UC Davis Math 21A -- Calculus I
Fall 2007

Basic information

Instructor: Brian Osserman
Office: Mathematical Sciences Building (MSB) Room 3218
Office Hours: W 11:00-12:00, F 1:30-2:30
Email: (Please include "MAT21A" in your subject line.)

A01 (CRN 60296) A02 (CRN 60297) A03 (CRN 60298) A04 (CRN 60299)
Lectures MWF 3:10-4:00pm in Hunt 100 (all sections)
R 8:10-9:00pm
Olson 147
R 4:10-5:00pm
Chem 176
R 5:10-6:00pm
Olson 223
R 6:10-7:00pm
Olson 223
Rob Gysel
Hyun Lee
Hyun Lee
Brandon Barrette
Office Hours
R 1:00-3:00
MSB 3129
MW 1:00-3:00
MSB 3229
MW 1:00-3:00
MSB 3229
T 2:00-4:00
MSB 2232


Final grades have been posted on MyUCDavis. Please look at them and let me know immediately if there appear to be any problems. You can ignore the weightings shown on GradeBook. GradeBook does not have the flexibility to do variable weighting or drop low scores, so final grades were calculated in a separate spreadsheet. As promised, those with better (letter) grades on the 2nd exam had the exams weighted 10%/30% instead of 20%/20%. Also, the lowest quiz score was dropped in the calculations.

Final exam grades have been posted on MyUCDavis. Letter grade ranges are posted below. If you want to look over your exam, come to my office, MSB 3218, 1:00-4:00 Wednesday, 12/12.

Rob Gysel has arranged a review session on Sunday, 7:00-9:00 PM, in Kleiber 3.

The final exam will be in Chem 194, 10:30-12:30 on Monday, December 10. Be sure to bring your ID card.

A practice exam and solutions have been posted below.

Please note: if you need any special arrangements for the final exam (if you are taking more than one Math 21, or if you have a disability and need extra time), you must email me immediately, as I am required to make arrangements by Wednesday, 12/5.

Grade ranges for exam 2 have now been posted below.

There will be a question-and-answer session the evening before the second exam, Tuesday November 13, 7-8 PM in 198 Young.

The final weekly homework is the homework assigned on 10/26, with corresponding quiz on 11/1. Starting Monday, 10/29, homework will be posted after every lecture. It will still be grouped on the web page into "assignments" corresponding the quiz material for each week's section. There will be one assignment covering 10/29, 10/31, 11/2, and 11/5. Subsequent assignments will cover from Wednesday through Monday, and be quizzed on Thursday, 3 days after the last part has been assigned. This way, you will be able to start on your homework further in advance, but the timing of section material, homework material, and lecture material will match better.

Pick up your exams in Rob's office, 3129 MSB, on Tuesday, between 3:30 and 5:30 (try other times on Tuesday if you cannot make this one). Don't forget the drop deadline is Wednesday, 10/24.

I will not have my usual Friday office hours this week, October 19, as I will be out of town for a conference. Rob Gysel has agreed to hold extra office hours on this day, from 1:00-2:30, in his office, MSB 3129.

Discussion sections will not be meeting on Thursday, September 27. They will begin the following week, after the first lectures.

Textbook and Syllabus:

The syllabus and textbook for the course are standardized for the entire 21 sequence. The textbook is Thomas' Calculus: Early Transcendentals, 11th edition, and the course will cover most chapters 2-4 (the material in chapter 1 should already be familiar to you, and you are encouraged to review it on your own).

A more detailed syllabus may be found here.


The grading will be based on two in-class exams and a final exam, as well as brief weekly quizzes in the discussion section. The quizzes will begin with the second section meetings on October 11. You will not need to bring blue books for the exams.

The first exam will be given on Friday, October 19, and will cover the material of Chapter 2. It will be graded prior to the drop deadline, which is October 24.
Practice Exam 1
Practice Exam 1 answer key (Note that these are not complete solutions; you will be expected to show full work. They are only intended to allow you to check your answers)

The second exam will be given on Wednesday, November 14, and will cover the material of Chapter 3, except sections 3.9 and 3.10.
Practice Exam 2
Practice Exam 2 answer key (Note that these are not complete solutions; you will be expected to show full work. They are only intended to allow you to check your answers)

The final exam is scheduled for Monday, December 10, 10:30-12:30, in Chem 194. It will cover material for the entire course, but will emphasize chapter 4.

Practice Exam 3 has been posted. It is a practice hourlong exam covering the material since the last exam, to help you prepare for the final.
Practice Exam 3 answer key (Note that these are not complete solutions; you will be expected to show full work. They are only intended to allow you to check your answers)

The first exam's grades are now visible on MyUCDavis. The mean score was 38%, median 35%, and standard deviation 18%. The letter grade ranges are as follows:
55%-100%: A range
40-54%: B range
20-39%: C range
10-19%: D range
0-9%: F

Partly because many people received negative scores on the true/false section, the second exam will be weighted more heavily for people who do better on it. Specifically, the scores will be converted to letter grades, and then anyone who does better on the second exam will have the exams weighted as 10%/30% rather than 20%/20%.

The second exam's grades are now visible on MyUCDavis. The median score was 82%. The letter grade ranges are as follows:
75%-100%: A range
55-74%: B range
35-54%: C range
25-34%: D range
0-24%: F

The final exam's grades are now visible on MyUCDavis. Note that the exam was out of 200 points, and what follows is in terms of percentages, so divide the raw scores by 2. The median and mean scores were 58%. The letter grade ranges are as follows:
70%-100%: A range
55-69%: B range
35-54%: C range
25-34%: D range
0-24%: F


Grades will be weighted as follows: 10% weekly quizzes, 20% each in-class exam, and 50% final exam. The details remain to be determined, but people who do better on the second exam than the first will have the second exam weighted substantially more heavily.

Grading will be on a soft curve, meaning that I do not predetermine either what scores correspond to what grades, or what percentage of students get what grades. Rather, after grading each exam I will assign grade ranges using the following general criterion: those who earn an A should demonstrate a strong mastery of nearly all the material; a B should correspond to a good working knowledge of a strong majority of the material; and C should correspond to an ability to solve routine problems in a majority of the topics covered.


Suggested homework problems will be posted weekly on this page, starting Friday, October 5. Because no readers have been provided, the homework is optional, and will not be collected or graded. You are encouraged to make full use of available office hours to receive help and feedback on the problems. Although the homework is optional, the weekly quizzes will test your ability to solve problems from the homework. I will attempt to choose problems that have answers in the back of the book, and are also available on MyMathLab. However, this will not be possible for some problems requiring more explanation, and it is important that you do these problems as well. Those problems not on MyMathLab are marked with a *.

Listed due dates are the date of the section in which the given homework material will be quizzed.


Calculators are optional for this class, and are not allowed on any exams or quizzes. You may find them helpful sometimes to see what is going on, and some parts of homework problems may refer to using a graphing calculator, but you should treat these parts as optional; such questions will never appear on quizzes or exams.

Students with disabilities:

Any student with a documented disability (e.g. physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing, etc.) who needs to arrange reasonable accommodations must contact the Student Disability Center (SDC). Faculty are authorized to provide only the accommodations requested by the SDC. If you have any questions, please contact the SDC at (530)752-3184 or sdc@ucdavis.edu.

Advising and tutoring:

In addition to office hours, there are various options for advising and tutoring.

LSC: The LSC Math 21A workshop is run by Robert Gutierrez, and occurs TR 4:00-5:00.

Math peer advising: The math department provides a peer advisor, Adam Von Boltenstern, who is available in MSB 1130 TWR 11:00-12:00.

Math Cafe: The Math Cafe is an informal math group which meets Mondays 5-7 PM in 114 North Hall, inside the Women's Center Library. Although the focus is on female students, everyone is welcome to attend.


If you buy the textbook new, or the Student Access Kit separately, you will be able to use MyMathLab, which is an interactive system for working problems from the book. This requires Windows and Internet Explorer to run, and it is optional. Although the interface can be frustrating, it will give you more feedback than simply checking answers in the back of the book. On many problems, it can give hints and explanations. The course ID to use MyMathLab for this course is osserman36967.

For your convenience, the homework problems available in MyMathLab will also be posted there as homework assignments. However, you should be sure to check the full assignments above for problems not offered in MyMathLab. Unfortunately, MyMathLab does not allow homeworks to be posted incrementally. I will therefore have to make a new assignment each time I add exercises after lecture. These will be labelled something like Homework 4, Homework 4b, Homework 4c. Don't bother redoing problems you have already solved in an earlier version.