Prof. Robbin's 221 Home Page
Fall 2011

Lecture Room: 1361 Chemistry
Lecture Time: TR 11:00-12:15
First Exam: 5:30-7:00 P.M. WEDS. OCT 12
Second Exam: 5:30-7:00 P.M. WEDS. NOV 30
Final Exam: (*) 7:45-9:45 A.M. TUES. DEC 20
Lecturer:Joel Robbin
Office: 607 Van Vleck
My Office Hours: 1:00-2:00 TR, or by appointment.
Office hours will be in: 525 Van Vleck

(*) NOTE: The final exam is in the morning.

It is guaranteed that the curve on the final exam will be set so that a grade of 80% is at least a B and that 80% of the oroblems on the final exam will be chosen from the following:

The final exam will be Tuesday morning December 20, 2011 from 7:45AM to 9:45AM in 165 BASCOM. Text:

The text is THOMAS’ CALCULUS, 12th edition, WEIR/HAAS, Addison Wesley.

Lecture Notes and Syllabus:

My lecture notes are at . The syllabus shows how the various topics in the notes correspond with the Thomas text. I will update the syllabus to include the dates we will cover the various topics. Before each lecture you should read the corresponding section in the lectures notes and then read the corresponding section in the text after the lecture. Try the problems at the end of each section of the lecture notes. I often select exam problems from the additional problems at the end of the notes.


Here is a list of problems from the text. Working problems is absolutely essential for you to succeed in this course. I cannot stress this strongly enough. Working lots of problems will improve your algebraic skills and your confidence. Weak algebra skills cause anxiety and this blocks understanding. Algebra skills are necessary in order to do well on the exams. Not having them is a problem for many students in calculus. I hope the lectures will help you to understand the material, but most of any learning that goes on will be through the work you do on your own and in discussion section. Doing lots of different kinds of problems is probably the most important thing that you can do to succeed. A scientific or graphing calculator might be helpful, but calculators are not allowed on exams. Individual TAs may make assignments to be handed into discussion section.

  1. The problems at the end of each section in the lecture notes are intended to enhance your understanding of the proceeding section. You should do them.
  2. There is a long set of problems at the end of the notes. In past semesters I have guaranteed that 80% of the problems come from that list and that a grade of 80% on any exam is at least a B. I may do that again. In any case these are problems that you should be prepared to do on exams.
  3. The problems in the aforementionned list (also distributed in discussion section or you can click above or here instead of above) come from the text book and are also problems that you should be prepared to do on exams. The advantage of these problems over the ones in the notes is that they are in the book so that sometimes there are nice pictures that go with them and also you can use the book to help figure out how to solve them.
  4. Each TA is responsible for 20% of your grade as explained in the course policy. The TA may assign problems as he likes and should be prepared to answer any problem in the above lists. (But some are very tricky and the TA may need to think about the problem before explaining it in class.) The amount of grading of homework the TA does is left to the TA. (He is only required to work 20 hours/week and is a student himself.)

Email and Course Home Page:

I will use email for announcements, changes etc so check your email. I will also post information on the course home page. (See above.) There is a link from my home page at . All handouts (and more) will found there. I’ll post my office hours when we get started.

Course Policy:

There will be two midterm exams and a final exam. Each midterm exam is worth twenty percent of the final grade. The final exam will count forty percent. The remaining twenty percent will be allocated by your TA who will base it on homework, quizzes, participation, attendence, and effort. (This portion will be adjusted to account for variations among the TAs.)

Calculators are not allowed in exams. They are not needed since students are encouraged to leave arithmetic undone. Thus an answer like "x=2+2" is acceptable (if correct), but an answer like "x=2+2=5" will be penalized. The main reason for this policy is that mistakes in arithmetic make grading difficult: we can't know what you punched into your calculator and don't want to penalize you for hitting the wrong key. A similar policy applies to answers which are symbolic, i.e. not numeric. An answer like "2x+3x" need not be simplified to "5x". However it is very important that parentheses be inserted correctly. When in doubt, insert parentheses so that your answer is absolutely unambiguous.

The intelligent use of calculators oustide of exam rooms is however encouraged. For example, here is calculator warmup that I used in the past to help students appreciate that a derivative is a ratio of infinitely small quantities. Graphing calulators can be used to check your reasoning. Here is a link to an online graphing calculator which I wrote a few years ago specifically for use in this course.

Teaching Assistants:

Name Office Phone E-Mail
Andrew Bridy 716 Van Vleck 263-2492 bridy
Lino Amorim 127 Van Vleck 263-1541 amorim
Nikolas Chatzitzisis 316 Van Vleck 263-3062 chatzitz
Peng Yu 422 Van Vleck 263-2410 yu
Yun Zhai 101-6 Van Vleck 263-9720 zhai

Discussion Sections:

340 7:45 MW B313 VAN VLECK Chatzitzisis, Nikolas
342 8:50 MW B333 VAN VLECKChatzitzisis, Nikolas
344 9:55 MW B231 VAN VLECK Zhai, Yun
346 11:00 MW B317 VAN VLECK Bridy, Andrew
347 12:15 MWF 277 BASCOM Amorim, Lino
348 12:05 MW B317 VAN VLECK Bridy, Andrew
349 13:20 MW B337 VAN VLECK Yu, Peng
350 11:00 MW B329 VAN VLECK Zhai, Yun
351 14:25 MW B219 VAN VLECK Yu, Peng

The official prerequisite is one of

Here is a set of set of lecture notes from Math 112 if you want to review.


There are many ways to get help with math. See

Try the Java Powered at Graphing Calculator at

Try Vadim Ponomarenko's math skills test at

If you understand precalculus you should be able to understand the funny picture here.

If you want to understand the epsilon-delta definition of limits try reading these notes on continuity .

Old Stuff:

What follows is some stuff from previous years. Students are cautioned that we have used various texts in recent years, and that the order of presentation and emphasis changes from year to year. Some of the exams have answers and grader comments. The latter may give you an idea of how we grade.

  1. Here are the proofs which might be asked on the first exam.
  2. Here are the proofs which might be asked on the second exam.
  3. Here are the exams (with curves and some answers) I gave in the Fall of 2006.
    The first exam. The second exam.
  4. Here are the exams (with curves and some answers) I gave in the Spring of 2004.
    The first exam. The second exam. The third exam.
  5. Here are the answers to the quizzes and exams I gave in the Spring of 2002.
    Quiz 1, Quiz 2, Quiz 3, Exam I, Quiz 4, Exam II, Quiz 5, Quiz 6, Exam III, Quiz 7, Final Exam.
  6. Here are the answers to the quizzes and exams I gave in the Fall of 2000.
    Quiz 1, Quiz 2, Quiz 3, Quiz 4, Quiz 5, Quiz 6, Quiz 7, Exam I, Exam II, Exam III, Final Exam,
  7. Here are the exams from 1999.
    Exam 1, Exam 2, Exam 3, Final.
  8. Here is a Review Sheet handed out in lecture in 1999.
  9. Here are some of my recent exams with answers.
  10. Here is a pre-test and the answers to it.
  11. Here is information about what was on the Final Exam in 1999.