Tuesday, June 17, 2014

stem is hard, part 2

A year ago I looked at how students in my small sections (Spring 2013, roughly 45 students per section) did in their other STEM courses. The results were scary. In this post I repeat the study for the two (large enrollment) sections from Fall 2013. Again, the results are scary.

At the start of the semester (Fall 2013) a large band of brave calcunauts (196, to be exact) was enrolled in Math 2210 and, concurrently, at least one other STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) course.

Of that original band, 62% passed this course and 38% did not (they dropped, or received a D or F as a course grade).

If you do the arithmetic, a third (33%) of the original band dropped or failed at least two STEM courses. Would some calcunauts benefit from taking fewer STEM courses each semester?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

total scores

A full 83% of the calcunauts who took the final exam have scores of 70 or higher.

The quartiles are 72.4, 77.8, 87.3

exam 4 results

Here are the results, before we added in the 2 point bonus for answering the survey. The median score is 72. Yes, there are 2 perfect scores!

The quartiles are 57, 72, and 83.

Friday, May 9, 2014

solutions to exam 4

As you look at my solutions to exam 4, keep in mind that parametrizations are not unique; there is more than one way to parametrize a curve or surface.

I fixed the mistakes I found yesterday and today. Please let me know if you find more.


I'll upload final exam scores to WebAssign by Tuesday morning. George, Curtis and I will meet with the Calculus Coordinator at noon Tuesday to decide on grade cutoffs. If your course score is close to, but below, the current cutoffs, you will have to wait until Tuesday afternoon to see your grade.

Please pick up your exam on Tuesday or in August. If we make a mistake that affects your course grade we can correct it.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

sleet and snow

This really is the best possible world! Perfect weather for a vector calculus exam.

exam 4 is today!

Exam 4 starts at 3:30 on the afternoon of Thursday, May 8. This exam covers material from sections 16.1 through 16.9, homework assignments seventeen through twenty-three, and discussion problems from weeks 13 through 1615.

As you can tell from the mock exams, exam 4 is not comprehensive. But, the material in chapter 16 uses techniques and ideas from chapters 12 through 15. Know the relevant material from earlier chapters. In particular, know how to set up limits of integration in Cartesian, polar, cylindrical, and spherical coordinates. A good start would be to redo the problems on exam 3.

I've scheduled review sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday morning of exam week. Both sessions are in CR 214 from 8-10 AM.

Once again, you'll take this exam with your disussion section. Space may be tight. Please leave backpacks and computers at home. Bring a photo ID.
  • Section 20 (Tues, 9:35) CR 133
  • Section 21 (Tues, 11:00) CR 133
  • Section 22 (Tues, 1:20) CR 314
  • Section 23 (Thurs, 9:35) BU Auditorium
  • Section 24 (Thurs, 11:00) BU Auditorium
  • Section 25 (Thurs, 1:20) CR 310 (new location)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

fixing errors

Jim MacDonald found an error in problem 1e on mock exam 4c. It is fixed now.
Jim MacDonald found another error in problem 3c on mock exam 4b. It is fixed now.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

course evaluation

Thank you! We topped out at 88.16%; I added 5 points to everyone's (responders and non responders) exam 2 scores and then updated the database.

Friday, May 2, 2014

answers, week 15 discussion

Let me know if you find mistakes in these answers. I'll produce one more problem set, by Sunday at the latest, for people who want some more practice. 

lecture, friday may 2

The course evaluation rate is up to 68.42% this morning. Nice, but will the evaluation slackers get the 5 point boost?

I 'll finish my flux calculation by integrating the vector field $\langle x,y,1 \rangle$ over a portion of the cylinder $x^2+z^2=1$. Then we'll look at one last extension of the fundamental theorem, the divergence theorem, which ties the flux over a closed surface to the integral of $\textrm{div} \vec{F}$ over the volume contained by the surface. We'll also look at some consequences of the divergence theorem.

The video is my fault; weird, the audio is now working.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

63% and rising

Some calcunauts read their email.

it's not a bribe, it's an inducement

No doubt you have received several messages now with links to the A&S course evaluation system. In the next three days you'll probably receive three or four messages more. The evaluation response rate is at 44% this morning, way better than the university average of 30%. But I would like to get the response rate up to at least 80%. 

As an inducement, I will add 5 points your exam two score if you fill out the evaluation form. And, if the response rate reaches 80% I'll even give 5 points to those sad slackers who don't participate. Your evaluation is completely anonymous and no one will see your evaluation until long after grades are submitted. This is a time-limited offer; course evaluations close Sunday.

This is only the second semester we've offered Math 2210 in a large lecture format. We want to know if you like this approach or if you prefer smaller sections. We are interested, also, in whether you found the discussion sections to be useful. Do you find that working on problems, with help from your fellow students and the graduate student leaders, allows you to better understand the material? And finally, give us your ideas for how to improve the course.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

lecture, wednesday apr 30

Isn't this weather great for studying vector calculus? I will finish my integration from Monday and then talk briefly about several ramifications of Stokes' theorem. Then we'll turn our attention to the divergence theorem.

Almost everything was working today.

Monday, April 28, 2014

lecture, monday apr 28

I'll compute a line integral directly and indirectly (by Green's theorem). Then we'll generate Stoke's theorem and compute the line integral a third time using a flux integral.

There is video but no audio. It's definitely Monday.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

discussion, week 15

This may be the final week of classes, but this thing doesn't end until Thursday, May 8 at 5:30 pm. Stay sharp by working some surface integrals and a Green's theorem problem in discussion.

There is no quiz this week.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Thursday, April 24, 2014

lecture, friday apr 24

We'll compute several one flux integrals today. This table of surface area elements may speed our progress.

Audio and video. I wasn't able to fold the figures into the video.

flux, it's what's for dinner

The volume of the gray box represents the flux of $\vec{F}$ through the surface area element.  The flux decreases as the angle between $\vec{F}$ and $d\vec{S}$ increases.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

lecture, wednesday apr 23

We'll continue with surface integrals today, eventually making the jump to flux integrals.

Audio and video; we'll clean up the mess (the train derailed right after 46:00) on Friday.