MATH 161

Calculus IA

Course Policies and Information.

Joshua Sumpter
E-mail: jsumpter at ur dot rochester dot edu
Office: Hylan 803
Lectures: TR 2-3:15pm, Meliora 203.
Normal Office Hours: TR 4-5pm, To be held via Zoom (see Blackboard for link).
Tritium Shen
E-mail: cshen9 at ur dot rochester dot edu
Office: Hylan 710
Lectures: MW 2-3:15pm, Computer Studies Room 209
Office Hours: MW 12:30-1:30pm (EST), To be held via Zoom (see Blackboard for link).
  • Students should feel free to attend any of the office hours listed above, regardless of instructor.
  • Until further notice, all lectures and office hours will be conducted via Zoom. The Zoom links for both instructors are available through the course Blackboard page.
  • All students attending any aspects of the course must follow University policy on mask-wearing and social distancing.

Textbook and Requirements

Calculus: Early Transcendentals (9th edition) by James Stewart. A physical copy or online/e-book are both acceptable. You may use an older edition, however there will be some differences in page and section numbers.

Course Description

Elementary real functions: algebraic, trigonometric, exponential, their inverses, graphs, derivatives and integrals; limits, l’Hopital’s rule, Mean value theorem, maxima and minima, curve plotting. The fundamental theorem of calculus, with geometric and physical applications, substitution rule for integration. the course catalog.

Exams and Grading

There will be two midterm exams and a final exam. For exam times and further info, see the see the Exams and Grading page.

Your grade for the course will be based on your performance on exams, WeBWorK, and participation in workshop:

  • WeBWorK homework - 20%
  • Workshop attendance and participation - 10%
  • Midterm Exams - 20% each
  • Comprehensive Final Exam - 30%

The Final Exam will have two parts: Part A will cover the material tested in both Midterms 1 & 2, while Part B will only contain questions related to material appearing after Midterm 2. Part A accounts for 10% of your course grade and Part B accounts for 20% of your course grade. In addition, the Part A score will replace the lowest midterm score if it is indeed higher (but not both). Makeup exams are typically not offered. If you miss a midterm exam for some reason, then Part A of the final exam will count as your makeup. Final Part A can only replace one midterm score, however.

You will NOT be permitted calculators or other electronic devices (smart phones, smart watches, etc) on any exams. You will NOT be permitted books, notes, or “cheat sheets” on any exams.

The following is a rough indication of how your course grade will be assigned and exact grade cutoffs will be determined at the end of the semester:

> 90% will guarantee at least an A-
> 80% will guarantee at least a B-
> 70% will guarantee at least a C-
> 60% will guarantee at least a D-
< 60% potentially failing

Incomplete “I” grades are almost never given. The only justification is a documented serious medical problem or a genuine personal/family emergency. Falling behind in this course or problems with workload on other courses are not acceptable reasons.

WeBWorK Homework

WeBWorK problems are done over the web and provide instant feedback as to whether you have done a problem correctly or not. You are encouraged to discuss problems with other students, however WeBWorK problems are individualized for each student, so you must do your own assignment. WeBWorK problems count for 20% of the total grade. There will be weekly WeBWorK assignments, which may consist of up to 25 problems. Your lowest WeBWorK score will be dropped. WeBWorK deadlines are Friday nights at 11:59pm. Please note that extensions will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. A crowded schedule or minor illness are NOT valid reasons to ask for an extension. If you know you will be absent from school for an extended period, inform your instructor as early as possible so arrangements can be made.

A “WeBWorK TA” will be available to answer questions about Webwork homework sets until 5pm on Fridays. Questions received after 5pm may not be answered. There is a button on each problem to email the WeBWorK TA.

To access webwork click the Webwork link in Course Materials on the MTH 161 blackboard site.


Workshops will meet once a week. You are responsible for signing up for and attending your weekly workshop. Instructions are posted on the workshop page.

These will involve worksheets related to material covered each week in lecture. You will NOT be expected to turn in worksheets. Workshop attendance and participation accounts for 10% of your final grade. You should sign up for the one that best fits your schedule and stick to that one! There are no makeup workshops and you cannot skip around to other workshops. Workshop starts the week of Sept 6. Your lowest two workshop grades will be dropped (i.e. you are allowed two unexcused absenses). You may only be excused from a workshop in exceptional circumstances with supporting documentation. Your course instructor will determine the validity of your excuse. Contact your professor if you have documentation for an excuse or your schedule has changed and you need to switch workshops permanently.

The problems on these worksheets will generally be more difficult than problems on the homework or examples in class. Instead of doing routine calculations, you will be asked to analyze and explain in a small group. The questions will aim to get you to think more deeply about the material you are learning in class. The point of these workshops is to spend 75 minutes discussing and thinking about the material taught in class. This should help you solidify your own understanding of the material, as well as that of your peers. Explaining a topic to others is one of the best ways to learn the material! Therefore, you will not be graded on correct answers, but instead you’ll be graded individually depending on your total engagement and effort in the workshop.

The grading will be based on the following 0-2 point scale:

  • 0 if the student was absent.
  • 1 if the student was not engaged, pulled out their phone or computer during the session, or was late to the workshop.
  • 2 if the student was engaged the entire period, actively working on the problems, and made progress on most of the problems.

Disability Support

The University of Rochester respects and welcomes students of all backgrounds and abilities. In the event you encounter any barrier(s) to full participation in this course due to the impact of disability, please contact the Office of Disability Resources. The access coordinators in the Office of Disability Resources can meet with you to discuss the barriers you are experiencing and explain the eligibility process for establishing academic accommodations. You can reach the Office of Disability Resources at: (585) 275-3424; Taylor Hall. Or, visit Disability Resources.

Please note that to be granted alternate testing accommodations, you (the student) must fill out forms with Disability Resources at least seven days before each and every exam. These forms are not sent automatically. Instructors are not responsible for requesting alternative testing accommodations at CETL or making accommodations on their own.

Academic Integrity Statement

All assignments and activities associated with this course must be performed in accordance with the University of Rochester’s Academic Honesty Policy. More information is available at:

Math Dept policy on unauthorized online resources: Any usage whatsoever of online solution sets or paid online resources ( or similar) is considered an academic honesty violation and will be reported to the Board on Academic Honesty. In particular, any assignment found to contain content which originated from such sources is subject to a minimum penalty of zero on the assignment and a full letter grade reduction at the end of the semester (e.g. a B would be reduced to a C). Depending on the circumstances, this may apply even if the unauthorized content was obtained through indirect means (through a friend for instance) and/or the student is seemingly unaware that the content originated from such sources. If you have any questions about whether resources are acceptable, please check with your instructor.

College Credit-Hour Policy

This course follows the College credit hour policy for four-credit courses. This course meets 3 academic hours per week. The course also includes recitations/workshops for 1.5 academic hours per week.