Math 141.02

Calculus I

Fall 2020



Professor Tom Valente


Office Hours:

            MW 4:00-5:00, T 12:30-2:20 R 10:00-12:00 in Morton 022,   x6210?


Class Meetings:

            MWF 10:00-11:10 AM in Panhill Commons,

            and R 12:30-1:40PM, in the Bortz Library.


Required Textbook: 

            Calculus of a Single Variable, 10th Edition, by Larson and Edwards (2014).


Course Description: 


The most important concept in studying Calculus is that of limit of a function. Thus, our goal for the first part of the course will be to build to the point where we have a reasonable understanding of what “limit of a function” is. With this concept, we then define an important class of functions known as continuous functions. We can also define the notions of derivative, and later, integral of a function as particular kinds of limits. Once we define and understand the derivative, we can interpret it as a rate of change, and use it in a variety of problems having to do with rates of change and, importantly, optimization problems.


Once we understand the integral, we can interpret it geometrically as an area and begin to use it also as a tool for solving problems in a wide range of fields.  The course will culminate with an amazing theorem known as the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, which relates the two seemingly unrelated concepts of derivative and integral!



Regular attendance is valuable for helping you succeed in this course. For this reason, if you miss class, you should be in touch with me promptly. Students who are mildly ill or otherwise have to isolate will be expected to keep up with material remotely. This includes arranging with me to take quizzes remotely and in-sync with your peers. If you experience more serious illness, I will work with you individually to develop a plan (after you are recovered). Other, non-illness based, reasons for missing class may be excused at my discretion.

As in a typical semester, if you have more than 4 unexcused absences, you will be eligible for a WF warning; more than 6 unexcused absences may result in a WF.



Outline of Topics:

Functions and their Graphs

Inequalities and Absolute Value


Functions and Limits:  


                        The Derivative

                                    The Definition

                                    Geometric interpretation

Differentiation techniques                                         

                                    Applications of the Derivative


            The Definite Integral: 


                                    Geometric interpretation

Integration techniques


The Fundamental Theorem of Calculus.



Your grade is computed as follows:

                        4 in-class exams                                              400 points

                        Quizzes                                                           100 points

                        Final Exam (Sunday Nov 1st 12:30PM)          200 points


Your grade is computed two ways – one based on all 700 points, the other on 600    

 points, after having dropped on of the five 100-point units, the better of the two   

 being used to assign you your final grade.


Exam Policy:

The 4 in-class exams are tentatively scheduled for the following Thursdays:

                               September 11th,, September 25th,  October 9th,  October 23rd

Makeup exams are not a given unless you have a very good reason and you contact me beforehand.



Plenty of homework will be assigned during the course of the semester, and these problems will serve as practice for quizzes, which will be given on a frequent basis.

Enough homework will be assigned, so that you will need to spend at least some time each night on Calculus.  Please seek me out during my office hours if you have questions on the homework. 


Placement Exam Link: