MTH251 Calculus 1

Fall 2018

Gary Parker
Department of Mathematics
Blue Mountain Community College

Office: Emigrant 109
Office hours: Monday through Friday @ 9 am
Telephone: 541-278-5772
Contact me to schedule alternate office hours.

Course Description: Students will study infinity and infinite processes through limits of functions and derivatives. Students will understand the derivative as a rate of change in different contexts, including tangents, margins, related rates, and optimization. Applications in these areas will be covered. Use of computer software and applications will also be explored. (Credits: 4)

Prerequisites: Successful completion of MTH112 or appropriate placement or equivalent as determined by the Mathematics Department.

Required Materials:

Student Outcomes: After completion of this course the student will demonstrate proficiency in the following areas:

⇒ Limits - Ch. 2
⇒ Derivatives - Ch. 3
⇒ Applications of Derivatives - Ch. 4

State Endorsed Outcomes:
As a result of taking calculus, a student should be able to:

  • Use appropriate mathematics to solve problems; and
  • Recognize which mathematical concepts are applicable to a scenario, apply appropriate mathematics and technology in its analysis, and then accurately interpret, validate, and communicate the results.

Course Learning Outcome:

Understand quantitative literacy, clearly communicating complex ideas based on processes in algebra, in preparation for a career in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.

Basic Course Content Objectives:

Students completing the course will

  • Describe the tangent problem and how it led to the idea of a derivative.
  • Use tables, graphs, and algebra to estimate the limit of a function or to identify when the limit does not exist.
  • Explain the three conditions for continuity at a point.
  • Describe three kinds of discontinuities.
  • Recognize the meaning of the tangent to a curve at a point and calculate the slope of a tangent line.
  • Identify the derivative as the limit of a difference quotient and calculate the derivative of a given function at a point.
  • Define the derivative function of a given function.
  • Explain the meaning of a higher-order derivative.
  • Express changing quantities in terms of derivatives.
  • Describe how to use critical points to locate absolute extrema over an interval.
  • Find the general antiderivative of a given function.

Method of Instruction: This course is for both on-campus and online students. While this is a “work when you want” course, it is not self paced. You are to keep up with the schedule of due dates. Plan to do math everyday. A graphing utility is required, as well as graphing paper, and a ruler are highly recommended.


  • Your attendance is expected along with your most sincere effort. You are paying to be here; you ought to show up for class, ON TIME. You can show up late once, quietly.
  • You are expected to communicate with your instructor regularly.
  • Don’t cheat or you’ll be sorry. Although the instructor assumes that no cheating will take place, any evidence of cheating will be reported to the VP of Instruction, pursued thoroughly and dealt with strictly. A negative grade (-100%) will be assigned on the first instance of cheating; An F in the course will be assigned on the second.
  • Each section covered should be read before the scheduled lecture and worked through immediately after the lecture.
  • You are also expected to be considerate in class, upholding the utmost respect for the educational environment. If you are inconsiderate, then you will be asked to leave.

Homework: Homework is required and should be worked on daily. There are online exercises available though and optional book exercises. Homework has regular due dates. See the course calendar. Keep your homework in a loose-leaf notebook for easy reference when you have questions and in preparing for tests. Make sure that you show all of your work. Communicating a process is as valuable as showing an answer, especially when you are looking back at it later. When you are done with college nobody will care whether you can find relative extrema to optimize an application based on a transcendental function, but you will be expected to clearly communicate complex ideas.
It is recommended that you take the practice chapter tests. These
practice tests are extremely important to your success.
You may be given other assignments throughout the quarter.

Testing Procedures: There will be two mid-term exams (150 points each), plus a comprehensive final exam (150 points).
Quizzes will be distributed throughout the quarter (around 5-20 points each).
No make-up exams or quizzes will be given. 
The final exam must be taken during finals week, no later than Thursday December 6, 2018

Method of Evaluation:
Your final grade will be a weighted average of all of your homework, quiz and exam grades.

Homework & Other Stuff `~~` 40%   A is ≥ 90%
Quizzes & Tests `~~` 40%   B is ≥ 80%
Final Exam `~~` 20%   C is ≥ 70%
      D is ≥ 60%
      F is < 60%

Special Services and Student Accommodations: Students requiring assistance beyond the services provided in the regular classroom activities must seek out the instructor after class.
Additional assistance is available at the Special Programs Tutoring Center.
Persons having questions about or requests for special needs and accommodation should contact
the Assistant Director, Admissions and Advising at Blue Mountain Community College, 2411 N.W.
Carden, Pendleton OR 97801, Phone 541-278-5931 or TDD 541-278-2174. Contact should be made
72 hours in advance of the event.

Disclaimer: The syllabus may change depending upon the needs of a particular class. Please
verify topics, tests and other due dates with your instructor.

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