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Math 125, Calculus I

Fall 2009, Class 39459R


The course is an introduction to the principles of Calculus. It has a prerequisite of either MATH 108 or a sufficient score on the placement test.

Class times: The lecture will meet MWF 10:00 - 10:50 in GFS 101. The discussion sections will meet TuTh between 11:00 and 1:50 (according to the section you are registered in) in GFS 114.

Instructor: F. Bonahon, KAP 248G, Tel: (213) 740 2390 
  WWW page: 
Office hours: Monday 1-2
Wednesday 2-3
Friday 12-1
Teaching assistant: Letian Ding
  Office hours: TBA
Textbook: Essential Calculus
  by James Stewart
  Thomson Brooks/Cole
Dates (approximately)  Topics Sections
Aug. 24 - Sep. 16
Limits and continuity 1.1 - 1.6
Sep. 18 - Oct. 5
Derivatives 2.1 - 2.8
Oct. 9 - Oct. 26
Applications of derivatives 3.1 - 3.7
Oct. 28 - Nov. 16
Integrals 4.1 - 4.5
Nov. 18 - December 4
Logarithms and exponentials 5.1 - 5.5
Grading system: 35% final
  25% each hour exam
  15% homework, quizzes and computer assignments

Web site: Official announcements for the course, including homework assignments, will be posted at
You are expected to check this page on a regular basis. The easiest way to access it may be to search for the Instructor's last name (Bonahon) on your favorite search engine (Google, Yahoo, etc...). Usually, the first entry returned by the engine is the Instructor's main web page, and the MATH 125 page is just two clicks away (click on "Teaching" first).

Final exam: The final exam, common to all sections of MATH 125, will be held on Wednesday December 16, 8:00 - 10:00 AM, in a room to be announced later in the semester. Note that, bye a strictly enforced University rule, no student can be allowed to take the exam early. Please take this into account when making travel arrangements for you winter break.

Hour exams:  Hour exams will be held on October 14 and November 11. The location of the exams will be announced in class, shortly before their scheduled dates.

Exam policy: No calculator, books or notes will be allowed for exams or quizzes. In the hour exams, you will be allowed to use a "cheat sheet", written in your own handwriting and in a format discussed in class, where you can note whatever you think may be useful to you. The rules for the Common Final will be announced later in the semester.

Homework: Homework will be assigned every week (usually on Wednesdays). On some weeks, the homework will be collected and graded. On other weeks, the homework will not be collected, but there will be a quiz on related material in the discussion section, usually on Thursday. We will drop your two lowest homework/quiz grades. No late homework will be accepted, no homework will be accepted by fax or e-mail, and no make-up quiz will be given (the dropping of the two lowest gradest is designed to take care of emergencies). .
    The homework assignments are meant as minimum requirements. You should do more problems from the book on your own. Note that the answers (usually correct, but with occasional exceptions) to all the odd-numbered problems are at the end of the textbook. A good performance on exams requires, not only a good understanding of the concepts of the course, but also the ability of solving problems fast. Doing many problems is a good way to improve your performance in this regard.
    In addition, we will have 2 or 3 computer assignments, which will use scientific software available in the Computer Lab in KAP XXX, and in many other locations on campus. More information will be given in class at the time of these assignments.

Collaboration: Working in groups is a more efficient way of learning. You are strongly encouraged to meet with other students in the class to study the material of the course and/or get help for the homework. However, the homework should also involve a fair amount of personal work. In particular, just copying someone else's homework is not acceptable and will not be accepted.

Academic integrity: The instructor strongly adheres to the University policies regarding academic integrity violations, and will strictly enforce these rules. You are encouraged to review those, for instance in your copy of SCampus.

Help: Do not forget that the Instructor and the Teaching Assistant are here to help you, in particular if you are having some trouble with the class. Do not hesitate to come to their office hours, and/or to make an appointment if their timing conflicts with your schedule.

Math Center: The Mathematics Center is located in KAP 263 and is open from 8:00 AM to at least 5:00 PM, Monday through Thursday, and from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Friday. Its purpose is to provide an environment where students can stop by to get help on their math classes. The office hours of the Teaching Assistant and one office hour of the Instructor will be held in the Math Center and, since they follow more closely the development of the class, it will probably be better to attend these office hours. However, you are welcome to stop by the Center at any time, and ask for help from any of the Instructors or Teaching Assistants who are teaching MATH 125 this semester and are present in the Center at that time.

Students with Disabilities: Any student requesting academic accommodations based on a disability is required to register with Disability Services and Programs (DSP) each semester.  A letter of verification for approved accommodations can be obtained from DSP.  Please be sure the letter is delivered to me as early in the semester as possible.  DSP is located in STU 301 and is open 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  The phone number for DSP is (213) 740-0776.

Joint Educational Project: The Joint Educational Project (JEP) provides mentors for K-12 students in the USC neighborhood, and is in particular need of math mentors. Students who have participated in this program have found it a very rewarding experience. See the JEP web page at for details.
   As a way to encourage student participation, we will provide an extra credit of 2% to any student who fully participates in the JEP math mentoring program. Note that the corresponding boost to your score for the course will be very modest, so that this essentially is a token mark of appreciation for good citizenship.

Disclaimer: This syllabus is not a contract, and the Instructor reserves the right to make some changes during the semester.