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MTH 154: Calculus I

Fall 2015
MTH 154          Calculus I (4 credits)
Room:              127 DH
Time:               MWF 10:30-11:47
Office Hours:    MWF: 10:00-10:40; W: 18:30-19:30 

Note:  This syllabus is simply copied from the "department syllabus".  I am obliged to strictly follow this syllabus. 

PrerequisiteA 2.0 or better in MTH 141 or an equivalent course at another school, or placement "C."


Calculus, Single Variable, Early Transcendentals, 8th Ed. (or Calculus, Early Transcendentals, 8th Ed. for students who are planning to take MTH 254) by Stewart, published by Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning. (If you have the 7th edition of either early transcendentals versions of this text, you may be able to use it although there are  changes in homework problems.)

The syllabus below indicates the sections covered in both texts, and homework assignments will indicate which problems in which text are assigned. The material to be covered is contained in chapters 2-5. (See the detailed syllabus).

You are expected to purchase a copy of this textbook. A student solutions manual, containing worked-out solutions to many of the exercises, is available at the book center, but its purchase is totally optional (homework will be assigned from both those exercises that have answers in the back of the text and/or solutions in the manual and those that do not). In addition, a copy of the textbook, student solutions manual, alternative textbooks, and other material will be on 2-hour reserve at Kresge Library.


For this course, a graphing calculator is strongly recommended. There may be some restriction on calculator usage on the exams. The portions of tests and quizzes for which calculators are allowed will be constructed assuming only that you have a calculator with logarithmic, exponential, and trigonometric functions as well as memory storage. No matter what kind of calculator you have, it is important to learn to use it effectively. In particular, know how to do long calculations without writing down intermediate answers, and be aware of how many digits of accuracy you can expect an answer to have. Some instructors may limit or prohibit the use of calculators on exams.  To receive full credit on tests, be sure to show all the mathematical work necessary for setting up a calculation before using the calculator. Try to use your calculator imaginatively, too; for example, calculators provide you with ways to verify answers (e.g., by graphing with a graphing calculator, or plugging in particular values of variables). Using a calculator to store formulas you need for a test is not permitted.


There will be three hourly exams (worth 100 points each) scheduled for
  • Wednesday, September 30,
  • Monday, October 26,
  • Wednesday, November 18

The second and third of these exams may include material covered on previous exams.

Final Exam  

The final exam is comprehensive. The final exam for all daytime section of MTH 154 will be given on Friday, December 11, at 8:00 - 10:45 am, in rooms to be announced. 


Your course grade will be based upon the weighted percentage taken from your homework, hourly exams, and final exam. There is no fixed grading scale for this course; a conversion formula from your percentage score to Oakland University grades will be determined with each exam and announced upon return of the exam. An indication of the class performance on that exam will also be announced. 

The following target scale is the most stringent scale that will be used in the course:  95%=4.0, 90%=3.6, 80%=3.0, 65%=2.0, 50%=1.0. 


No make-up tests will be given. If you miss one (respectively two, three) test(s) with a valid excuse, your final exam will be worth 300 (respectively 400, 500) points; otherwise the missed test will count as a 0.  Travel and vacation plans do not constitute a valid excuse in this context.


Cheating is a serious academic offense. Oakland University policy requires that all suspected instances of cheating be reported to the Academic Conduct Committee for adjudication. Anyone found guilty of cheating in this course will receive a course grade of 0.0, in addition to any penalty assigned by the Academic Conduct Committee. Working with others on homework does not constitute cheating; handing in an assignment that has essentially been copied from someone else does. Receiving help from someone else or from unauthorized written material during a test or final exam is cheating, as is using a calculator as an electronic "crib sheet." Providing such assistance for someone else also constitutes cheating.


Fall 2015


You should attempt to do all the problems and exercises in the sections that we cover.  Everything in the book is fair game.  Below I am suggesting some of them. 

2.1: 3-9
2.2: 15-26, 29-37
2.3: 3-32, 37-46
2.4: 19-32, 36-44
2.5: 15-32, 35-56
2.6: 15-38, 41-46, 49-56
2.7: 13-40
2.8: 54-59

3.1: 3-36, 56-59
3.2: 3-34
3.3: 1-24, 39-50
3.4: 7-46
3.5: 5-32, 49-60
3.6: 2-34, 39-56
3.10: 11-28

4.1: 15-62
4.2: 5-38
4.3: 9-21, 37-48, 73-79
4.4: 8-68
4.5: 1-54



Below is the intended syllabus for the daytime classes.  As this is the intended syllabus, we may get mildly ahead or behind it.  At the end of the term, we will be on schedule.






Aug. 31

Sept. 1

Sept. 2

Sept. 3 

First day of classes 

Sept. 4


2.1 Tangent and Velocity Problems (rates of change)

Sept. 7

Labor Day

No Classes

Sept. 8

Sept. 9

2.2 Limits of Functions (intuitive)

Sept. 10

Sept. 11

2.3 Limit Laws (definitive)

Sept. 14


Sept. 15

Sept. 16

2.4 Precise Definition of a Limit

Sept. 17

Sept. 18

2.5 Continuity, Intermediate Value Theorem

Sept. 21

2.6 Limits at Infinity $ Horizontal Asymptotes

Sept. 22

Sept. 23

2.7 Derivatives & Rates of Change

Sept. 24

Sept. 25

2.8 Derivative as a function

Sept. 28


Sept. 29

Sept. 30

Exam 1

Oct. 1

Oct. 2

3.1 Derivative formulas (linearity, power, and exponential functions)

Oct. 5

3.2 Product & Quotient Rules

Oct. 6

Oct. 7

3.3 Derivatives of Trigonometric Functions

Oct. 8


Oct. 9

3.4 Chain Rule

Oct. 12

3.5 Implicit differentiation, Inverse Trigonometric Functions


Oct. 14

3.6 Derivatives of Logarithmic. Functions & Logarithmic Differentiation

Oct. 15

Oct. 16

3.9 Related Rates Problems

Oct. 19


Oct. 20

Oct. 21

3.10 Linear Approximation & Differentials

Oct. 22

Oct. 23


Oct. 26

Exam 2

Oct. 27

Oct. 28

4.1 Maximum and Minimum Values (Local and Absolute)

Oct. 29

Oct. 30

4.2 Mean Value Theorem

Nov. 2

4.3 How Derivatives Affect a Graph (monotonicity, local extrema,1st derivative test)

Nov. 3


Nov. 4

4.3 How Derivatives Affect a Graph (concavity, 2nd derivative text, inflection points)

Nov. 5

Last day to withdraw

Nov. 6

4.4 Indeterminate Forms & L'Hospital's Rule

Nov. 9

4.7 Applied Optimization Problems

Nov. 10

Nov. 11

4.7 More Applied Optimization Problems

Nov. 12

Nov. 13

4.9 Antiderivatives

Nov. 16


Nov. 17

Nov. 18

Exam 3

Nov. 19

Nov. 29

5.1 Area & Distances

Nov. 23

5.2 Definition of the Integral

Nov. 24 

Nov. 25

5.3 Fundamental Theorem of Calculus

Nov. 26:  Thanksgiving  No Classes

Nov. 27  Thanksgiving No Classes

Nov 30

5.4 Indefinite Integrals, Net Change

Dec. 1

Dec. 2

5.5 Substitution Rule

Dec. 3

Dec. 4 

Last day of classes


Dec. 7

Dec. 8

Dec. 9

Dec. 10




Dec. 11

Final Exam

8:00-10:45 am

Important Dates

Sept. 17   Last day for "no record" drop, add, refund
Nov. 5  Last day for official withdrawal (W grade)
Nov. 26-27 Thanksgiving Recess (no classes)
Dec. 4 Last day of classes

Dec. 11   Final Exam—Day classes, 8:00-10:45 am

Tony Shaska,
Sep 28, 2015, 7:30 AM
Tony Shaska,
Sep 28, 2015, 7:31 AM