Course Information and Syllabus
Course title: Calculus for Life Science I
Large Lecture with professor: TuTh 9:30 -- 10:45,
Section meetings: Monday (Math TA) and Wednesday (Life Sci. TA)
Professor: Mike ("McBlaine Michael") Boyle
Office: Room 4413, Math Building
Professor office hours: M5, W11:30; also usually
available directly after lecture Tuesday, and after lecture Thursday
for a shorter time.
Office hours and contact information for TAs
Preqrequisite: Minimum grade of C- in MATH 112, 113 or 115
or permission from CMNS undergraduate office
Text. Calculus for the Life Sciences by Greenwell et al,
ISBN: 9780321964038, publisher Pearson. (MyMathLab is not required.)
Edition of the text A common question about the text is "can I use edition two?" .
We don't check what you use.
The main problem with using edition one is that the homework
assignments will be painfully unsynchronized and a bit different.
You may miss some of the benefit of having exam questions look like homework.
Altogether, considering all the other money involved in going to school, for most people it makes sense to buy edition 2.
My Math lab etc. The text comes in different formats
and with possible "My Math Lab" supplement from the publisher. The
supplements may be quite helpful for some students (and not for others).
In the class, I will just use the textbook. Electronic version, physical
version supplements -- that's all up to you.
A general list of topics covered is in the
Math Department Syllabus for MATH 130 .
Schedule of work. See the very detailed
Schedule of work for the semester.
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) -- see the
Homework schedule for what will be on
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. "-" might be
added to some scores curved up. (E.g.,
80 is guaranteed B; if there's a curve,
then 79 could be 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.
However, it can be useful to have an arithmetical calculator
for the biology sections. There are also a number of homework
problems which ask for some calculator computation. You don't have
to do this, but I do think that doing this -- even though it is not graded --
can be useful for learning, and for checking work to catch mistakes.
Also, "zooming" in with a graphing calculator can help with
the intuition of what a derivative means.
- 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.