640:135 - Calculus I

Course overview - Spring 2019

Spring 2019


Welcome to Math 135, Calculus I.

Please be sure to carefully read all of this page and the other three Spring 2019 Math 135 pages (also available on the right sidebar under "Course Materials - 135"):

Students are expected to be familiar with all of the described policies and procedures. Additional information may be posted during the semester.

UPDATE (March 2): Spring 2019 TA Office Hours
Students should make every attempt to attend the office hours of their own professor or recitation instructor, but Math 135 students may attend the office hours of any Math 135 recitation instructor.

UPDATE (February 16): Spring 2019 TA-At-Large Office Hours
All students in precalculus through calculus II may attend the in-person office hours of any TA-At-Large in Hill Center 101. Note: The online office hours are only for those students in the specific course to which the TA-At-Large is assigned.

Important: Given the math department's new policy on not routinely granting permission for taking Math 135 for a third time (see the main page for details) and given the introduction of the course Math 123 in Fall 2019 (see the syllabus for more details), the Math 135 coordinator strongly recommends that students considering retaking Math 135 in Spring 2019 wait until Fall 2019 instead if it fits their schedule. Students who wish to retake Math 135 may be better served by the possibility of dropping down to Math 123 if they find they are still not sufficiently prepared for Math 135.


Calculus: Special Edition: Chapters 1-5, 7th edition, Smith, Strauss, and Toda. Kendall Hunt, 2018. (ISBN: 978-1524971359)

Purchasing options for the textbook:

  • Campus Bookstore
    Enter 640 for "Department" and 135 for "Course". The section number is irrelevant.
  • Directly from Kendall Hunt
    The publisher sells both a physical and electronic copy. Note that the textbook comes with a license for accessing Webcom, which is a practice site with interactive practice problems. Webcom is not required for Math 135.

Important: The textbook does not come with a license for MathXL, which is the online homework service required for Math 135. See the section "MathXL" below for more details.


Students are required to purchase access to MathXL to complete the online homework. The MathXL assignments are similar to the exercises in the official list of HW exercises. (The official HW exercises are not handed in for grading but instead form the main study guide for the course.) Each assignment will have a specific due date set by the professor, and these assignments must be completed online.

How to use MathXL properly:
If you take shortcuts like trying to find answers to MathXL problems from various "homework help" web services without solving all of the problems yourself in their entirety, then you will lose the benefit of MathXL and your course grade will suffer. Instead, use the built-in help tools within MathXL. This online homework exists primarily to give you feedback on your ability to calculate correct answers at early stages of the learning process. The homework is not intended to measure your mastery of the material; only the midterm exams and final exam measure mastery. Without doing well on the exams, it is impossible to pass the course, even with a perfect score on the homework. So be sure to take full advantage of MathXL to get as much feedback as possible on your problem-solving skills.

Getting started with MathXL:

  • Gaining Access
    Follow these instructions to gain initial, temporary access to MathXL and to upgrade temporary access to a full license. A full license is required to complete the online homework past the grace period. Students will need the course ID provided by their instructor. Each large lecture has a unique course ID.
  • Enrolling in a new section
    Follow these instructions if you change to another section within Math 135.

Student support for MathXL:

  • System Requirements
    MathXL works on a series of pop-up screens. You MUST enable pop-ups when working in MathXL. For help on how to do this, as well as make sure your browser is up to date, use the link above.
  • How to Use MathXL on a Mobile Device
    This video shows you how to set up your mobile device with any necessary browser add-ons and apps to use MathXL properly. 
  • Pearson Support Database
    Use the above link to search Pearson's database for support topics (e.g., resetting password).
  • Contact Support
    Use the above link to contact technical support. Fill out the required form and you will be immediately connected to a support agent based on your issue.
  • Pearson sales representative: melissa.blum@pearson.com
    Melissa Blum is our Pearson Sales representative. If you are having technical issues, please first contact Technical Support. If you are still having issues after contacting Technical Support, please email Melissa Blum with the Incident Number you received from working with Technical Support. You must have an Incident Number for Melissa to be able to help.

Other information about MathXL:

  • MathXL is an interactive, online homework system. Assignments in MathXL correspond to sections of the textbook listed in the lecture topics and reflect the approach of the textbook. As stated in the syllabus, the MathXL assignments count for 40 points out of 575 total points. The main purpose of the assignments is to help you understand the course material.
  • Questions are algorithmically generated to give each student their own random versions of the questions.
  • After entering an incorrect answer, students are given helpful feedback and hints. Most exercises will also include learning aids, such as guided solutions and sample problems.
  • You have three attempts to get an answer correct. If you use all three attempts, you will be told the correct answer and given a new, random version of the same problem. There is no limit to the number of versions of a particular problem you can be given. So you are strongly encouraged to work on a problem until you get the correct answer. There is no penalty for the number of attempts taken.


A calculator will be needed for some of the homework problems and some of the MathXL problems. However, calculators are not allowed on any exams or quizzes. A good scientific calculator (Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus or comparable graphing calculator) should suffice.

Course Description

General information about the course:

  • Syllabus
    General syllabus for the course. Your professor will also provide you with their own details.
  • Lecture Topics
    Lecture-by-lecture description of the course. All professors will cover this material, but they will set their own schedule. Some lectures may be done in a different order, and midterm exam dates will not necessarily fall at the indicated lectures. Refer to your professor's information for exact exam dates.
  • Official list of HW exercises
    (These exercises are not handed in for grading, but you are required to understand how to do these problems.) This list of exercises from the textbook should form your main study guide for this course. Problems on the final exam will be similar to the problems on this official list. The MathXL assignments (required) will help students with the material covered in this official list.
  • Weekly Recitations
    Students are expected to work on the relevant HW exercises before attending recitation. Recitations give students an opportunity to ask questions and to see sample exercises worked in detail. Students will not benefit fully from lectures or recitations unless they attempt the exercises in advance. At the end of most recitations, there will be a quiz consisting of problems similar to those discussed that day. Your instructor will announce the quiz schedule.
  • Final Letter Grade Calculation
    Term grades will be assigned by the instructor using the procedure described in the link above.


  • Midterm Exams
    There will be two midterm exams. The dates of each exam will be determined and announced by your professor. The midterm exams are written by your professor and given during lecture.
  • Final Exam
    The final exam will cover the whole course. The final exam is written by the course coordinator and is the same for all Math 135 students. For spring 2019, the final exam will be given from 4:00pm - 7:00pm on Thursday, May 9, 2019. The location of the final exam for each lecture will be announced later in the semester.
    • Clarifications for Final Exam
      This document lists some important errors in the textbook and also clarifies to students how some problems will be phrased and which formulas and special values students are expected to know on their own.
    • BLANK Final Exam (Format Only)
      This document is a blank final exam with complete formatting and instructions as they will appear exactly during the actual final exam. All students should familiarize themselves with the exam format before the actual exam to reduce anxiety and to reduce time spent during the exam reading instructions.
  • Practice Exams
    The sample exams below show the format and intended difficulty of the midterm exams in Math 135. You should absolutely not conclude that the questions on your actual midterm will be the same as the questions in the same exams. In fact, you should expect the selection on your midterm to be somewhat different. Your professor will also tell you which exact topics will be covered on each exam, but the length and difficulty should be similar to that of the sample exams. You are strongly recommended to take the sample exams under actual exam conditions AFTER you have done most of your studying. You should also take the exam early enough so you may seek help in the various office hours available to Math 135 students.
    • Midterm #1 Sample... (Solutions)
      Covers precalculus, sections 2.1 through 2.4, and sections 3.1 through 3.5. Your professor may cover different topics on the first midterm, particularly with regards to sections 3.4, 3.5, and 3.6.
    • Midterm #2 Sample... (Solutions)
      Covers sections 3.6 through 3.8 and 4.1 through 4.6. Your professor may cover different topics on the second midterm, particularly with regards to sections 3.5, 3.6, 4.6, and 4.7.
    • Final Exam Sample #1... (Solutions)
      Final Exam Sample #2... (Solutions)
      Covers all sections, up to and including section 5.5. The sample final exams are loosely based on final exams given in previous semesters, with the questions updated slightly to match the current syllabus. Please note that these sample final exams do not reflect the new exam format, for which about 50% of the total points come from multiple-choice questions. The sample final exams contain only long-answer problems for which partial credit is awarded.

Phone and Laptop Policy

  • Lecture Policy
    Many instructors will not allow you to use a phone or laptop during lectures or during recitation sections.  You must respect your instructor's policies. You may use a tablet to take notes. Writing notes by hand and asking questions during class if you wish something to be explained further is the best way to learn the material during class.
  • Exam and Quiz Policy
    In Math 135, no formula sheets are allowed during any exams. No cell phones, calculators, smart watches, or any other electronic devices are allowed in a student's possession during any exam or quiz. All such devices must be put away in the student's bag, out of reach of the student during the exam, with cell phones turned completely off (not just on vibrate or silent). If a student's cell phone rings during an exam, or if a student is in possession of an unauthorized electronic device during an exam, they may have to hand in the exam and not be allowed to complete it, and a report of an academic integrity violation may be filed. Times will be written on the board or projected on a screen during exams.

Learning Resources

  • Office Hours
    There are three sources of regular weekly office hours available to Math 135 students:
    • Lecturer office hours: Your lecturer will inform you of the time and location.
    • Math 135 TA office hours: Spring 2019 TA Office Hours
    • TA-At-Large office hours: Spring 2019 TA-At-Large Office Hours (in-person hours only, in Hill Center 101)
  • Lecturers and recitation instructors will hold regular office hours each week. Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to ask questions and to get to know their teachers.
  • Rutgers Learning Centers
    The learning centers offer tutoring in many mathematics classes, including 135. The tutoring is provided by undergraduate peer tutors.
  • One-on-One Tutoring by the SAS Honors Program 
    Tutoring usually begins in the 3rd week of the current semester.
  • Dr. G's Teaching Page
    Professor Joe Guadagni has created a personal web page with review material and course information.
  • Dr. Z's Calculus Handouts 
    Professor Doron Zeilberger has prepared practice exercises for each topic in the course. He outlines the specific solution steps, and his handouts are a great complement to your own lecture notes. (Note that the handouts more closely follow Math 151, which covers different topics than Math 135 and more in depth. The handouts are arranged by topic, and so we suggest that if you use Dr. Z's handouts for studying that you target specific topics covered in Math 135.)

Mental Health Resources

College is a very stressful time for many of you, and not everyone has a good support system. Unfortunately, a lot of new students also often do not know the resources available to them. Many of you will also cope by self-medicating, usually with alcohol. If you are looking for support, you can check the many resources at Rutgers Student Health. You should particularly use these services if you are seeking counseling or if you are concerned about your drinking or substance abuse (or that of a friend).

If you need emergency support, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

You can also tell your professor if you are having difficulty, and they can help you find the proper support. (Anything you tell your professor is kept in confidence.) Above all, please let someone know if you are in crisis.