Using the HyperText Syllabus

We hope that our HyperText Syllabus will be useful to anyone, including people outside Cornell, wanting a fairly detailed look available to them, of just what it is that our "projects-based" reform Math 112 looks like, and how it works, in practice. Or, for that matter, what a "reform" course in general can or might look like.

At the same time, the level of detail present (in some weeks, a day-by-day outline; in others, some specific examples done at the board, and lectures given, are included) is by no means intended to suggest that only a pedantic following of this syllabus is recommended. Quite the opposite. The aim is to give instructors flexibility, as they will be able to choose from a variety of reform materials, as well as being able to choose anywhere from a few materials for use within a more traditional course, to a fairly complete week-by-week reform-calculus 'package'.

We also recognize that there have been successful Calculus Reform efforts which use a different emphasis, for example, computer labs, writing assignments, or graphing calculators. (In fact, the Math 111 Reform Syllabus includes graphing calculators, as do the more traditional sections of Math 111, our first-semester calculus course).

We do hope, however, that by sharing our resources online, in an organized yet flexible format, that our materials will be useful not only to veteran users of projects and cooperative learning activities, but also to instructors -- and institutions -- who are interested in exploring, perhaps for the first time, these types of calculus reforms.

You can start by picking out just one or two activities to use in your course, or you can try out the whole "package" in the HyperText Syllabus, modified to suit your local needs, or anything in between. We hope that, in either case, you will find that the "package" provides a useful detailed overview of how one Department has designed a reform course. We believe that the internet offers an environment which can significantly supplement conferences, articles, etc, as a medium through which different departments, colleges, and universities can share such information.
--Harel Barzilai, October 1996.

Some additional notes:

  • Technical note: Some of the mathematics in the activities uses HTML subscripts and/or superscripts. NOTE:You need Netscape 2.0 or better to properly view these mathematical formulas . The other "tricks" used to get the mathematics displayable in HTML include tables, tables-within-tables, and .gif files for symbols such as Greek letters. The sailboat diagram in Sail Away I created using Adobe Illustrator. It was converted into a .jpg file using Adobe Photoshop, and the .jpg into a .gif (and soon hopefully into a transparent-background .gif) using tools available on the Web. Drop me a note if you have questions, comments, or know of useful tool I might not know about!

  • The documents here are under Copyleft; basically, this allows (and provides protection for) any non-commercial use.

  • Texts used: --HB

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