Instructor: Tim Chumley
Office: Clapp 423
Phone: 413-538-2525
e-mail: tchumley

Course: Math 203, Multivariable Calculus

Prerequisites: Math 102 (Calculus II), or equivalent

Textbook: APEX Calculus 3 by Gregory Hartman, ISBN: 1719263663;
available as a free pdf or interactive html site.

Learning goals: During the semester we will be learning how to

  • work with vectors algebraically and geometrically.
  • represent multivariable functions graphically in 3D and through contour plots.
  • use partial derivatives to analyze the rates of change of multivariable functions.
  • use a tangent plane to approximate values of a function \(f(x,y)\) near a point.
  • compute iterated integrals, line integrals, and surface integrals of functions and reason about the integration process geometrically.
  • apply multivariable integration and differentiation in real-world problems.
  • use and understand higher-dimensional analogues of the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus.

Attendance: When healthy, I expect everyone to come to each class ready to do math. This means that you should bring paper, pens, pencils, and other equipment that you may need. Before each class please prepare by doing any assigned reading and suggested problems. Please expect to talk in small groups as well as in class discussions. Activities may involve worksheets and informal presentations that will be designed to contribute significantly to our learning.

Participation: Besides attending class and doing homework, I encourage everyone to participate actively and frequently since it makes such a difference in your learning. I suggest asking and answering questions during lecture and on our discussion board, working in groups in and out of class, coming to office hours, responding to feedback surveys, and keeping in touch with me and your classmates.

Homework: There will be weekly homework assignments of computational and conceptual nature.

Quizzes: There will be weekly quizzes with problems similar to the previous week’s homework.

Exams: There will be two midterm exams and a final exam.

Technology: Here are some general remarks on the use of calculators, software, and phones:

  • For all homework, quizzes, and exams, you may use a scientific calculator, but it is not necessary or required (I generally write questions that can be done by hand or left unsimplified).
  • Software like Wolfram Alpha or Desmos can be used on homework or other outside the class work, but its use should be cited. You’re expected to show your work on problems.
  • It’s ok to take photos of the board for note taking, but please don’t post these online.
  • Please keep your phones on Do Not Disturb mode in class, especially during quizzes and exams so as not to disturb others.
  • If you’re unsure whether something is ok to use, please feel free to ask.

Late work, makeups: In general, I ask you to turn homework in by the deadlines and take exams on time because it helps you keep up with the class and it helps me to stay organized. However, I nearly universally say yes to short extensions if you ask. Please just get in touch as soon as possible and suggest how long you think you’ll need. The only caveat is that you’ll get less time to submit redos on late work since redo deadlines are firm. We’ll need to have a longer conversation and make detailed plans if you go through an extended absence or missed deadlines start to pile up, but my goal is to help anyone who falls behind.

Getting help: Here are some of the resources that will be available:

  • TA help: Our class has TA’s who will be available for help on weeknight evenings. More information on their availability will be announced.
  • Office hours: These times (which will be posted near the top of the class web page) are open drop in sessions where there may be multiple students getting help. It’s expected that you come with specific questions about notes, homework problems, or the text that you have thought about already. If you need to schedule a time to meet with me one-on-one, either to discuss something private or because you can’t make my office hours, please send me an email with times that you are available to meet, and I will find a time that works for both of us.
  • Study groups: Other students in the class are a wonderful resource. I want our class to feel like a community of people working together, so I encourage forming study groups and collaboration, but work to be turned in should be written up individually and on your own.

Grades: Grades will be assigned according to the following weighting:

  • Participation: 5%
  • Homework: 20%
  • Quizzes: 15%
  • Exam 1: 20%
  • Exam 2: 20%
  • Exam 3: 20%

Overall letter grades will be based on a scale no stricter than the usual:

  • 93-100: A
  • 90-93: A-
  • 88-90 B+
  • 83-88: B
  • 80-83: B-
  • 78-80: C+
  • 73-78: C
  • 70-73: C-
  • 67-70: D+
  • 63-67: D
  • 60-63: D-
  • 0-60: F

Academic integrity: It is very important for you to follow the Honor Code in all of your work for this course. Collaboration on homework assignments is encouraged. However, it is important that you only write what you understand, and that it is in your own words. My first instinct is always to trust you, but I cannot give credit for plagiarized work and might have to refer such issues to the academic deans. If you have any questions about whether something is an Honor Code violation, please ask me.

Students with disabilities: If you have a disability and would like to request accommodations, please get in touch with me. We’ll work together, along with Disability Services, to make sure the class is accessible and equitable.