MCS 119: Calculus with Pre-calculus Review I (Spring 2015)

Course Information


In MCS 118, we learned how to differentiate and integrate algebraic functions and used those ideas to model various real world problems. At the same time, we reviewed the algebra and pre-calculus skills that are useful in understanding this material.

In MCS 119, we will continue our study of functions and their derivatives and integrals. In particular, we will study exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions, and their claculus. We will also examine how derivatives can be applied to problems about rates. Students who complete both MCS118 and MCS119 may use MCS119 to substitute for MCS121.

Course Objectives

  • to model "real world" problems
  • to use algebra and calculus tools to solve these problems
  • to interpret solutions of algebra and calculus problems
  • to improve algebra skills, particularly with respect to fractions, functions and inverse functions
  • to understand the basics of calculus, using algebraic, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions

MATHL Student Learning Outcomes

  • communicate and represent mathematical. logical, or statistical problems in symbolic,
  • graphical, or numerical forms;
  • formulate and solve problems using mathematical, logical, or statistical methods;
  • provide proof or justification of mathematical, logical, or statistical results using deductive reasoning.

Institutional Student Learning Outcomes


MCS 118


We will continue to use Calculus I with Pre-Calculus , by Laron, Hostetler, and Edwards.


You should have a graphing calculator available for use in class and on exams. If you are buying a new one, the MCS department encourages the use of Texas Instruments calculators, in particular the TI84, or the TI89 (though the use of some of its features may be restricted, so you will need to use another calculator on quizzes and tests). If you have the standard version of any of these calculators there is no need to purchase a new calculator. If you have another brand of calculator please see me before purchasing a new one as you may be able to continue using it. A calculator is on reserve in the library (ask at the front desk); the Diversity Center als has a limited number of calculators for students to use.

Class Web Site

All course materials will be available on the class Moodle site; note that there is one Moodle site for both sections. You may also find information at


Classes will be used for lectures, problem solving, discussions, and other fun activities. You should prepare for classes by doing the reading beforehand (reading assignments are posted on the Moodle site), thinking about the problems in the text, and formulating questions of your own. You should also participate as much as possible in class. Class meetings are not intended to be a complete encapsulation of the course material. You will be responsible for learning some of the material on your own.

Attendance, both physical and mental, is required.

Should you need to miss a class for any reason, you are still responsible for the material covered in that class. This means that you will need to make sure that you understand the reading for that day, that you should ask a friend for the notes from that day, and make sure that you understand what was covered. You may not make up any in-class work, unless you have accommodations for a disability (see below). You do not need to tell me why you missed a class unless there is a compelling reason for me to know.

Should you miss more than four classes, no matter what the reason, I will deduct points from your class participation grade.

Using cell phones in class is prohibited.

If you are expecting an urgent call or text message, you should notify me before class. When you get the call, you should quietly leave class and deal with it in the hall. If you are not expecting an urgent call, your cell phone should be turned off and stored in your backpack. Otherwise, if I see or hear your cell phone during class, I will deduct points from your class participation grade.


You will need to read a section of the book and do problems for each day that we have class. Homework problems are designed to help you learn and practice doing the material we cover in class and in the reading. You should read the material and attempt the problems before coming to class. You should finish the problems after class.

Homework problems will not be collected nor graded, sincde they provide you with an opportunity to practice new skills. However, we will collect homework reflection sheets. Additionally, we will post answers to the even numbered problems on-line. There will be approximately 10 homework quizzes throughout the semester to help you check your understanding. These quizzes will consist of problems that are from the homework assignment, perhaps with slight changes in the constants.


We will have two mid-semester exams and and a final exam. The mid-semester exams will be given in the evening, one on Thursday, March 5 and one on Thursday, April 16. The final is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, May 23 at 3:30 pm. Be sure to make appropriate travel plans.

Course grade

Your grade is a measure of your learning and growth in the course, rather than a set of points to be “earned” or “lost.” Viewed this way, a grade shows the extent to which you have mastered and can communicate important concepts and ideas. Not all work is graded – you do many things in a course that contribute to your learning: reading, writing, revising, thinking, talking, and listening. It is useful to think of work, then, as the set of activities that contribute to learning. Graded work is that subset of activities where you show how well you have learned to reason mathematically and how well you can communicate your reasoning to others.

The course components contribute to your grade in the following proportion:

Class participation 15 points
Homework reflections 5 points
Quizzes 180 points
(20 each, drop lowest)
Mid-term exams 200 points
(100 each)
Final exam 100 points
Total 500 points

Letter grades are assigned using the following table.

465 -500
mastery of the material with developed insight
435 -449
420 -434
400 - 419
mastery with limited insight
364- 384
350 - 364
basic knowledge with limited mastery
300 -334
minimal to unacceptable performance

Disability Services

Gustavus Adolphus College is committed to ensuring the full participation of all students in its programs. If you have a documented disability (or you think you may have a disability of any nature) and, as a result, need reasonable academic accommodation to participate in class, take tests or benefit from the College’s services, then you should speak with the Disability Services staff, for a confidential discussion of your needs and appropriate plans. Course requirements cannot be waived, but reasonable accommodations may be provided based on disability documentation and course outcomes. Accommodations cannot be made retroactively; therefore, to maximize your academic success at Gustavus, please contact Disability Services as early as possible. Disability Services ( is located in the Academic Support Center. Disability Services Coordinator, Kelly Karstad, ( or x7138), can provide further information.

Academic Integrity

You are expected to to adhere to the highest standards of academic honesty, to uphold the Gustavus Honor Code and to abide by the Academic Honesty Policy. A copy of the honor code can be found in the Academic Bulletin and a copy of the academic honesty policy can be found in the Academic Polices section of the Gustavus Guide.
On tests, you are expected to work completely by yourself, and to sign the honor pledge on each test. The first violation of this policy will result in a 0 on that assignment and notification of the Dean of Faculty. Further violations will result in failing the course.

Help for Students Whose First Language is not English

Support for English learners and multilingual students is available through the Academic Support Center’s Multilingual Learner Academic Specialist, Sarah Santos ( or x7197). The MLAS can meet individually with students for tutoring in writing, consulting about academic tasks, and helping students connect with the College’s support systems. When requested, the MLAS can consult with faculty regarding effective classroom strategies for English learners and multilingual students. The MLAS can provide students with a letter to a professor that explains and supports appropriate academic arrangements (e.g., additional time on tests, additional revisions for papers). Professors make decisions based on those recommendations at their own discretion. In addition, English learners and multilingual students can seek help from peer tutors in the Writing Center.

Help for any student who is struggling

Your ability to succeed in this course is not predetermined. If you do not think you’re learning as much as you should be, or if your class performance doesn’t reflect the work you’re putting into the course, please come to see me in my office. We will work together to identify ways that you can learn more effectively.