Math 251:

Calculus with Several Variables

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Course Description:

This course will introduce to the students the concepts,  theories and computational techniques involving vectors, algebraic representations of curves and surfaces in Space, partial differentiations and multiple integrals, vector fields and vector analysis, and, of course, their applications to daily life problems, especially in geometry, physics and engineering. Some basic facts on Linear Algebra will also be introduced, as preparation for the students to get ready to move on to further scientific studies using Linear Algebra as a tool.

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(1) Calculus with Analytic Geometry, Fifth Edition, Edwards and Penny

(2) Selected materials from Elementary Linear Algebra (West Virginia University), Edwards and Penny

They are both available in the University Book Store and they are also reserved in the Math Library.

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Preparation of the Course:

Officially, having a passing grade in Math 156 would qualify a student to take Math 251. However, students who plan to take Math 251 should know that to perform well in Math 251, one must be familiar with the basic algebra and calculus techniques (such as determining the domain and range of a function, factoring a quadratic polynomial, using quadratic formula and the binomial formula, basic techniques in finding limits, derivatives, and anti-derivatives, among others).  It is strongly recommended that students review these techniques in order to get well prepared for Math 251. You can click Hong-Jian's Tips to get help for refreshing some of your mathematical techniques. If you cannot find exactly what you want in  Hong-Jian's Tips,  you may send you suggestions and inquiries to the instructor mailbox.gif (1246 bytes).

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Instructor Information:


OFFICE: Room 308K, Armstrong Hall.

OFFICE PHONE: 293-2011 Ext 2348.

OFFICE HOURS: 12:30PM-2:00PM, Mondays and Fridays (or by appointment ).

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Performance Evaluation:

Students will be given a list of suggested homework problems (click Syllabus in the box above to find the list) as a minimum homework requirement. Students' performance will be evaluated by the weekly quizzes and worksheets. Problems concerning the homework will be discussed in class or after class. Students' performance will also be evaluated by the midterm exams and the comprehensive final exam. (Exam schedule listed on this web page is subject to change. Any such changes will be announced in class at least one week in advance.  Click Exam Schedule to find exam schedule updates).

Please note that a student should take the responsibility if s/he misses an exam by missing the classes in which changes of schedule are made.

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Make-up Exam Policy:

Makeup exams will only be given in the case of sickness or other kinds of emergency. Missing a bus, oversleeping, other tests the same day, etc., are not sufficient reasons for missing a test. The student will be asked to document the circumstances which caused missing the test, and the student must contact the instructor to arrange the makeup as soon a possible.

WARNING: out of fairness to the students who take the test the scheduled time, a makeup exam will be harder than the regular test, to reflect the extra time you will have had to prepare.

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Grading (Expectation and policy): 

Top performing students are expected to demonstrate clear comprehension of the mathematical concepts/theories being lectured in this course and a high level of computational skills involved. To be more precise, students who can correctly apply the mathematical concepts/theories to solve problems that require both basic and complex techniques with accurate results deserve a grade A; students who can correctly apply the mathematical concepts/theories to solve problems that require basic techniques and some of the complex techniques with accurate results deserve a grade B; and students who can correctly apply the mathematical concepts/theories to solve problems that require basic techniques with accurate results deserve a grade C. Please refer the Score-Grade table for the grading standard.



90% and up








59% and down


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Page Last Modified: 07/20/02