strictly enforced: if you don't have the prerequisites, the instructor will request the registrar to drop you from the course. Don't blame the instructor! It is in your best interest to be prepared for Math 140. Strong algebraic skills and knowledge of trigonometry are essential to success in Math 140.
Instructor: Catalin Zara
Contact Info: Email: czara*at* Please include [m140fa09] in the subject line.
Office: Science-3-091
Phone: (617) 287-6463
Textbook: Required: Calculus, 6th Edition, by James Stewart, Brooks/Cole, 2008. ISBN 9780495011613.
We will cover chapters 1-7. This is the same book and edition as the one to be used in Math 141.
Recommended: Student Solutions Manual.
Lectures: Tu 9:30AM - 10:45AM, in M-1-212
Th 9:30AM - 11:50AM, in M-1-212
Assignment Date Points
Exam #1 Oct 1 100
Exam #2 Oct 22 100
Exam #3 Nov 12 100
Exam #4 Dec 8 100
Final Exam   200
Homework   100
Group Projects   50
Total   750
Participation   -50 to +50

Homework will be assigned regularly, using WeBWorK. Late homework will be penalized.

Sugested practice problems will be posted. You are strongly encouraged to solve them, but you do not have to turn them in for grading.

Reading assignments and pre-lecture activities will be given for each section and will be due the mornings before the class meetings.

There will be 2 Group Projects, and they will require the use of Mathematica.

Participation assignments will be given regularly. The scores, including active class involvement, will count towards extra credit. Extra credit quizzes will be offered during Supplemental Instruction sessions.
The list of assignments and a tentative schedule of lectures can be found at under Calendar.
Grade Exams   Total
A 85% AND 90%
B 75% AND 80%
C 65% AND 70%
D 55% AND 60%
The numbers shown here are provided as a guideline. Borderline situations will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and adjustments are possible.
Time Commitment: For every hour we spend in class, you should spend about 3 hours at home. Not devoting enough time and effort to (and therefore failing) Math 140 is a particularly bad plan: Math 140 is a prerequisite for many science courses so not passing it will delay you at least one semester. Think of the time you devote to Math 140 as an investment for the future: the better you understand calculus, the better prepared you will be for more advanced classes in your field, and the easier it will be for you to pass those classes.
Exams: Your performance on exams will be the primary evidence that you have understood the material, and will be the dominant criterion in assigning the final grade. A list of suggested review problems will be provided before each exam. The review problems will help you prepare for the exam, but by no means should you think that exam problems will be taken from that list only. Calculators will not be allowed on exams, but you won't really need one. The exams will be closed-book exams. Please let me know as soon as possible of any conflicts in exam dates. In case you miss an exam with an official excuse or after making arrangements with the instructor prior to the exam date, you will have one chance to take a make-up exam, normally within a week from the original date of the exam. In all other situations, a missed exam will get a score of zero.
Homework: Mathematics knowledge can not be achieved simply by attending lectures. Consider homework as an opportunity to practice. By working on the assigned problems, you get a confirmation that you have understood the concepts and techniques, or you identify the areas where you still have difficulties. Address all difficulties as soon as possible: a problem ignored is not a problem solved. On the contrary, a postponed small problem usually grows into a more serious one. Feel free to work in groups, but make sure you know how to solve every single problem: exams are individual, and they count much more towards your grade than the problem sets. Similarities beyond reasonable doubt will not be tolerated.
Readings: You are required to read the textbook section before it is discussed in class. Reading the text will help you better participate and understand the lecture and have an idea of the important concepts before you see them in class.
Your Rights
  • You have the right to ask questions.
  • Nothing you ask will be used against you in deciding the final grade.
  • You have the right to have a tutor.
  • If you cannot afford a tutor, one will be appointed to you free of charge if you wish.
Help Sources
Colleagues: Study groups, message boards on Blackboard
Supplemental Instruction: SI sessions, to be scheduled.
Tutors: Math Resource Center
Office Hours: Th 11:50AM-12:20PM, in M-1-212
TuTh 2:00PM-3:00PM, in S-3-091
Attendance Policy: Mathematics is not a spectator sport. Regular class attendance is required and active class participation is expected. The more you get involved, the better are your chances of learning the material, and getting a good grade.
Students are responsible for material and announcements missed due to an absence.
Academic Integrity: All UMass policies regarding ethics and honorable behavior apply to this course. Academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception and is an educational objective of this institution. All University policies regarding academic integrity apply to this course. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating, facilitating acts of academic dishonesty by others, having unauthorized possession of examinations, submitting work of another person or tampering with the academic work of other students. All exam answers must be your own, and you must not provide any assistance to other students during exams.Any form of cheating will result in a score of 0 for the assignment. Any form of cheating on an exam will result in failure of the class. Serious forms of cheating will be referred to the appropriate University offices and can lead to suspension or expulsion from the University. Bottom line: Don't even think about cheating!
Special Accommodations: Students with documented special needs should inform the instructor during the first week of classes. All communication will be kept completely confidential. Contact the Ross Center for Disability Services for documentation if needed. Their website is and their phone number is 617-287-7430.
Classroom Courtesy: Please come to class on time and remember to turn off your cell phone before the class begins. If you are repeatedly late or otherwise perturb the learning environment, then you will be penalized. If you have to keep your cell phone open, or if you need to leave a class early, please alert me at the beginning of the class, and sit close to the door. You can drink your coffee or soft drink in the classroom, but please do not bring any food with you.
Changes: Any changes or class cancellations will be announced in class and will be posted on the official web site for this class, on WebCT (