MATH 1371a -- Changes

Thu Aug 19 09:59:17 2010

Editor Comments: New:  Modified for revalidation for the Lib Ed Math Thinking requirement.
Old:  IT changed to CSE in name, prereqs
Student Learning Outcomes: * Student in the course:

- Can identify, define, and solve problems


Please explain briefly how this outcome will be addressed in the course. Give brief examples of class work related to the outcome.

Problem solving is at the heart of any mathematics course. In this course some problems would involve purely mathematical issues, like finding the derivative of a polynomial or determining the features of the graph of a rational function. Other problems involve taking a real world situation like predicting the trajectory of a projectile or analyzing population growth and decline, requiring students to first identify the mathematically relevant aspects, then define appropriate mathematical variables and relations, and finally solve the resulting mathematics problem.

How will you assess the students' learning related to this outcome? Give brief examples of how class work related to the outcome will be evaluated.

Practically every homework assignment, quiz, and exam requires students to solve problems. Students receive ample feedback about this learning outcome during the semester.


Please explain briefly how this outcome will be addressed in the course. Give brief examples of class work related to the outcome.

The course is problem-oriented.

How will you assess the students' learning related to this outcome? Give brief examples of how class work related to the outcome will be evaluated.

All homework, quizzes, exams involve solving math problems.

this course fulfills:
New:  MATH - MATH Mathematical Thinking
Criteria for
Core Courses:
Describe how the course meets the specific bullet points for the proposed core requirement. Give concrete and detailed examples for the course syllabus, detailed outline, laboratory material, student projects, or other instructional materials or method.

Core courses must meet the following requirements:

  • They explicitly help students understand what liberal education is, how the content and the substance of this course enhance a liberal education, and what this means for them as students and as citizens
  • They employ teaching and learning strategies that engage students with doing the work of the field, not just reading about it.
  • They include small group experiences (such as discussion sections or labs) and use writing as appropriate to the discipline to help students learn and reflect on their learning.
  • They do not (except in rare and clearly justified cases) have prerequisites beyond the University´┐Żs entrance requirements.
  • They are offered on a regular schedule.
  • They are taught by regular faculty or under exceptional circumstances by instructors on continuing appointments. Departments proposing instructors other than regular faculty must provide documentation of how such instructors will be trained and supervised to ensure consistency and continuity in courses.

CSE Calculus I (Math 1371) is the first semester in a multi-semester calculus sequence, primarily for students in CSE.

This course requires students to have a real understanding of the symbolic language of mathematics, giving them ample opportunity to see how mathematics is done by mathematicians and to engage in that same work by solving problems for themselves. In this way, they see how abstract mathematical concepts can find applications in the real world.

An important component of a liberal education is an appreciation of mathematics as a body of thought which has been developed over the millennia, both for aesthetic reasons and to solve concrete problems.  Calculus is one of the pillars of modern mathematics, and it has important applications in science and everyday life. Calculus was first developed by Newton and Leibniz in the 17th century to solve many types of problems.  For example, using calculus, Newton was able to derive the equations of planetary motion from basic physical laws.  Since that time, calculus has touched virtually every part of modern life, through its use in areas like engineering, the stock market, agriculture, psychology, and all the physical and biological sciences.  While it is beyond the scope of a 1-semester course to cover even a small fraction of all these applications, students will be exposed to a variety of simplified versions of them, preparing them for later advanced study in their fields of interest.  In this way, students experience both the fundamental nature of the questions and the usefulness of abstract reasoning in finding elegant and efficient solutions.

Students meet three hours a week in TA recitation sections, where they can ask questions, work problems together, and discussion important points in the material.  This is also where they learn how to use computer software in mathematics, and where they work on group projects. The prerequisite for the course is equivalent to 4 years of high school mathematics.  Math 1371 is offered every semester.  The course is taught by a combination of regular faculty and adjunct faculty with on-going appointments, or by experienced grad students or postdocs who act under close supervision by regular faculty.  Every semester, the final exam is a departmental exam that is given in common to all sections, in order to ensure consistency.
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Please provide a provisional syllabus for new courses and courses in which changes in content and/or description and/or credits are proposed that include the following information: course goals and description; format/structure of the course (proposed number of instructor contact hours per week, student workload effort per week, etc.); topics to be covered; scope and nature of assigned readings (texts, authors, frequency, amount per week); required course assignments; nature of any student projects; and how students will be evaluated.

The University policy on credits is found under Section 4A of "Standards for Semester Conversion" at . Provisional course syllabus information will be retained in this system until new syllabus information is entered with the next major course modification, This provisional course syllabus information may not correspond to the course as offered in a particular semester.

New:     Here is a link to a recent syllabus for this course:

This syllabus does not include a "liberal education" statement, because it comes from a previous semester.  For future semesters, syllabi for this course will contain such a statement, similar to the following:

Liberal Education:  This course fulfills the Mathematical Thinking component of the Liberal Education requirements at the University of Minnesota.  An important part of any liberal education is learning to use abstract thinking and symbolic language to solve practical problems.  Calculus is one of the pillars of modern mathematical thought, and has diverse applications essential to our complex world.  In this course, students will be exposed to theoretical concepts at the heart of calculus and to numerous examples of real-world applications.

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