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MAMT 540 Calculus Revisited
Winter 2012

Instructor: Tom Hull

Time: Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:30pm - 5:20pm, starting Monday, January 7, 2013

Location: Herman Hall room 311

Calculus! Don't you have fond memories of the first time you learned about derivatives and integrals? Learned how to solve word problems involving related rates or optimization? Calculated the equations of tangent lines to curves and the volumes of surfaces of revolutions?

Remember what calculus problem pictures like this ask you to solve?

In this class you'll get to re-live some of those memories and go further. We'll do this "go further" part in two main ways:

  • Studying the calculus reform movement:
    In the 1980s a movement started to "reform" the way calculus was taught in colleges and universities (which eventually made its way into high schools). Why did people do this? What happened? And how has calculus teaching changed as a result?
  • Tidbits from higher calculus:
    All of calculus can be extended to higher dimensions, but seldom do calculus classes really touch on this. We'll look at 4 or 5 main theorems from higher-dimensional calculus (which use vectors and matrices) to get a sense of the bigger picture of calculus and try to understand what kind of problems it can be applied to.

Course Schedule: The curriculum of the course will be roughly divided into two halves:

First Half: While we review basic calculus in class, students will be working in teams to analyze and give a presentation on an aspect of the calculus reform movement. Specifically, teams will be given a "reform textbook" to study and report on to the rest of the class.

Second Half: We'll focus on more advanced calculus methods, especially bringing the material up to higher dimensions. Depending on how the first half of the course goes, there might be a final, individual project assigned on a more focused aspect of calculus reform or calculus teaching.

Textbooks: There is no textbook for the first half of the class (other than locating any used books for your calculus reform team project). For the second half of the course I will ask that you obtain a USED copy of:

Vector Calculus by Jerold Marsden and Anthony Tromba, W H Freeman, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th edition.


Please contact me if you have any questions!

Last updated: 12/10/2012