MATH 408C: Differential and Integral Calculus I

Fall 2011 (Unique IDs 54460, 54465, 54470)

Hour Tests

Several of you have asked about the old tests. Here are copies of Test 1, Test 2, Test 3, and answer keys to Test 2, and Test 3.

General Information

      Instructor: Dave Rusin ( 
      Office hrs: T, Th 11:30am-1:30pm; W 11am-1pm; and by appointment, in RLM 9.140 

      Teaching assistant: Chelsea Cerini (ccerini@math)
      Office: RLM 9.116	(475-9133); Office hours: TBA

      Class meets TTH  2pm - 3:30pm  in WEL 1.316 (Welch Hall)

      You will also meet every Monday and Wednesday with Chelsea
        section 54460 meets  9-10am in RLM 5.122
        section 54465 meets 10-11am in PAR 1
        section 54470 meets 12- 1pm in PAR 203
      You must attend with the section you are enrolled in.

      Text: Calculus (7th Edition / Early Transcendentals) by James Stewart .
      Note that this is the NOT the edition used at UT through Spring 2011;
      used copies may be hard to find.

Course webpage: You should not expect much to be on Blackboard.


M408C is the first semester of our standard first-year calculus course. It is directed at students in the natural and social sciences and at engineering students. The emphasis in this course is on problem solving, not on the presentation of theoretical considerations. While the course necessarily includes some discussion of theoretical notions, its primary objective is not the production of theorem-provers. The syllabus for M408C includes most of the elementary topics in the theory of real- valued functions of a real variable: limits, continuity, derivatives, maxima and minima, integration, area under a curve, volumes of revolution, trigonometric, logarithmic and exponential functions and techniques of integration.

Please note that "problem-solving" here refers to more than algebraic manipulation (although you will be expected to do that kind of thing quickly and accurately). It is an explicit goal of this course to develop your mathematical intuition: many of the problems you will be asked to solve will require much more thought than symbol-moving. I also take it as an important step in your mathematical training that you learn to communicate mathematics well: what you write must hang together logically, and be presented with enough words to make the presentation comprehensible. I will be a stickler about clear and accurate communication. It's my "tough-love" approach :-).

QR Flag

This course carries the Quantitative Reasoning flag. Quantitative Reasoning courses are designed to equip you with skills that are necessary for understanding the types of quantitative arguments you will regularly encounter in your adult and professional life. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from your use of quantitative skills to analyze real-world problems.


The prerequisite is a suitable score on the ALEKS placement test. You should receive an email about this if you have not already taken the test. If you do not meet the pre-requisite, you will be removed from the course rolls.

The UT Mathematics Department is very concerned about student success. Optimism and self-confidence are wonderful but are not a replacement for strong preparation in algebra, trigonometry, and analytic geometry. We are not especially interested in your prior courses and grades in these materials; not even a nice grade in a prior calculus course will sway us. We need to know that when we ask you today to use algebra in the middle of a calculus problem, you will do so easily and accurately.


Your semester grade will be based on a number of components. This structure is designed to encourage you to stay actively involved in the course all the way through the semester. Any adjustments to the schedules or policies will be announced multiple times in lecture and on Blackboard and on the course website shown above.

Homeworks: You will have regular assignments on the Quest homework system, located at This will enable you to get constant feedback on how well you are understanding the material. The Quest system works well. It is, sadly, no longer free of charge.

The homework must be completed online by the date posted, typically about one week after it becomes available. You will accumulate points during the semester, and your "Homework score" will be the number of points earned divided by the possible number of points you could have earned, times 100.

Quizzes: There will be a quiz (almost) every Wednesday. As with the homeworks, this will give you a "Quiz score" of up to 100 points. We will use your ALEKS placement test score (scaled appropriately) as your first quiz grade.

Exams: There will be 3 mid-term exams, held during the usual class period. Each is worth 100 points. The final exam will be Monday, December 12, 9:00-12:00 noon; it is worth 200 points. Textbooks, notes, and electronic devices (including phones and calculators) are not permitted during exams. The exam questions require a detailed analysis; you must show your work to receive credit, and partial credit will be given based on that work.

Your semester grade is based only on the number of points accumulated from this mix of points (100 from homework + 100 from quizzes + 100 from each mid-term + 200 from the final). Your grade will be no lower than what is indicated from this table:
Percentage Semester grade
93-100 A
90- 92 A-
87- 89 B+
83- 86 B
80- 82 B-
77- 79 C+
73- 76 C
70- 72 C-
67- 69 D+
63- 66 D
60- 62 D-
0- 59 F
The instructor reserves the right to award more generous letter grades but it will be done uniformly: student X can only have a higher letter grade than student Y if X has a higher point total than Y at the end of the term.


Make-ups: it is in general not possible to make up missing quizzes or homework assignments after the due date. If you believe you will have to miss a graded event, please notify me in advance; I will try to arrange for you to complete the work early.

Students with disabilities: The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-4641 TTY.

Drop dates: Sept 9 is the last day to drop a class for a possible refund. November 1 is the last day an undergraduate student may, with the dean's approval, withdraw from the University or drop a class except for urgent and substantiated, nonacademic reasons. Nov. 1 is also the last day a student may change registration in a class to or from the pass/fail or credit/no credit basis. For more information about deadlines for adding and dropping the course under different circumstances, please consult the Registrar's web page,

Assistance with course work

In addition to visiting the instructor or the teaching assistant during office hours, you might want to make use the services of the Sanger Learning and Career Center. The Sanger Center offers several forms of assistance to students throughout the semester: A further description of the Sanger Learning and Career Center services can be found here:

More assistance with course work!

Another service, offered free to students with majors in the College of Natural Sciences, is RHSG, the Residential Halls Study Groups. These are tutoring groups that meet weekday evenings at Jester and Kinsolving dorms. I encourage you to participate if you are looking for additional resources to succeedd in this course.

Even more assistance with course work!

The School of Engineering also offers help to its majors: tutoring and study groups in Jester and Kinsolving, plus tutors from the departments and the engineering Honor Society. Please see "Engineering-wide Tutoring Optionsi" for more information, and avail yourself of this resource.


This semester we will cover most of chapters 1-7 of the text.

The schedule shown below is subject to change without warning (although any changes to exam dates will be announced repeatedly in class).


You may have spent most of your mathematical life working on problems by yourself. This is a good thing; you become self-reliant. However, I strongly encourage you to work with one or two other students in this class on a regular basis. Challenge each other to solve the problems, to explain the concepts, and to ask each other for help. This is the way mathematics is done in the real world, and practicing this now can help you this semester and beyond.

Since you are adults, I leave it to you to monitor your level of understanding on your own, and to seek help when you need it. But please allow me to share my experience. Every UT student is bright and hard-working; almost all of them finished in the top 10% of their high-school class. Every student who starts this course has met the pre-requisites and has the expectation that he or she will succeed. Nonetheless, every semester, about one-fourth of this group of bright, hard-working students ends up with a D or F, or withdraws. No one likes this outcome. Please be attentive to your progress on homeworks and quizzes and midterms. If you find you are always asking other people for help while studying; if you find that it takes you hours and hours to complete every homework set; if your quiz grades are low, or you score less than half the possible points on a midterm exam: in these cases, you CAN succeed, but ONLY if you change your patterns immediately. Optimism is a wonderful thing but it alone cannot bring the results you may want. Please see me early in the semester if you think you may have trouble during this course. I can try to help you with the material, or with your study habits, or else advise you to withdraw. Let's make this the first-ever 100% successful Math 408C class!

One more suggestion: have fun this semester! Some of us think math is so cool that we end up doing it for a living. I will try to convey to you some of what's kewl, and invite you to consider majoring (or minoring) in math, joining the math club, or simply taking more math classes. I am always happy to talk in my office about mathematics topics beyond what we discuss in class.