MATH 151-02
Calculus I, Fall 2011

Instructor: Michael Pelsmajer
office: E1 206, phone: 312-567-5344
office hours: by appointment
email: pelsmajer_(AT)_iit_(DOT)_edu

Syllabus: Chapters 1-5 from Calculus 7e by Stewart
Generic Syllabus (February 2006) ADA Syllabus Statement

Class Meetings

10:00am-11:15am MWF in Engineering 1 room 242 Siegel Hall Room 203, and
3:15pm-4:30pm M in Alumni Memorial Hall 218 Stuart Building 112E/112F (computer lab) or Stuart Building 107 Stuart Building 113 (recitation)

You should attend every class. Attendence will be taken.


Homework will be assigned, collected, and graded via Webassign.

Getting started with WebAssign: Our Class Key is "iit 9160 0304". Go to and enter it in (there is a button on the right side of the page that you should click, and it will take you a new page where you can enter it in). Then look here for further instructions: Student Quick Start Guide.

You should always aim for a perfect score. What if you give up on a question, and then it appears on an exam?

Do your work on paper first, before entering in the solutions on WebAssign! Keep paper copies of your work; occasionally I will collect it. Make it neat and well-organized. Recommended Method: Print out the entire assignment, turn off the computer and do the assignment, then turn on the computer and enter in your answers. Make any corrections on paper again, before re-entering them into the computer. If you get it wrong a couple times in a row, start the problem over and/or seek help. No guessing.

Multiple attempts: For each answer, you usually have 5 chances to get it right.

Extensions: Students can request an no-penalty homework extension, but only two times during the semester. Other times, you can still take extensions, but each day late comes with a 25% penalty (only for those answers or parts of answers that are late). After a few days, extensions are disallowed.

Solutions: After an assignment is due, you can find it in "Past Assignments" and then you choose to see the answer key (and sometimes you will see detailed solutions, too). However, once you look at the answers, you can no longer take an extension on that assignment.

Computer Labs

Some Monday afternoons we will meet in AM 218 SH 203 for a computer lab.

During the first three meetings, students will work during class on trigonometry review problems via WebAssign.

Other labs will have a Mathematica assignment. You work on the assignment alone or with a partner during the lab, finish it at home, and hand it in at the beginning of class on Friday.

September 19: Read through General Introduction: Lab 1 - Introduction.nb, trying stuff out as you go, and do Assignment 1. Then Math151 Lab1.nb, from which I want you to do Exercises 1 and 7.

September 26: Right-click and save Sept26-2011.nb

October 3: Right-click and save 10-03-11lab.nb

October 10: (No class)

October 17: Recitation (after the quiz)

October 24: Recitation (after the quiz)

October 31: Right-click and save Oct31-2011.nb

November 7: Right-click and save Nov7-2011.nb


Some Monday afternoons, we meet in SB 107 for a recitation.

At recitations, you will have to present solutions to homework-like problems at the board. You will also have a chance to ask questions about the current homework. Every student must present at least 2 correct homework solutions during the semester.


There will be a quiz at the beginning of each Monday afternoon meeting. Quiz problems will usually be similar or identical to homework problems. No calculators.


No calculators. Exam 1 covers Sections 1.1 to 2.2, Exam 2 covers Sections 2.3 to 3.8, and Exam 3 covers Sections 3.9 to 5.5. The final exam (Thursday, Dec. 8, 8am-10am) is cumulative.


You should mostly avoid using a calculator when doing your homework, since you need to develop calculator-free working habits, in order to be ready for quizzes and exams. That being said, Mathematica and Wolfram Alpha are powerful tools for calculation (and much more).

Overall Grading Policy

Homework 20%, Mathematica Labs and Quizzes 15%, In-class Exams 45%, and Final Exam 20%. You can use your final exam grade to substitute for half of any exam score (if your final exam is better).


To get the most out of lectures, read about a topic before it is presented in class. If possible, try upcoming homework problems before class as well.

Try everything on your own first, but know when to ask for help. Seek help at the Academic Resource Center (ARC) or directly from the instructor.

More Advice

Of course you can get advice about success in mathematics from a multitude of sources. However, here are a few things that I feel are particularly accurate and to-the-point:

How to Ace Calculus: A Streetwise Guide. It's quite funny and the quality of the advice is very high. (If you get it, be sure to look at the "Twenty Most Common Exam Mistakes.) The extensive excerpts let you see what it's about.

An excellent, well-organized collection of tips: Success in Mathematics. I wish I wrote it! Maybe you should read it right now, and reread when preparing for the first exam? Everything in it (except Section 2.2) is very relevant for Math 151 this semester.

How To Study Math: In a nutshell, sleep enough, and start everything ASAP! Which is common sense, okay. What's interesting here is that it explains why this is especially important for mathematics.

How To Read Mathematics and another How To Read Mathematics: In a nutshell, don't panic if it goes (very) slowly - that's normal. It's not at all like reading a novel.

ADA Syllabus Statement

Reasonable accommodations will be made for students with documented disabilities. In order to receive accommodations, students must obtain a letter of accommodation from the Center for Disability Resources and make an appointment to speak with me [the instructor] as soon as possible. The Center for Disability Resources (CDR) is located in Life Sciences Room 252, telephone 312-567-5744 or