General information about Math 291, spring 2003

Here is the catalog description of this course.

01:640:291. Honors Calculus III (4)
Prerequisites: 01:640:191-192 or permission of department.
Covers the same material as 01:640:251 in a more thorough and demanding fashion.
Of course this evades the question of the content of the course. The description for Math 251 is
Analytic geometry of three dimensions, partial derivatives, optimization techniques, multiple integrals, vectors in Euclidean space, and vector analysis.
The material in this course is basic calculus of several variables. In this style of mathematical communication, "several" means any integer greater than 1. The methods and ideas in the course grew out of the problems of classical European mathematical physics in the 1700's and 1800's. Acquaintance with the course material immediately brings a host of questions to mind concerning subjects now called analysis and topology.

A math department page has the following discussion which may be useful to students:

251 vs. 251H vs. 291
Math 251 continues the sequence begun with Math 151-152, usually with the same textbook and at the same level of rigor. The honors sections labeled 251H of Math 251 are (in general) intended for honors students in disciplines other than mathematics and are "more demanding versions of the same course." By contrast, Math 291 is deliberately intended as a course in honors mathematics for students whose primary interest in the course is the mathematics it contains. The textbook may not be that used in other calculus courses, and the choice of course material is at the instructor's discretion to a greater extent than in other lower-division courses. Theorems may be proved in class and required on examinations, and "many variables" may mean n variables, not just 2 or 3.
S. Greenfield, e-mail:

Meeting time(s) and place(s)
The course meets three times a week: on Monday and Wednesday 4:30-5:50 (sixth period) in SEC 212, Busch Campus, and on Thursday 4:30-5:50 (sixth period) in SEC 217 except when otherwise noted (such as Thursday, 1/30, when we will meet in ARC 116, the X-term "lab" inside the Busch Campus Computing Center). Students are expected to attend all classes. The appointed date and time for the final exam is Friday, May 9, from 4 to 7 PM.

We will use the text for Math 251: Calculus (Early Transcendentals), by James Stewart, 4th edition, Brooks/Cole Publishing Co., 1999. Additional material may be handed out or available on the web.
There are many texts covering the material in this course. One text at an appropriate level covering the most important ideas of the course is Div, Grad, Curl, and All That: An Informal Text on Vector Calculus by Harry M. Schey, a paperback costing $18 published by W.W. Norton, 3rd edition, 1997. The cost is reasonable, and I recommend buying it.

Here is a list of textbook problems which will probably need adjusting during the semester. Students should consider all the problems listed and write out as many answers as possible when the related sections in the book are covered. Students will be required to hand in some problems to be graded.

There will be two exams in class and a three-hour cumulative final. Substantial advance notice will be given for the exams, and review material will likely be handed out and gone over. There will be graded homework, both workshop writeups and standard problems. There will be short quizzes in class, some of which may not be announced. There will be opportunity for students to make short oral presentations. All of this will be blended to create a number to be translated into a term grade. The likely weight of these components is now (before the semester begins -- things might change!) 100 points for each in-class exam, 200 points for the final, and 200 points for other work.
This is an honors course. Students who attend class and are diligent and reasonably successful will get grades of B or above. There is no fixed percentage of grades at any level, so students are not competing for grades.

Office hour(s)
My office is in Hill Center: Hill 542, telephone number: (732) 445-3074. I usually check e-mail several times a day so it is probably the best way to communicate with me: [MORE TO COME!] It is my job and my pleasure to teach and interact with students. Please feel free to visit me! I also encourage you to ask questions via e-mail or after almost any class or to make an appointment at a mutually convenient time.

Maintained by and last modified 1/14/2003.