Math 20
Spring 2018

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Course Description and Prerequisites

Math 20 is a 3 credit course in introductory calculus. The class covers integration, applications of integration, and an introduction to differential equations. A more detailed breakdown of the schedule and homework can be found at the Course Schedule page.

Students need to have a strong foundation in 'precalculus'. In particular, you need knowledge of standard mathematical notation and vocabulary, comfort with the concept of a function, a mastery of all things concerning lines (how to compute slopes, several ways to write the equation of lines), and an ability to manipulate algebraic expressions (simplify fractions, factor polynomials). Students also need to be able to compute limits and derivatives of functions.

Lectures: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in 200-203 from 1:30pm to 2:20pm.


  • Jesse Madnick
    Office: 380-380T
    Email: jmadnick(at)stanford(dot)edu

Course Assistants

  • Dylan Cant
    (Course Assistant)
    Office: 380-380H
    Email: dcant(at)stanford(dot)edu

  • Zhengqing Zhou
    (Course Assistant)
    Office: 380-381N
    Email: zqzhou(at)stanford(dot)edu

  • Mya Havard
    (ACE Course Assistant)
    The ACE application is here
    Email: havard(at)stanford(dot)edu

Office Hours

You are encouraged to attend any of the office hours provided by the instructor or course assistants. No appointment is necessary: just drop in at the scheduled office hours with your questions!

The scheduled office hours for any given week can be found on the Office Hours page. Note that they might change slightly from week to week, so it's always a good idea to check both the time and location before walking across campus.


The textbook is Calculus: Single Variable, 6th edition, by Hughes-Hallett, Gleason, McCallum, et al. (This will also be the text for Math 21.)

Most homework exercises and suggested reading are taken from the book, so you should have a copy. It is not recommended that you use a copy of a different edition, since the homework problems will come from the 6th edition and the numbering may be different.

For your convenience the textbook is available for purchase at the Stanford bookstore. However, this is a pretty standard textbook and you might be able to buy it elsewhere new or used for a lower price.


Your grade will be based on the following components:

  • Homework: 25%
  • Midterm 1: 25%
  • Midterm 2: 25%
  • Final Exam: 25%

There are no predetermined numerical cutoffs for letter grades.


There will be weekly homework posted on the homework page. Your solutions to the assigned homework will be graded and returned to you.

Homework will be due every week on Wednesday at the start of lecture. For details about handing in your homework, see the homework page.

Upon enrollment in the course, all subsequent homework assignments will count towards your homework grade. Your lowest homework score will be dropped from your total score at the end of the quarter.

Late homework will only be accepted under very exceptional circumstances.


There will be a two evening midterm exams and a final exam.

All exams for Math 20 this quarter are closed-book, closed-notes, with no calculators or other electronic aids permitted.

The exam dates are given below; it is your responsibility to verify right now that you can attend these exams. Please contact your instructor as soon as possible if you will not be able to attend a midterm. If you need to reschedule a midterm, you must do so no later than two weeks before the exam. The final exam cannot be rescheduled, per department policy.

If an emergency occurs and you need to miss an exam, contact your instructor as soon as possible.

  • Midterm 1: Monday, April 30th, 7:00pm-10:00pm; Location: Geology Corner: Room 320-105 (OAE: Room 320-106)
  • Midterm 2: Monday, May 21st, 7:00pm-10:00pm; Location: Geology Corner: Room 320-105 (OAE: Room 320-106)
  • Final Exam: Friday, June 8th, 7:00pm-10:00pm; Location: Herrin Hall: Room T175

For more information, see the Exams page.

Office of Accessible Education accommodations

If you have an academic or physical disability which requires academic accommodations, please obtain a letter from the Office of Accessible Education. Once you have done so, please let the instructor know as soon as possible so that proper accommodations can be made.

For accommodations on exams, your instructor must have your letter from OAE no later than one week prior to the exam. Otherwise, we may not have sufficient time to make the accommodations.

Student Athletes

If you are involved in a sport which may require you to travel this quarter, and especially if you will miss either of the midterms, please let the instructor know as soon as possible so that appropriate accommodations can be made. If you do not let the instructor know at least a week in advance of a missed exam, you may be denied the opportunity to take it at an alternate time or on the road. You are also responsible for homework while traveling. See the homework for information about turning in homework.

Other important policies

  • Extra credit assignments: Occasionally students ask for extra credit in order to improve their grade. While we can recommend additional practice problems, we cannot offer them for credit as it would be unfair to the entire class if only a small number of students were allowed a chance to improve their grade. If you become worried about your understanding and grade in the course, please see your instructor as soon as possible for advice.
  • Calculator policy: Calculators are not used in a systematic way in the Math 19-20-21 sequence. Calculators are not allowed or needed on any of the exams. Occasionally, homework problems may call for the use of a scientific or graphing calculator, and it is fine to use them for this purpose.
  • Honor code policy: By Math Department policy, any student found to be in violation of the Honor Code on any assignment or exam in this course will receive a final course letter grade of NP.

Spring 2018 -- Department of Mathematics, Stanford University