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Course:  Math 20A   (Course Catalog)

Title:  Calculus for Science and Engineering I

Credit Hours:  4   (Two credits if taken after Math 10A and no credit if taken after Math 10B or 10C.)

Prerequisites:  Math 4C with a grade of C- or better, or Math 10A with a grade of C- or better.

Catalog Description:  Foundations of differential and integral calculus of one variable. Functions, graphs, continuity, limits, derivative, tangent line. Applications with algebraic, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions. Introduction to the integral.

Textbook:  The required textbook for the course is Calculus: Early Transcendentals (2nd Edition), by Jon Rogawski; published by W.H. Freeman and Company; 2012. (We will cover parts of Chapters 1-5 of the text.)

  • We will use Chapters 1-5. Math 20B uses Chapters 5-11 and 20C uses Chapters 11-15.
  • If you do not plan to take Math 20C, then you can buy a shorter (and cheaper) textbook for just Math 20A and Math 20B that covers only single variable calculus:
        Single Variable Calculus: Early Transcendentals, by Jon Rogawski; 2012
  • The Student Solutions Manual is optional. It has solutions for odd-numbered problems in the text.
  • The Online Study Center Access is optional.

Material Covered:  We will cover parts of Chapters 1-5 of the text. A list of the topics scheduled to be covered can be found on the  Course Calendar.

Course Readings:  Reading the sections in the textbook that correspond to what we are discussing in class is a very important part of learning the subject. Lecture time is very limited and not every subject can be fully covered in the time allotted for lecture. Consequently, it is in your own interests to read the related chapters in the textbook. The assigned reading will be posted on the course  Homework  page with the homework corresponding to that reading.

Homework:   Homework is a very important part of the course and in order to fully master the topics it is essential that you work carefully on every assignment and try your best to complete every problem. We will have two different kinds of homework assignments in this class: online homework (which will be graded) and "paper-and-pen" homework (which will not be graded).

  • The "paper-and-pen" homework assignments will be announced on the course Homework page. These assignments will not be turned in and will not be graded; however, if you seek help from the instructor or TAs, they will often do these problems. Also, exam questions often look like textbook questions.
  • Online homework will be done through WebWork, a service provided for free to the students.
  • No homework assignment scores will be dropped at the end of the quarter.
You can get help with the textbook homework in the Calculus Tutoring Lab.  A Student Solutions Manual (available in the Bookstore) has complete solutions for odd-numbered problems in the text.

Electronic Computing Devices:  Graphing calculators and computer programs (or online computing websites such as Wolfram|Alpha) can be very helpful when working through your homework. However, a calculator/computer should be used as an aid in the learning concepts, not just as a means of computation. You should use these devices when working on math problems at home, but always keep in mind that you will not be allowed access to any electronic computing devices during exams. Of course, this also means that you will not be asked to solve problems on exams that require the aid of an electronic computing device.

  • Help with using TI graphing calculators is available in the Calculus Tutoring Lab.
  • The use of electronic devices will not be permitted during exams.

Exams:  There will be two midterm exams and a final exam. Check the  Course Calendar  for the exact dates of the midterm and final exams. You may use one 8.5 x 11 inch page of handwritten notes. (Both sides are okay, but no photocopies are allowed.) You may not use any other notes or any electronic devices. Please bring your student ID to the exams.

Grading:  There are two methods to determine your course grade:

  • Method 1:   20% Homework,   20% Midterm Exam I,   20% Midterm Exam II,   40% Final Exam
  • Method 2:   20% Homework,   20% Best Midterm Exam,   60% Final Exam
Your grade will be computed using each method and then the better grade will be used.
After your weighted average is calculated, letter grades will be assigned based on the standard grading scale:

A+ A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- F
97 93 90 87 83 80 77 73 70 <70

There will be no curve, but we may adjust the scale to be more lenient (depending on the performance of the class). Please note that there are no D grades in the Math 10 and 20 calculus sequences.

Please notice that outside factors, including the need for a certain grade for admission/retention in any academic program, scholarship or transfer credit, graduation requirements or personal desire for a specific grade DO NOT appear in the above calculations, and thus are not considered in any way in the determination of your course grade. Effort, improvement, class attendance and participation will all dramatically improve your grade in the course in that they will allow you to do well on homework and exams. They will NOT, however, actively participate in the calculation of your course grade.

Grade Recording Errors:  Keep all of your returned exams. If there is any mistake in the recording of your scores, you will need the original exam in order for us to make a change.

Regrades:  All graded material will be returned in discussion sections. If you wish to have your exam regraded, you must return it immediately to your TA. Regrade requests will not be considered once the exam leaves the room. If you do not retrieve your exam during discussion section, you must arrange to pick it up from your TA within one week after it was returned in order for any regrade request to be considered.

Late Homework:  Because solutions will be provided for the homework assignments after the due date, no homework will be accepted late.

Make-up Exams:  Make-up exams will not be given. If you miss a midterm exam for any reason, then your course grade will be computed using Method 2.

Final Exams:

  • You must take the Final Exam at the scheduled time. There are no make-up exams for the Final Exam, and no alternate times will be offered.
  • You must pass the final exam ( >59% ) in order to pass the class. (The actual required percentage may be lowered, depending on overall class performance.)

Academic Dishonesty:  Academic dishonesty is considered a serious offense at UCSD.  Students caught cheating will face an administrative sanction which may include suspension or expulsion from the university.  It is in your best interest to maintain your academic integrity. (Click here for more information.)

Suggestions:  Below are some suggestions that I hope will help you to succeed in this course:

  • Spend sufficient time on the course. According to the policy of UCSD's Academic Senate, "The value of a course in units ... shall be reckoned at the rate of one unit for three hours' work per week per quarter on the part of the student." During a ten-week quarter, for a 4 credit course, you should be willing to spend about 12 hours per week on the course.
  • Keep up with the homework and do not miss a midterm. Missing a homework assignment will hurt your grade because no homework scores will be dropped. This policy is designed to encourage students to complete all the assignments and reward those who do.
  • Get started on the homework assignments early. This will enable you to make the most of your discussion section time by coming prepared with specific questions.