The focus of this course is vector calculus, which concerns functions of several variables and functions whose values are vectors rather than just numbers. In this broader context, we will revisit notions like continuity, derivatives, and integrals, as well as their applications (like finding minima and maxima). We’ll explore new geometric objects such as vector fields, curves, and surfaces in 3-space and study how these relate to differentiation and integration. The highlight of the course will be theorems of Green, Stokes, and Gauss, which relate seemingly disparate types of integrals in surprising ways.
For most people, vector calculus is the most challenging term in the calculus sequence. There are a larger number of interrelated concepts than before, and solving a single problem can require thinking about one concept or object in several different ways. Because of this, conceptual understanding is more important than ever, and it is not possible to learn a short list of “problem templates” in lecture that will allow you to do all the HW and exam problems. Thus, while lecture and section will include many worked examples, you will still often be asked to solve a HW problem that doesn’t match up with one that you’ve already seen. The goal here is to get a solid understanding of calculus so you can solve any such problem you encounter in mathematics, the sciences, or engineering, and that requires trying to solve new problems from first principles, if only because the real world is sadly complicated.
Please note that this course uses the 8th edition rather than the 7th.
Overall grading: Your course grade will be based on recitation participation (7.5%), quizzes (7.5%), three in-class exams (20% each), and a comprehensive final exam (25%). Grade cutoffs on any component will never be stricter than 90% for an A- grade, 80% for a B-, and so on. Individual exams may have grade cutoffs set more generously depending on their difficulty.
Exams: There will be three in-semester exams, which will be held on February 6, March 5, and April 9.
Final exam: Thursday April 30, 7pm-930pm
All exams will be closed book and notes, and no calculators or other electronic devices (e.g. cell phones, iPods) will be permitted.
Recitation: Recitation section will consist of students solving problems in small groups. TA's will collect worksheets from students at the end of the recitation. The 3 lowest worksheet scores will be dropped; worksheets will be graded mainly on effort. REMEMBER: the way you practice is the way you play. Recitation is Practice. There will be 3 quizzes, each counting 2.5% of your grade, on 1/24, 2/21, 3/27.
Missed exams: A test can only be made-up if there is a university excuse. Exam must be made up within one week of the test. It is the student’s responsibility to make arrangements for any work and/or notes missed due to an absence.
Missed worksheets: These are taken care of with the policy of dropping the lowest scores. For extended absences, these are handled in same way as missed exams.
Regrades: Requests for regrades must be made within one week of the exam being returned. Procedure: hand in exam to your TA, along with a note explaining the issue. The TA will first check exam integrity (30% of exams are copied before the test is returned, and kept on file). Then the TA will compare to the grading rubric, and in the event of a discrepancy will pass on to a TA responsible for the problem for regrade. Regrades may increase or decrease your score.
Viewing grades online: You can check your worksheet, quiz, and exam scores on canvas.
Large-lecture Etiquette: Since there are more than 200 people in the room, it’s particularly important to arrive on time, remember to turn off your cell phone, refrain from talking, not pack up your stuff until the bell has rung, etc. Otherwise it will quickly become hard for the other students to pay attention. Here are notes on how to proceed in event of tornado or other need to exit class quickly.
Academic Honesty: All portions of the Auburn University student academic honesty code will apply to this class. All academic honesty violations or alleged violations of the SGA Code of Laws will be reported to the Office of the Provost, which will then refer the case to the Academic Honesty Committee. Tiger Cards will be checked for all exams.
Disabilities: Students who need accommodations are asked to electronically submit their approved accommodations through AU Access and to arrange a meeting with their TA during office hours the first week of classes, or as soon as possible if accommodations are needed immediately. If you have not established accommodations through the Office of Accessibility, but need accommodations, make an appointment with the Office of Accessibility, 1228 Haley Center, 844-2096.
Ask questions in class: This applies to both the main lecture and the sections. The lecture may be large, but I still strongly encourage you to ask questions there. If you’re confused about something, then several dozen other people are as well.
Engineering help sessions: The College of Engineering provides Drop in Tutoring Monday-Thursday 5pm-8pm, as well as individual tutoring (which you must schedule).
Other sources: A change of perspective is sometimes helpful to clear up confusion. Here are two other vector calculus sources you might find helpful: