Math 42 Winter 2014

Math 42 Winter 2014

This sheet is not a complete syllabus -- instead find everything online at, along with our first assignment of Daily Discussion Problems for this Tuesday's sections.
Home Schedule Section Assignments Office Hours Homework Exams

About This Class

Math 42 is a 5-unit second-term course in calculus with an accelerated pace -- the class covers techniques of integration, applications of integration, differential equations, infinite sequences and series, and Taylor polynomials. Although everyone is welcome in the course, it is aimed primarily to students who took Math 41 last quarter (or have equivalent preparation) and will continue taking more advanced quantitative classes which require a strong calculus background. There are at least two other math courses which may be appropriate for students considering Math 42, so you should be deciding in the first week or so whether Math 42 is the right class for you.

If you successfully took Math 41 last quarter and wish to continue studying calculus, either as background for other subjects or purely out of interest, then Math 42 should be the best class for you. However, be warned that Math 42 moves just as quickly as Math 41 but covers more difficult material. So you can expect Math 42 to be more work than Math 41 was, especially if you had calculus in high school and that background helped you through Math 41.

If you didn't take Math 41 last quarter, you should consider taking Math 20 instead. This is especially true if you are taking math purely out of interest or to satisfy a GER and don't plan to take Math 51 or other more advanced classes -- even if you did well in calculus in high school. The sequence Math 19-20-21 covers the same material as Math 41-42, but at the more traditional year-long pace (ending with Math 21 in the spring quarter). The non-accelerated pace of Math 20 makes it easier for students who have been away from calculus for a while to get their feet under them, and the 3-unit workload may be preferable to students who don't plan to continue taking math courses. Completing Math 21 also gives you the appropriate background to take Math 51 if you choose to do so later.

One quick heads-up to those who didn't take Math 41 and do decide to take Math 42 this quarter: Math 41 last quarter covered a couple of topics which are not on the Calculus AB syllabus, and which you therefore may not have seen in high school. In particular, we covered l'Hospital's Rule (which will not be discussed much in Math 42, but will come up in passing) and integration by parts (which will be treated as a review topic at the very beginning of Math 42).

Finally, to any students who have already seen and are comfortable with most of the material in Math 42, but don't feel quite ready for Math 51: you should know that Math 42 and Math 51 cover very different material, and seeing the material in Math 42 again will not substantially improve your preparation for Math 51. You're probably better off diving right into Math 51.

On Registrar deadlines: Please pay careful attention to all Registrar deadlines, especially the add/drop deadline at the end of the third week of classes. However, University Advising and Research has a special provision in place to accept petitions for switches from Math 42 to 20 submitted in complete form before Friday, February 7, 2014, at 5pm. The instructions for how to properly complete the petition is contained at the bottom of this page. You can also contact your instructor for more information.

Teaching Staff

  • Prof. Zhiyuan Li, Instructor ()
    Lectures: 11 (MWF 11-11:50am, 380-380C), 12 (MWF 1:15-2:05pm, 260-113)
    Office: 382-B (2nd floor of Building 380) (office hours)

  • Dr. Mark Lucianovic, Instructor ()
    Lecture: 06 (MWF 10-10:50am, 380-380Y (new!))
    Office: 381-L (1st floor of Building 380) (office hours)

  • Junsoo Ha, Teaching Assistant ()
    Discussions: 03 (TTh 10-10:50am, 160-315), 08 (TTh 1:15-2:05pm, Green Earth Sci. 134)
    Office: 381-B (1st floor of Building 380) (office hours)

  • Niccolò (Nick) Ronchetti, Teaching Assistant ()
    Discussions: 05 (TTh 11-11:50am, Green Earth Sci. 150), 07 (TTh 9-9:50am, Littlefield 103)
    Office: 381-M (1st floor of Building 380) (office hours)

  • Li-Cheng Tsai, Teaching Assistant ()
    Discussions: 02 (TTh 10-10:50am, Mitchell b67), 04 (TTh 11-11:50am, Green Earth Sci. 131)
    Office: 380-H (basement of Building 380) (office hours)

  • Saran (Sunny) Ahuja, Teaching Assistant ()
    Discussion: ACE (TTh 1:15-3:05pm, Littlefield 104 (new!))
    Office: 380-M (basement of Building 380) (office hours)


The textbook is Single Variable Calculus: Concepts and Contexts, 4th edition, by James Stewart. This is the same textbook used in Math 41 last fall (and it is also used by Math 19, 20, and 21). We will cover most of the material from the second half of Chapter 5 to the end of the book. Most homework exercises and reading assignments are taken from the book, so you should have access to a copy throughout the quarter. (It is not recommended that you try to use a copy of an older edition: although the text is very similar, some examples, some of the homework problems, and most of the problem numbers will be different.)

Lectures and Sections

Each week you will attend three lectures and two discussion sections. The lectures are on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, either at 10am, 11am, or 1:15pm. The discussion sections are on Tuesday and Thursday. See the Section Assignments page to view the choices for times and locations and instructions on the sign-up process. You will sign up for a discussion section via CourseWork, and your available options will depend on your lecture instructor.

The lectures will be used primarily to introduce concepts and develop theory, and serve as a complement to the course textbook. You can get the most out of lecture by having first read the relevant sections in the textbook (as set in the calendar of topics on the course schedule page). In the discussion sections, you meet with your Teaching Assistant in a smaller group. Much of the time in section will be used for example problems based on topics developed in lecture and the textbook; you can get the most out of section by working on the posted daily discussion problems in advance (i.e., immediately after lectures).

Attendance at all lectures and sections is required. If you miss a lecture or a section, it is your responsibility to catch up on the topics that you missed. You should keep in mind that in this course, the material builds on itself; if you miss some of the material, subsequent lectures will be more difficult (or even unintelligible) for you.


There will be weekly homework assignments. For more information and policies, see the Homework page.


Calculators will not be used in a systematic way in Math 42. Calculators will not be allowed on any of the exams, nor should there be any need for one. Occasionally, homework problems may call for the use of a scientific or graphing calculator.


The midterm exams will be held in the evenings on January 28 and February 20. The exact times and locations and other information will be posted on the Exam Information page. If you have a schedule conflict with one of the midterm exams due to another course meeting, you must at least one week before the exam to arrange to take it at an alternate (early) sitting. (The same deadline holds for OAE accomodation requests; see below for details.)

The final exam will be held on Monday, March 17, from 7-10pm. You must take the final exam at this time, which is set by the University.

All of the exams are closed book, closed notes, with no electronic aids. For each exam, if appropriate, you may be provided with a formula sheet, which will be available on the exam materials page prior to the exam, along with other study materials.


Your grade will be based on the following components:
  • Weekly Homework: 10%
  • Total points earned on all exams (midterms and final): 90%

Points available on exams: The total points available on the exams will be in approximate proportion 2:2:3. That is, the first and second midterm exams will have approximately equal numbers of total points available, and the number of points available on the final exam will be approximately 1.5 times those available on a single midterm exam.

There are no predetermined numerical cutoffs for letter grades, and the cutoffs may turn out to be rather different from what you are accustomed to from high school. In general, the grade distribution for the class is usually (roughly) as follows: around 30% of the class receive A's, around 40% receive B's, and most of the rest receive C's.


CourseWork is a web-based program that will be used in Math 42 to allow students to check grades online. It is a secure program, so your grades will be available through CourseWork only to you. Every student must sign into CourseWork and choose a discussion section. CourseWork will be our primary gradekeeping tool; if you do not sign up, you could lose credit for work that you have done. This is completely independent of signing up for the course on Axess -- neither program has any knowledge of the other.

Before you sign into CourseWork, make sure you read the Section Assignments page, which contains instructions on the sign-up process for discussion sections.

Again, remember that Axess and CourseWork are different programs, and you will sign up for different course components on each -- on CourseWork, you sign up for a discussion section based on the table on the Section Assignments page, but on Axess you sign up for a lecture.

Despite its other capabilities, in this class CourseWork will be used only for grades and possibly email announcements.

Links, Getting Help, and Other Resources

  • Math 41 web site, including solutions and statistics for the Final Exam.

  • Tips for Success in Undergraduate Math Courses by Jessica Purcell
    Some very good advice for college calculus students. Read this carefully and do as it suggests.
    Note: Pay particular attention to #3 under "Weekly" and #6 and #7 under "Before the exam". Students who think they're following these tips often overlook those parts, and they're the most important ones!

  • Common Errors in Undergraduate Mathematics by Eric Schechter
    Although this document is a bit on the long side, you should read at least some of it carefully -- you'll do better in your math classes because of it. We encourage you to pay particular attention to the sections: bad handwriting, all of the algebra errors, stream-of-consciousness notations, and going over your work.

  • Math 42 Teaching Staff Office Hours
    Your first resource for help outside of class meetings should be the course instructors and teaching assistants. You are encouraged to attend any of their office-hour sessions, not just those for your lecture or section leader, and no appointment is necessary at the times posted. In office hours we welcome any kind of question; we are here to help you and ready to explain the same thing as many times as necessary. You can also email us, but keep in mind that questions in office hours are answered more quickly and more clearly.

  • Free Tutoring at the Center for Teaching & Learning (runs Sunday, Jan. 12 through dead week)

  • Evening Tutoring by SUMO undergraduate members (free, but priority goes to Math 50-series students)

  • Math Department Web Page

  • Math 42A students are part of the ACE program, short for "Accelerated Calculus for Engineers." More information about the program can be found here.

  • Statement from the Registrar concerning students with documented disabilities:
    "Students who may need an academic accommodation based on the impact of a disability must initiate the request with the Office of Accessible Education (OAE). Professional staff will evaluate the request with required documentation, recommend reasonable accommodations, and prepare an Accommodation Letter for faculty dated in the current quarter in which the request is being made. Students should contact the OAE as soon as possible since timely notice is needed to coordinate accommodations. The OAE is located at 563 Salvatierra Walk (phone: 723-1066)."

  • Honor Code and Fundamental Standard
    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.

  • Statement from Undergraduate Advising and Research concerning the special provision for fifth-week switch to Math 20:
    "Any student registered for either MATH 42 or MATH 42A who wishes to switch to MATH 20 after the Add/Drop Deadline may do so by submitting a Petition to Change Course Enrollment no later than 5:00pm on Friday, February 7, 2014. Students will receive full credit for MATH 20 (3 units) upon earning a passing grade for that course. (Students switching from MATH 42A to MATH 20 may also add the 1-unit ACE course EE 191, before the above date.)
    "Note: Because of the discrepancy in units between either MATH 42 (5 units) or MATH 42A (6 units), and MATH 20 (3 units), students should be advised to consider the possible impact this change may have on their university enrollment requirements. For this reason, students switching from either MATH 42/42A must meet with a UAR Advisor.
    "Specifically, students should complete the Petition to Change Course Enrollment form in the following manner:
    1. Complete the personal information section.
    2. Select 'Section change' and enter the information for both courses in the Change Requested section.
    3. Obtain signature from the instructor of the new course (MATH 20). This may require advance notice of 1-2 days, so prompt attention to this is imperative. [See "additional details" below for contacting Math 20 instructors.] (Students switching from MATH 42A may also submit a separate petition form to request a Late Add for EE 191 at 1-unit, signed by Professor Brad Osgood.)
    4. Sign the form(s).
    5. Meet with an Advisor from the office of Undergraduate Advising and Research to discuss the situation and obtain the Advisor's signature.
    6. Submit the form to VPUE in the office of Undergraduate Advising and Research (UAR) by 5:00pm, February 7, 2014.
    "Students will not need to write a statement regarding why they wish to submit the petition. But they will need to obtain the instructor's signature, as well as the signature of a UAR Advisor. The request will be routinely approved and rather than a withdrawal with the notation of 'W,' MATH 42 or MATH 42A will be dropped from the student's record and MATH 20 (and EE 191, where appropriate) will be added. "

  • Additional details concerning switch to Math 20:
    When switching to Math 20, all of your grades from Math 42 will be deleted. You will be excused from all work from Math 20 that was due before you enrolled in Math 20; your final grade in Math 20 will be computed using the work turned in during the rest of the quarter. In particular, when necessary, the weight of the first midterm will be made up by increasing the weights of the pre-quizzes, homework, second midterm, and final exam proportionally to their original weight in Math 20. Note that Math 20 does not have a discussion section. Please see the Math 20 course website for more details on that course, and please contact the Math 20 instructors listed there if you have additional questions.
    To ensure that you can receive the signature of the Math 20 instructor in time for the UAR deadline listed above, you must email the Math 20 instructor for permission by 5:00pm on Thursday, February 6, 2014. In your email, you must include the following:
    • Your full name
    • The Math 20 lecture you wish to enroll in. To choose your lecture, you can visit the Math 20 course website for a list of lectures offered, along with the lecturer contact information. Please note that by the fifth week some of the lectures might be full; if possible note a second choice in case your first-choice lecture is full and otherwise state clearly that this is the only time slot you are able to attend. Make sure to send your email to the instructor of your first-choice lecture.
    • Your SUNetID (for example "gocard12") and your student ID number (for example "05555555")
  • Winter 2014 -- Department of Mathematics, Stanford University