Course Information and Syllabus
Course title: Calculus for Life Science I
Large Lecture with professor: TuTh 12:30 -- 1:45
Large Lectures location: Armory 0131
Section meetings: Monday (Math TA) and Wednesday (Bio TA)
Professor: Mike ("McBlaine Michael") Boyle
Office: Room 4413, Math Building
Professor office hours: M3, W11:30; also usually
available directly after lecture Tuesday, and after lecture Thursday
for a shorter time.
Office hours and contact information for TAs
Text. Calculus for the Life Sciences by Greenwell et al,
ISBN: 9780321964038, publisher Pearson. (MyMathLab is not required.)
A general list of topics covered is in the
Math Department Syllabus for MATH 130 .
Schedule of work for full detail.
Monday (Math) section meetings.
In general, you will have an opportunity to ask questions about
math homework, and the section will end with a quiz (to be graded and
returned the following week). Fair game for this
Monday quiz: homeworklike questions
from sections covered in lectures of the previous week (or something else
your TA or I warn you about (by email or in a previous meeting).
Wednesday (Bio) section meetings.
In general, in these sections
you will have a project (worksheet) to do in groups
of 3 or 4 as organized by your
TA. In your group, ideally everyone should be involved,
and reach a point of understanding the solution. Experience indicates
that those who explain a particular solution learn as much
from the process of clarifying their thoughts
as does the listener. Everyone hands in an individually done
worksheet. You can be guided by others in your group -- but do not
just copy solutions.
The Math department has links to
academic support, tutoring and counseling resources.
Math 130 is not among the courses covered
in the Room 0301 tutoring (the
"Math Tutoring Schedule" link). For the great majority of students,
the best resource will be the TA
The weighting will be
The total possible points for items will
be normalized to the numbers above. (E.g., if you scored 80 out of 100
possible on your bio worksheets, you'd get a corresponding contribution
of (.8)(12.5) to your course percentage score.)
- 12.5% Bio section worksheets (worst three scores don't count)
- 12.5% Math section quizzes (worst three scores don't count)
- 45% Three midterm exams (15% each)
- 30% Final Exam
The relatively "easy" points should come in the sections, if you are
careful to attend faithfully and do the math homework in advance.
Midterm 1 is the easiest of the midterms contentwise.
Here is the correspondence of course grade and
course percentage points scored:
A 90-100%, B 80-89%, C 70-79%, D 60-69%.
F 0-59%. It might
happen that the curve
will be relaxed, but it won't be
made tougher. "+" might be added to some
scores at the top of a range.
Possible relaxation might involve (e.g.) a
69 becoming a B-.
For practical reasons, we won't be grading your homework.
However, TA reports confirm that doing the homework faithfully
is well correlated to better grades -- not to mention learning.
You have to do calculus (homework) to learn it;
with rare exceptions, learning
calculus just by going to class is about as successful as
learning to shoot a jump shot
or play piano just by watching.
To encourage you to do the homework, your math section quizzes will
consist mostly or entirely of homework problems you should have
done (possibly with numbers or mathematically meaningless details changed).
Most midterm problems will be in the same fashion from the homework.
There will be no makeup quizzes, worksheets or midterms.
Calculators. You are not required to have a calculator.
NOT allowed on midterms, math quizzes
or the final exam. It may be useful to have some arithmetical calculator
for the biology sections. You may find it useful to have a calculator
for your homework (e.g., a graphing calculator for graphing can help you
check your work). Also, "zooming" with a graphing calculator can help you get
the intuition of what a derivative means (as I'll describe later in the course).
- If illness, car trouble, traffic,
a faulty alarm clock, etc. cause you to
miss a quiz or worksheet
-- well, that is a zero score
to be among those dropped.
- If a midterm is missed,
that might be a zero score or it might be addressed
with an individual reconfiguration of grade weights,
depending on the reason.
- If a section meeting or exam is
missed for a medical reason, religious reason, university business,
court date, etc., you can talk to and email me about it SOON after
you know of a conflict, and I'll take it into account.
The grade impact of excused section absences
will be varied and usually insignificant.
Most likely, we will take these into account at semester's end
when examing grade cutoffs.
**If you know BEFORE an exam that you have a conflict,
CONTACT ME IN ADVANCE. In this case, it is often
possible to arrange an early exam.**
If your religion dictates that you cannot take
attend class on some dates with graded events,
hand in assigned work on a particular date, then contact
me at the beginning of the semester
for my record
(give day and date and reason for each miss)
and to discuss possible alternatives.
- Don't fall behind. Get on a schedule for keeping up day to day.
- Make friends. Help each other.
(You might find it particularly productive
to compare homework solutions after working individually.)
- Try to understand -- not just find a set of computations that lead
to a correct number. Understanding is more work in the short run, but it is
actually easier in the long run.
If you have some disability related to testing under the usual timed,
in-class conditions, you may contact the campus
Service (DSS). If they assess you as meriting private
conditions and/or extra time, then you may arrange to take your tests
at DSS, with extra time as they indicate. You must arrange this well in
advance of a test.