Project based Calculus (Math 112)

This semester (Fall 2001) three special sections of Math 112 will be offered, with enrollment limited to 20 students per section.

** Is this some kind of experiment?**

Project based calculus is not an experiment but a broad movement
across the country, based on the consensus that how we teach calculus
(and mathematics more generally) should be modified to make for a more
effective and interactive learning process. In fact, this course has
been offered at Cornell since 1995.

** Will these special sections be totally different from the
regular 112 sections?**

No. These sections will cover the same
material as the regular 112 sections. The same text (James Stewart's
* Calculus*) will be used.

** Okay, how will these sections be different then?**

These sections will focus on learning
through group activies. Roughly
half of the class time will be spent on group in-class activities and
there will be three group projects to be worked on outside of class,
in consultation with the instructors. Our basic text will be
supplemented by handouts which will introduce activities and
projects. To compensate for the extra projects, these sections will
only have two prelims rather than the standard three.

**Is this course right for me?**

If you would like to work in groups, solve
real world problems, and improve your technical writing, or you prefer
classes having less pressure of prelims, you should consider enrolling
in one of these special sections.

Studies
have documented that in projects-based calculus courses, students gain
a deeper understanding of the material from their hands-on, personal
involvement with the material, and often receive higher grades, on
average, for these reasons. Similarly documented were positive
correlations between having taken projects-based calculus and success
in future engineering courses. Professors who have taught
projects-based calculus have also commented that on a student's
record, a student having taken an ordinary calculus course is not
nearly as striking as one who had participated in a project based
course.

** Great, but what about grades?**

First Project: | 10% | First Prelim: | 10% | Homework: | 10% | |||

Second Project: | 10% | Second Prelim: | 10% | Activities & Presentations: | 10% | |||

Third Project: | 15% | Final Exam: | 25% |

** If you have further questions, contact the instructors:** Leah Gold
(lgold@math.cornell.edu), Suzanne Hruska (shruska@math.cornell.edu),
and Joe Miller (jmiller@math.cornell.edu)