College placement exam college level math 1
College placement exam college level math 1

Math 215: Applied Calculus, Spring 2017

Instructor: Dr. William DeMeo
Email: [williamdemeo at gmail]( 215: (insert an informative subject line))
Office: Physical Sciences Building (PSB) 404.
Office hours: Tuesdays 12–1 & 3–4; Thursdays 12–1.
Lecture times and locations: MWF 12:30–13:20, Bilger 150.
Number of Credits: 4

This is the main repository and webpage for William DeMeo’s section of Math 215.

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions about this webpage please open a New Issue.

Important Links

Main Course Webpage:

Online Discussions (Piazza):

Online Homework (MyMathLab):

MyMathLab Course ID: demeo31232

Teaching Assistants

Kenneth Corea

Email: [kcorea at math dot hawaii dot edu]( 215: (insert an informative subject line))
Office: Keller 404B
Office Hours: TBD
Recitation times/locations:
Section 1 (CRN 86480): WF 9:30–10:20am, Keller 301
Section 3 (CRN 84310): WF 11:30am–12:20pm, Keller 402

John Robertson

Email: [johncr at hawaii dot edu]( 215: (insert an informative subject line))
Office: Keller 404E
Office Hours: TBD
Recitation times/location: Section 2 (CRN 81248): WF 10:30–11:20am, Keller 403

Remarks about office hours: The regularly scheduled office hours are (or will be) listed above, but they are subject to change during the semester, depending on student demand and other conflicts with the teaching staff calendar. Changes will be announced in class and/or on Piazza.

It is helpful and courteous (but not required) to send the instructor an email in advance indicating that you plan to visit.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Class Meeting Times
  • Overview, Prerequisites, Outcomes
  • Textbook Information
  • Exams
  • Quizzes
  • Online Homework
  • Handwritten Homework
  • Make-up Policy
  • Grading Policy
  • Attendance
  • Asking Questions
  • Email Policy
  • Use of Electronics During Lecture
  • Supplemental Instruction
  • Academic Honesty
  • Classroom Policy
  • Students With Disabilities
  • Detailed Course Objectives
  • Additional Resources


You are now reading the main course web page. The paragraphs below serve as the syllabus for Math 215 Sections 1, 2, 3.

This page, as well as the content of the class github repository, will be updated frequently throughout the semester. Students are expected to visit this page often to stay informed about the class.

Please bookmark this page or, better yet, click here to email the url of this page to yourself!

The UH Laulima system will be used only for recording test scores and grades. Please Note, the Laulima may report cumulative grade totals that bear little relation to the course grades as they will be computed at the end of the semester. If you want to find out where you stand in the class, please keep track of your grades and refer to the Grading Policy section below.

Class Meeting Times

Lecture: MWF 12:30–13:20 Bilger 150.


  • Section 1 (CRN 86480): WF 9:30–10:20am, Keller 301
  • Section 2 (CRN 81248): WF 10:30–11:20am, Keller 403
  • Section 3 (CRN 84310): WF 11:30am–12:20pm, Keller 402

Overview, Prerequisites, Outcomes

We will cover roughly Chapters 1–9, and 11 of the textbook which includes the following topics:

  1. Preliminaries
  2. Functions, Limits, and the Derivative
  3. Differentiation
  4. Applications of the Derivative
  5. Exponential and Logarithmic Functions
  6. Integration

Prerequisite: Math 140 or satisfactory performance on placement exam.

Learning Outcomes
Generally speaking, students will master concepts and solve problems based on functions, limits, derivatives, introductory integrals, the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, and applications of derivatives and integrals. For a more detailed list of the course objectives, see the appendix section Detailed Course Objectives below, or see the Math Department’s generic Math 215 webpage.

Textbook Information

Title: Calculus for the Life Sciences (2015)
Authors: Raymond N. Greenwell, Nathan P. Ritchey, Margaret L. Lial
Edition: 2nd

Important Note: Students are required to have a [MyMathLabs][] access code in order to complete the online homework for this course. It is also highly recommended that students have a hard copy of the textbook, so it’s a good idea to buy the bundled version of the book from the bookstore, which comes with both a hard copy of the book and a MyMathLab access code.

Having said that, the version of the textbook is not very important. What matters most is that every student has access to MyMathLab.

For reference, the textbook used by your instructor of this class is the 2nd edition of “Calculus for the Life Sciences,” published in 2015. However, the subject of calculus has not changed very much in the last 50 years, and the content of this course is very standard. Thus, there is a very wide variety of good calculus books that one could learn from, and some of the older editions are probably available on the shelves of the library. Of course, it’s easier to follow along with the class if you have a copy of the same book that the instructor is using.


There will be two midterm exams each worth 20%, and a final exam worth 30% of the course grade.

  • MIDTERM EXAM 1 (focus on Chapters 3–4)

    DATE: Friday, February 17
    TIME: 12:30–13:20.
    LOCATION: Bilger 150.

  • MIDTERM EXAM 2 (focus on Chapters 5–6)

    DATE: Wednesday, March 22
    TIME: 12:30–13:20
    LOCATION: Bilger 150.

  • FINAL EXAM on Chs. 1–8 and Secs. 11.1, 11.2.

    DATE: Monday, May 8, 2017.
    TIME: 12:00–14:00.
    LOCATION: Bilger 150.

The final exam will be cumulative, that is, it will cover everything we have learned during the semester.

In accordance with university policy, the final exam is mandatory and must be taken by all students at the scheduled time. Do not make travel plans before the date of the final exam. There are no make-up final exams for any reason.


There will be approximately 11 short quizzes, administered roughly once per week during recitation.

Under no circumstances will there be any make-up quizzes. To accommodate circumstances that cause a student to miss a quiz, the lowest quiz score will be dropped at the end of the semester. The remaining quizzes will account for 10% of the final course grade.

Online Homework

Solving lots of problems is the best way to prepare yourself to do well on the tests and quizzes, and ultimately to do well in the course. The online homework will account for 15% of the course grade and will be assigned once per week, typically due each Friday by midnight.

All homework for this course will be done with MyMathLab. You will enroll yourself in our course by going to the MyMathLab website and using the course ID demeo31232.

MyMathLab Course ID: demeo31232

MyMathLab website:

Go to the MyMathLab website and follow the instructions detailed in the document MyMathLab-Registration-Instructions-demeo31232.pdf which is located in the handouts directory.

The problems assigned and the due dates will be clearly indicated on the MyMathLab website, so students must login frequently and check for newly assigned homework. (The last assignment will be due during the last week of the semester, also known as “dead week.”)

Late homework will not be accepted or graded.

The lowest homework score will be dropped and not counted toward the final course grade.

Handwritten Homework

To get the most out of the homework, and to prepare yourself well for the in-class (hand-written) tests and exams, it is a very good idea to print out hard copies of each homework assignment, take these hard copies to a quiet place like the library, and work on them using a pencil. Thereafter, you should go through the assignment from the beginning while logged into MyMathLab and submit your answers, using your handwritten notes and solutions as a guide.

Hand-written work will not be submitted for grading. However, for the purpose of asking questions about homework in lecture, recitation section, or office hours, as well as for studying for exams, it can be very helpful to have printed out hard copies of all the homework assignments.

Make-up Policy

There are no make-up homework or quizzes for any reason. If you must miss a quiz or you fail to submit homework on time, this will not necessarily hurt your course grade since the lowest quiz and homework scores will be dropped.

Generally speaking, there are no make-up exams. However, if you must miss an exam for one of the legitimate reasons listed below, and if you contact the professor at least five days before the exam date, then you might be able to take a make-up exam before the scheduled exam time.

To request a make-up exam, a student must provide documented evidence of one of the following:

  • Medical excuse – student’s own medical emergency.
  • Medical excuse – a member of the student’s family has a medical emergency.
  • Extra curricular activities as a representative of University of Hawaii.
  • Armed forces deployment (military duty).
  • Officially mandated court appearances, including jury duty.

If you miss an exam due to some unforeseen circumstance, you must contact the professor within one class meeting after the missed test and provide an explanation. If your excuse is accepted, the missed test score may be replaced with 80% of your final exam score. For example, if your excuse is accepted and you score a 90% on the final, then you will receive a 72% for the missed test (0.80*0.90 = 0.72).

Grading Policy

The breakdown of the final course grade is as follows:

  • Final exam: 30 points
  • Mid-term exams: 40 points (20 each)
  • Homework: 20 points total
  • Quizzes/Recitation Grade: 10 points

At the end of the semester, letter grades will be assigned roughly according to the following table. However, the scale may be shifted, depending on overall student performance. All curving (if any) will occur at the end of the semester.

  • A: 94–100
  • A-: 91–93
  • B+: 87–90
  • B: 84–86
  • B-: 81–83
  • C+: 77–80
  • C: 74–76
  • C-: 71–73
  • D+: 67–70
  • D: 64–66
  • D-: 60–63
  • F: 0–59


Students are expected to attend all classes. A grade penalty will be exacted if you have an excessive number of absences (whether excused or unexcused). Specifically, you are permitted (but strongly discouraged from taking) seven absences in total. Each absence in addition to that may result in the deduction of points from your final grade.

In many of the lectures, attendance will be recorded by passing around a sign-in sheet on which you will print and sign your own name. (If another student asks you to sign in for them, don’t do it! Forging another student’s signature constitutes a violation of the student code of conduct and will be referred to the dean’s office or the university’s office of judicial affairs.)

Leaving Class Early

If you plan to leave before class is over, the correct procedure is to mention this to the professor before the start of class. It is impolite and disruptive to your classmates to leave, or even pack up your belongings, before the lecture is over.

Asking Questions

When you don’t understand something, please ask a question!

  1. Lecture The best time/place to ask a question is during lecture or recitation or office hours.

  2. Piazza Another good place to ask a question is online discussion forum. This term we will be using Piazza for class discussion and all students should enroll in this forum by visiting the Piazza signup page.

    Piazza system is highly catered to getting you help fast and efficiently from the TA, professor, and your peers. Rather than emailing questions to the teaching staff, students are encouraged to post questions on Piazza forum. If you have any problems or feedback for the developers, email

    The following is a link to our Piazza page:

  3. MyMathLab Another way to ask a question is by using the “Ask my instructor” link that is attached to each of your MyMathLab homework questions. This method is convenient for the teaching staff because details about the problem you’re asking about are automatically embedded in your email.

    Please note: if you use the “Ask my instructor” button, your question may be reposted on our Piazza forum (which is public). If you’re uncomfortable with this, please say so in your message.

Email Policy

You may email the instructor and TAs directly, though the response time will generally be slower than if you use one of the preferred methods described above.

If you email the instructor, you must use an informative subject field. If you use this link to email the professor, then some of the required information should pre-populate your message fields. If you do not at least indicate which class you are in, your email may be ignored.

Use of Electronics During Lecture

Silence and refrain from using all electronic devices (phones, ipods, tablets, microwave ovens, etc.) during class and exam periods. The only exception to this policy is the use of computers or tablets for the purpose of referring to an electronic copy of the textbook, or the online (WebAssign) homework problems. Using a computer during lecture to check Facebook, for example, is totally unacceptable. Besides how this affects your own ability to focus on what is being taught in the lecture, computers can be very distracting to other students. Use of electronic devices in lecture for purposes unrelated to calculus will not be tolerated.

Academic Honesty

Cheating will not be tolerated. Violations of this policy will be referred to and dealt with by the Dean’s Office or the University’s Office of Judicial Affairs, in a manner consistent with university regulations, which range from a warning to expulsion from the university.

KOKUA Program (for students needing special accommodations)

If you have a documented disability or if you believe that you have a disability that qualifies under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and requires accommodations, you should contact the Kokua Office, which provides resources for students with disabilities, for information on appropriate policies and procedures.

Kokua Program
Queen Lili’uokalani Center for Student Services 013
2600 Campus Road
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822

Phone: (808) 956-7511
Hours: Monday–Friday 8am–4pm.

You must have a documented disability to participate in the Kokua Program and receive special accommodations for this class, and you should contact Kokua, as well as your instructor, early in the semester so that your learning needs may be appropriately met.

Your instructor will be happy to assist with accommodations, but will not provide them retroactively, so the appropriate requests and paperwork should be filed as early as possible, and must be processed well before the first time special accommodation is needed.


Detailed Course Objectives

Functions, Limits and Continuity

  • Understand what a function is, and the relationship of a function to its graph
  • Understand intuitively what the limit of a function is
  • Apply rules to calculate simple limits
  • Understand the intuitive meaning of continuity of a function at a point
  • Use the limit concept to determine where a function is continuous.
  • Use the Intermediate Value Theorem to identify an interval where a continuous function has a root.


  • Use the limit definition to calculate a derivative, or to determine when a derivative fails to exist.
  • Understand and use rules for the derivative of sums, products, and quotients
  • Understand and use the chain rule for computing the derivative of a composite function
  • Rules for computing derivatives of logarithmic and exponential functions
  • Rules for inverse functions, including logarithms and inverse trignometric functions.
  • Use the derivative to find tangent lines to curves.
  • Calculate derivatives of functions defined implicitly.
  • Interpret the derivative as a rate of change.
  • Solve problems involving rates of change of variables subject to a functional relationship (“related rates”)

Applications of Derivatives

  • Find critical points, and use them to locate maxima and minima.
  • Use critical points and signs of first and second derivatives to sketch graphs of functions:
  • Use the first derivative to find intervals where a function is increasing or decreasing.
  • Use the second derivative to determine concavity and find inflection points.
  • Apply the first and second derivative tests to classify critical points.
  • Use calculus to solve simple optimization problems in business and economics (marginal profit, etc.)
  • Use Differential Calculus to solve other kinds of optimization problems.


  • Find antiderivatives of functions.
  • Use antiderivatives to solve simple differential equations (variables separable)
  • Understand the concept of area under a curve, and the connection with antiderivatives given by the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus
  • Apply the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus to evaluate definite integrals
  • Evaluate definite integrals by certain simple rules (substitution, integration by parts, etc.)

Additional Resources

  • Piazza (for online discussions)
  • MyMathLab (for homework)
  • UH Math Department
  • Math Stackexchange (a math Q&A website)

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