Calculus for Economics

Math 140 - Spring 2021

Basic Info


Tentative Schedule

Date Section Topic Notes Homework
02/15 Rational Expressions
02/17 Distribution & Factoring Week 1 HW 1
02/19 1.1 Functions
02/22 1.2 Operations on Functions
02/24 1.3 Linear Functions Week 2 HW 2
02/26 1.4 Exponents
03/01 1.5 Quadratics
03/03 Midterm 1 Week 3 HW 3
03/05 1.6 Polynomials and Rational Functions
03/08 2.1 Limits and Continuity
03/10 2.2 The Derivative Week 4 HW 4
03/12 2.3 Power and Sum Rules for Derivatives
03/15 2.4 Product and Quotient Rules
03/17 2.4 Product and Quotient Rules - con’d Week 5 HW 5
03/19 2.5 Chain Rule
03/22 2.6 Second Derivative and Concavity
03/24 Midterm 2 Week 6
03/26 2.7 Optimization
04/05 2.7 Optimization - con’d
04/07 2.9 Applied Optimization Week 7 HW 6
04/09 2.10 Linear Approximation & Elasticity
04/12 1.7 Exponential Functions
04/14 1.8 Logarithmic Functions Week 8 HW 7
04/16 1.8 Logarithmic Functions - con’d
04/19 4.1 Functions of Two Variables
04/21 Midterm 3 Week 9
04/23 4.1 Functions of Two Variables
04/26 4.2 Calculus of Functions of Two Variables
04/28 4.3 Optimization Week 10 HW 8
04/30 Constrained Optimization

Course Description

Math 140 will cover functions, derivatives, limits and continuity, and applications, primarily to business and economics. By the end of this course, you should be able to use functions to model real-world situations, understand how limits are used to define derivatives, and apply derivatives to solve problems.

Class Policy

In order to master a subject like calculus, regular attendance is crucial. However, if you have a fever or are not feeling well, then please do not come to class that day. As long as you let me know the reason for your absence, I will do my best to help you stay caught up and make up any material that you missed. The key is to communicate with me when you aren’t able to attend class.

When you are in class, please be considerate to the other students in the class. That means wearing masks, no food, no tobacco products, etc.

Office Hours

My office hours are shown above on my weekly schedule. I am also available by appointment. My office is Blake B-2, which is one of the Blake apartments. You can find it on this map. It looks like a student apartment, but I am using it as my office while the new science building is being built. During my regularly scheduled office hours the front door should be unlocked, so feel free to come in. I’ll be right upstairs. If you would prefer to schedule online office hours, let me know and I’ll be happy to set up a Zoom meeting.

Grading Policy

The term grade will be based on the results of the examinations and the scores on homework.

Component     Proportion    
Homework     50%
Midterm 1 10%
Midterm 2 10%
Midterm 3 10%
Final Exam 20%


There will be three in-class midterm exams and a cumulative final. The exams will be closed book and calculators will not be permitted.


Each week, I will assign homework problems either during or before Thursday’s class, and those problems will be due the following Monday by 5pm. Please use your cell-phone to scan your solutions as a PDF file and e-mail them to me before the deadline. I recommend using the CamScanner app which is available for free for both Android and iOS. Each homework problem will be graded on a simple two point scale.

Your letter grade for homework will be determined by the percent of possible points you have completed. Late homework assignments will not be accepted, although there may be optional make-up homework assignments later in the semester for students who need them.

Special Accommodations

In compliance with the Hampden-Sydney College policy and equal access laws, I am available to discuss appropriate academic accommodations that may be recommended for students with disabilities. Requests for academic accommodations are to be made at the beginning of the semester (except for unusual circumstances) so that appropriate arrangements can be made. Students are required to contact the Office of Academic Success in order to verify their eligibility for appropriate accommodations.

Virtual Learning Plan

If we need to switch to an online virtual course at any point during the semester, the basic outline and schedule of topics for the course will remain the same. I will provide a mix of live Zoom lectures and asynchronous video guided notes and workshops to help learn the material. I will also divide the class into smaller groups and schedule Zoom meetings during our regular class time where we can go over the material in more detail. I may also incorporate a short oral examination as part of one or more of the midterm or final exams. If you know that you will have trouble with Zoom from home, please let me know.