General Information

and Course Policies

What is Multivariable Calculus? In this class we will revisit many of the ideas covered in the first two semesters of calculus: instantaneous rates of change and differentiation, optimization, and integration. However, as indicated by the title, Multivariable Calculus will cover these concepts in the context of functions of more than one variable (although we will concentrate on functions of two variables in this class). Most of the ideas from Calculus A and B generalize nicely for functions of two or more variables, and even more appealing, this theory comes alive because of the 3-dimensional nature of the mathematical objects involved. As you will soon discover, third semester calculus involves much more visualization in 3 dimensions than previous calculus courses, and computer software such as Maple will be an invaluable tool for gaining an understanding of the material.

The Text. William McCallum, Deborah Hughes-Hallett, Andrew M. Gleason, et. al., Multivariable Calculus 4th ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2005. You can find the book at a cheaper price here.

Software. There will be a considerable amount of work done with the aid of the computer algebra system, Maple. The Maple program is available for our use in Peirce 001 (eventually), RBH 203, and in RBH 311 (evenings only). I will assume no prior knowledge of Maple, so you will learn what you need to know as we go.
Daily Homework. As with any math class, homework is the most important aspect of the course. Homework exercises will be collected and graded regularly (typically about 2 assignments per week.) The homework may involve computer exercises as well as hand-written computations and explanations. Your homework must be legible, with problem number and final answer clearly indicated. Explanations should be written in complete sentences. Random math expressions floating in space will receive no credit.


  1. Homework is due at the START of class on the assigned due date, unless I specify otherwise. Late homework will not be accepted. If you know you will be missing class for some reason (e.g., an athletic event), turn in your assignment BEFORE you leave. Under extenuating circumstances extensions may be granted, but this should be discussed with me in advance.
  2. Your homework will be evaluated on neatness, completeness, and correctness.
  3. Group work is encouraged, but assignments must be written up INDIVIDUALLY unless you are told otherwise. Copied work will receive no credit - even if the work was discussed in collaboration with a classmate before write-up.
Daily Reading. Reading the textbook before each lesson is a necessity. Come to class prepared with questions and comments for discussion. There will not be enough time to cover all aspects of each topic during class. You will still be held responsible for the material.
Projects. There will be projects assigned throughout the semester (see calendar). On all of these projects, you are encouraged to work in pairs (however, no more than two may work together). When working in pairs both students must be involved in all aspects of the work; that is, each can not perform an isolated half of the project. There will be one submission per pair, and both collaborators will receive the same grade. Many labs will have a significant written component, and presentation will be a large part of the grade. Be sure to write in complete sentences, and include all accompanying mathematics and computer computation in a clear, concise, and convincing manner.

Exams. There will be three exams and a comprehensive final exam. Their dates are given below.

Exam I Wednesday, September 26
Exam II Monday, October 29
Exam III Friday, November 16 (Note: This is the Friday before Thanksgiving. Do not buy early plane tickets!)
The Final Exam Fri., Dec. 14, 1:30-4:30PM in RBH 311
***Note: The final will be 3 hours long***

Grades. Your grade will be based on the daily homework, projects, 3 hourly exams, and the final exam. Each will be weighted as follows.

% of Total

Daily Homework




3 Exams (15% each)


Final Exam




Class participation will be used to help make borderline decisions.

Academic Honesty. In general, the rules set forth in the 2007-2008 Course of Study apply. Presenting the work of others as your own is strictly prohibited. In the case of homework, you may collaborate with others in discussing how a problem may be solved, but your write-up must be your own. If you submit work that contains the ideas or words of someone else, then you must provide proper citation. Assistance can not be given nor received (other than by the instructor) on any quiz, or exam associated with this course, except where explicitly allowed by the instructor. In the case of a group assignment, all members of the group should contribute equally to writing the final product. And every member of the group is responsible for the content of the entire paper or project, not just the section(s) that are written by that person. Don't put your name on a paper written by others. For further information, consult your instructor.
Learning Disabilities. If you have a disability which requires an accommodation in this class, please feel free to discuss your concerns with me, but you should also consult Ms. Erin Salva, (Coordinator of Disability Services; Office of the Dean for Academic Advising, PBX 5453) as soon as possible. Ms. Salva (in consultation with the L.E.A.R.N. committee) has the authority and the expertise to decide on the accommodations that are proper for your disability. Though I am happy to help you in any way I can, I cannot make any accommodations for learning (or other) disabilities without proper authorization from Ms. Salva.
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