Math 273: Calculus 1

Fall 2016


Important Links

Instructor and Meeting Times

Instructor: Nathan McNew
Office hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 11--11:50, Wednesdays 4:30--5:30 and by appointment
Office: 326 (2 × 163) 7800 York Road
Lecture: Tuesday: 6--8:15 YR 126
Thursday 6--8:15 YR 126

Note that you do not need an appointment to attend regularly-scheduled office hours. If you have a conflict you may make an appointment to meet outside those times.

Course Description and Objectives

Course description: Functions, limits, and continuity; differentiation of algebraic and trigonometric functions; mean value theorem; differentials; introduction to integration; applications. Four lecture hours and one laboratory hour per week.

Course objectives: Besides introducing the student to the above topics, the course aims to help develop certain general skills, with emphasis on numeracy, algebraic manipulation skills, and critical thinking. In particular, students will: construct and evaluate logical arguments; apply and adapt a variety of appropriate strategies to solve mathematical problems; recognize and apply mathematics in contexts outside of mathematics; organize and consolidate mathematical thinking through written and oral communication.

Prerequisites: MATH 119 or calculus course in highschool or adequate score on placement test.


The e-textbook (Stewart's Calculus 8th edition, Early Transcendentals) for Calculus 1 comes bundled with WebAssign access and can be accessed only through this website (unless you choose the bundle that includes a loose-leaf printed book). You have two weeks to purchase an access code that will give you continued access to the e-book for the duration of the semester and beyond, depending on which of the following three options you choose:
  1. You may purchase a WebAssign+E-book bundle ($94 at the University Store) that gives you e-book access ONLY to the chapters of the text for Math 273. This is the cheapest option for students who plan to take only Calculus 1.
  2. You may purchase a WebAssign+E-book bundle ($125 at the University Store) that gives you e-book access to all the chapters of the text. This is the cheapest option for students who plan to continue to Calculus 2 or 3.
  3. You may purchase a WebAssign+E-book+Loose-leaf bundle ($172 at the University Store) that gives you the same e-book access as #2 above, plus a loose-leaf printed version of the textbook.


Homework will consist of two components, written assignments and online assingments through WebAssign.

Written assignements will typically be due on Tuesdays, collected at the beginning of class. Written assignments will typically consist of several problems from the textbook and will be made available here. In general, late homework will not be accepted for a grade, and never without prior arrangement. Assignments will be graded much as the problems on your exams will be graded, that is the graders will be looking at the work which supports your answer even more than the answer itself. In particular, a correct answer with no justification will receive no credit, whereas mostly correct work and a tiny error may receive a substantial amount of credit. Solutions should be written in an organized and legible manner. The purpose here is to prepare you for how your exams will be graded.

Webassign assignments will be assigned after each class period, and will be due prior to the next class period. They will be available here. You will need to create an account and purchase access (with the textbook). You will need to use the course id: towson 4756 0366

Expect to spend a substantial amount of time studying and working on homework. The general rule is two to three hours outside class for each hour inside; this translates to about 9-14 hours of homework and personal study per week.

Unannounced quizzes may be given. For purposes of determining the final grade, they shall be treated as a homework assignment.


Labs using Mathematica will take place on most (but not all) Thursdays. As a part of TU's Mathematica license, students may obtain a copy of the software for personal use for free. To install it, do the following:
  1. Go to the software download page at the TU website:
  2. The above page allows you to search for available software. Click on the button marked by the letter M or type "Mathematica" in the search box. Then scroll down to the section "Mathematica for <your OS >" (where <your OS > is replaced by Windows, Mac, or Linux). Download the installation file for your operating system. When you click on the link to the installation file, you may be asked to login with your user name and password.
  3. On the website, right after the installation file, you will find also installation instructions. Follow those instructions to install Mathematica 10.3 and obtain an activation key.
Alternatively you may use Mathematica on the computers in open lab in YR 109. If you decide to do that, you must familiarize yourself with the schedule and the procedures of the open lab. In particular, note that an unforeseen closure of the open lab is NOT a valid excuse for a late lab report.

Lab assignments will also be posted on the homework page. Students will have time to work on the labs during class, and may be able to finish them during the class period. Labs will be due on the Thursday following the date they are assigned.


There are four scheduled exams: three midterms, held during class time, and the final exam.

Midterm 1 Midterm 2 Midterm 3 Final Exam
Tuesday, September 27
6:00--8:00 pm
Tuesday, October 25
6:00--8:00 pm
Tuesday, November 22
6:00--8:00 pm
Thursday, December 15
7:30-9:30 pm
YR 126 YR 126 YR 126 YR 103
Practice: Practice: Practice: Practice:

If you have a conflict with a scheduled exam contact your instructor as soon as possible.


Grades will be assigned based on homework, labs and exams. They will be weighted in the students final grade as follows:

Homework/Quizes 20%
Labs 5%
Midterms (each) 15%
Final Exam 30%

Disabilities and Religious Observances

Any students with disabilities, including "invisible" disabilities such as chronic diseases and learning disabilities are encouraged to discuss appropriate accommodations with the instructor, either after class or during office hours.

Towson University is committed to providing equal access to its programs and services for students with disabilities, Students with disabilities should visit the Disabilities Services Web page, to learn about how to arrange for any appropriate accommodations. It is the student's responsibility to let the instructor know when he/she is a student with needs in this area. A memo from Disability Support Services (DSS) authorizing your accommodations will be needed.

If you have a religious observance that conflicts with your participation in the course, please meet with me before the end of the second week of the term to discuss appropriate accommodations.

Course Policies

Academic Integrity: This class is conducted in accordance with the Academic Integrity Policy. Cheating or plagiarism in any form is unacceptable. In particular:

On Exams: No assistance may be given or received except that you may ask the instructor for clarification of a problem. Calculators are not permitted.

On Homework: You are permitted and encouraged to collaborate with other students on the homework. However, after discussing the problems, you must write up the final solutions in your own words. You may use calculators and approved software. Additionally, you may consult your class notes and text. It is not permitted for someone to provide the answers for you.

Class attendance is expected. If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to get the material and the homework assignment from your fellow students.

Diversity Statement: Towson University values diversity and fosters a climate that is grounded in respect and inclusion, enriches the educational experience of students, supports positive classroom and workplace environments, promotes excellence, and cultivates the intellectual and personal growth of the entire university community.

Last modified 22 August 2015.