Syllabus: Math 211 Fall 2015

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Applied Calculus (MATH 211) Sections 001 & 002

Materials: [Lectures] [Spring 2015 Lectures] [Homework] [Links and Other Materials]

Instructor: Sean Carver, Ph.D., Professorial Lecturer, American University.


  • office location: 107 Gray Hall
  • email:
  • office phone: 202-885-6629

Course Description: [From department website.] Functions, differentiation, and integration. Applications to several areas, especially business.

Prerequisite: MATH-160 or MATH-170, or four years of high school mathematics.

Text: Hughes-Hallett, et al., Applied Calculus, fourth edition. Wiley, 2009.

Learning Outcomes: [Credit: Prof. Tennebaum]

The primary goal of this course is to help students to develop mathematical intuition and skills necessary to solve standard calculus problems and their application to business, management, and social sciences. A secondary goal of this course is for the student to comprehend the concepts behind the presentation, use, and manipulation of data and functions. Such an understanding allows the student to approach new problems analytically, even though the problems may be unfamiliar. As a result of completing this course, students will
  • understand the use and manipulation of algebraic and transcendental functions;
  • understand the mathematics underlying the notions limits, derivatives & integrals;
  • be able to evaluate limits, derivatives and integrals of a wide variety of functions;
  • understand and be able to sketch the graphs of functions;
  • be able to solve problems and formulate and analyze mathematical models in business, economics & the social and management sciences.

Office Hours: Students are strongly encouraged to come to office hours if they need or want help. My office is Gray Hall, Room 107. Office hours are tentatively scheduled as follows: (may be adjusted throughout the semester)

  • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 5:30 PM TO 7:30 PM.

Tutoring through AU's Academic Support and Access Center.

Tutoring through MATH/STAT tutoring center: Gray Hall, Room 110, Hours:

  • Walk-ins welcome
  • The tutoring center has not posted its hours for the Fall semester.

Class times and locations:

  • Section 001, Monday & Thursday: 02:35PM - 03:50PM
  • Section 001, Wednesday: 02:35PM - 03:35PM
  • Section 002, Monday & Thursday: 04:00PM - 05:15PM
  • Section 002, Wednesday: 04:00PM - 05:00PM
  • All classes in EAST QUAD BUILDING, Room 15

Important Dates:

  • August 31 (Monday): First day of class
  • September 7 (Monday): Labor Day, no class
  • September 30: Midterm 1A (in EQB-15 2:35PM-3:35PM; in SPA/WARD-ST-01 4:00PM-5:00PM)
  • October 1: Midterm 1B (in SPA/WARD-ST-01 2:35PM-3:35PM in EQB-15 4:00PM-5:00PM)
  • October 19 & 21: Substitute instructor; Dr. Carver attends the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience
  • November 4: Midterm 2A (in EQB-15 2:35PM-3:35PM; in SPA/WARD-ST-01 4:00PM-5:00PM)
  • November 5: Midterm 2B (in SPA/WARD-ST-01 2:35PM-3:35PM in EQB-15 4:00PM-5:00PM)
  • November 23: Optional Class
  • November 25 & 26: Thanksgiving Holiday (no class)
  • December 3: Last Class
  • Section 001 (the class that usually meets 02:35PM-03:50PM), Dec 7, 02:35PM-05:05PM: Final Exam, location: in our classroom EQB-15)
  • Section 002 (the class that usually meets 04:00PM-05:15PM), Dec 10, 02:35PM-05:05PM: Final Exam, location: in our classroom EQB-15)

Final exam policy: You must take the exams with the section you are registered for. For exams in SPA/WARD-ST-01 you may use Mathematica, the calculator app on the computer, or a graphing or standard calculator. You may not use your cell phone or any device of your own with an internet connection, even if only for its calculator app. On the lab computers, you may access Mathematica and a calculator app but no other software and no internet searches. I will be able to monitor your use of the lab computer from the instructor's station and it is very easy to see when students cheat. For exams in EQB you may only use a pencil or pen (not red please) and the paper I provide (i.e. no electronics). For all exams, use of books and notes are prohibited.

Tentative grading scheme:

Attendance and Participation 10%
Homework 15%
Midterm Exam 1 A & B 25%
Midterm Exam 2 A & B 25%
Final 25%

Class Etiquette: Please give the class your full attention and refrain from texting, surfing the web, and similar distractions. Please participate in class by asking questions when you do not understand something. Invariably other students benefit from these questions.

Homework, Attendance and Participation Policy: Usually I award a maximum of 10 points for each homework set, due one week after it is assigned. Additionally I award 5 points per day for class attendance. I like to give the solutions to homework problems at the same time I assign the problems. Conscientious students, who wrestle with problems before looking at the answers, benefit from having instant feedback about their solutions, right, wrong, or incomplete. Less conscientious students who use the answers to easily complete the assignments often do poorly on exams. The responsibility for your education rests in your own hands. Don't be one of the outliers who use shortcuts to avoid preparing for the exams. Concerning homework, you are encouraged to work with your classmates, if you find that helpful. In fact, you are encouraged to do whatever you find most helpful with the homework, but by turning in a solution to a problem, you pledge that you understand the solution, or that you talked to me in office hours or during or after class and made a good faith effort to understand how to do the problem. If it looks like you got the full benefit from the assignment, I will award you a perfect 10 points. I may mark you down if it seems that you have copied the answers without including any of the required calculations. You must include your work. One more thing about homework: you can turn in your homework by showing me your solutions during office hours or during active-learning periods of class, or after class. Some students prefer to turn in their work this way because they prefer not to tear pages from their notebooks.

Computer Software: I am considering using the computer software Mathematica for parts of this course. I believe that students at American University can install this software on their own machines for free (usually it is very expensive). Please try to install the software on your laptop during the first week of class. If it costs money, don't pay for it yet, but report back to me how much it costs. The link for installing the software is here:

Academic Integrity: Cheating is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. Consider this: in subtle ways, cheating to get a better grade on an exam can result in lowering the grades of some of your classmates. Certainly this is true when a specific curve is used to assign grades. Even when I don't use curves explicitly, they can be implicit in decisions about writing and grading exams. As required by the policy of American University, I will report all suspected cases of cheating to the Dean's office who will proceed to investigate and adjudicate the issues. Cheating is giving or receiving unauthorized assistance on exams, from other students or other people, from notes, from books, or from the web. When inappropriate copying between students is caught, both parties may be culpable.

Public Service Announcement: A representative of AU's Students Against Sexual Violence (SASV) approached me and asked me to include on my syllabi a list of resources available for survivors of sexual assault and their friends. While sexual violence is by no means the only challenge faced by students, I agree that this issue merits particular attention, so I am honoring her request by attaching the list she gave me:

Sexual Assault Resources

  • It’s never the survivor’s fault. There are many people you can talk to if you or someone you care about has been sexually assaulted:
  • AU's Sexual Assault Prevention Coordinator Daniel Rappaport (
  • AU's Coordinator for Victim Advocacy Sara Yzaguirre (
  • DC SANE Program (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) 1-800-641-4028
  • The only hospital in DC area that gives Physical Evidence Recover Kits (rape kits) is Medstar Washington Hospital
  • DC Rape Crisis Center: 202-333-7273
  • Students found responsible for sexual misconduct can be sanctioned with penalties that include suspension or expulsion from American University, and they may be subject to criminal charges
  • If you want to submit a formal complaint against someone who has sexually assaulted you, harassed you, or discriminated against you based on your gender identity or sexual orientation, you can do so online at, or contact the Dean of Students at or 202-885-3300. These are Title IX violations, and universities are legally required to prohibit these actions.
  • Resources on campus that are required to keep what you tell them confidential are Daniel Rappaport, Sara Yzaguirre, ordained chaplains in Kay, and counselors at the counseling center. (OASIS may also belong here but it didn't exist when this list was created.)