Math 42
Winter 2017

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Course Description and Prerequisites

Math 42 is a 4-credit course in introductory calculus, second in the sequence of Math 41-42. The class covers provides an introduction to the study of sequences, series, and improper integrals and ordinary differential equations. The syllabus can be found here, and a more detailed breakdown of the schedule and homework can be found at the Course Schedule page.


  • Dr. Jorge Acosta
    Office: 380-382Q1
    Email: jorge.acosta(at)stanford(dot)edu

Teaching Assistants

  • Chao Li (ACE)
    Office: 380-381B
    Email: chlch(at)math(dot)stanford(dot)edu

  • Weston Ungemach
    Office: 380-380J
    Email: westonu(at)stanford(dot)edu

  • Gergely Szucs
    Office: 380-381B
    Email: gergelys(at)stanford(dot)edu

Office Hours

You are encouraged to attend the office hours provided by any of the instructors or teaching assistants, regardless of which lecture you are enrolled in. 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 all the way across campus.


The textbook for this course is Calculus: Single Variable 6th Edition, by Hughes-Hallett, Gleason, McCallum, et al. This course will cover sections from Chapters 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 of the book.

Most homework exercises and suggested reading are taken from the book, so you should have a copy. Your instructor will provide more information about this book on the first day of classes.

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.

Attending lecture and section

Students are strongly encouraged to attend the lecture they are registerd for. However, we recognize that schedules can vary week-to-week, so you are invited to attend whichever lecture works subject to available seating!

Discussion sessions are a great additional resource we have in Math 42. Held at various times on Tuesdays and Thursdays this term, they will provide opportunities to see more guided examples and try your hand at exercises with a member of the teaching team present. More exposure to and practice with the material will greatly add to your learning.


Your grade will be based on the following components:

  • Homework: 15%
  • Midterm Exam 1: 25%
  • Midterm Exam 2: 25%
  • Final Exam: 35%



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 beginning of class.

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

Late homework will be accepted only under very exceptional circumstances.

Your homework must be stapled and have your first and last name on the front page. Otherwise, you will receive a score of zero on this homework. This is a firm policy.


There will be two EVENING midterm exams and a university scheduled final exam. Most of the problems on the exams will be similar to the problems in the weekly homework, but there will always one or two harder problems. The material covered by each exam is given by the suggested reading and homework, including the practice problems.

All exams for Math 42 this quarter are closed-book, closed-notes, with no calculators or other electronic aids permitted. Individual exams will be neither curved nor scaled.

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

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

  • Midterm 1: Wednesday, February 1, 7:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Midterm 2: Wednesday, February 22, 7:00pm - 10:00pm

For more informaiton, 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.

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. You are also responsible for homework while traveling. You may turn it in early or arrange to have a friend turn it in for you. If neither of these work for you, please contact the instructor to make alternate arrangements.

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.
  • Handing in other student's papers: Sometimes it is necessary to have a friend hand in a homework assignment for you. Please note however that if your friend forgets, hands in the paper late or in the wrong location, then the late assignment cannot be accepted.
  • 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.

Winter 2017-- Department of Mathematics, Stanford University
Problems with this page? Contact Dr. Jorge Acosta so we can fix the problem.