Thursday, November 1, 2007

Essential Calculus Environment

To all interested: We changed our textbook for our Calculus Series for Physical Scientists and Engineers. The new text is called Single Variable Essential Calculus by James Stewart.

It is a boiled down version of the standard Stewart Calculus text and also published by Thomson Brooks/Cole. It is smaller, lighter, cheaper and not so filled with the extraneous information that fills most every text on the subject these days. I am doing Calculus II at the moment, and I find it quite concise and well developed. Any embellishments that I would like to see, I am happy to do on my own in lecture.

In fact, most of the stuff excised from the regular version of Stewart Calculus has been offloaded to the author's website

I am interested in the student's reactions to the book. Please comment below on your reaction to the text. The more detail you can give, the better. If in the eyes of the students, it is a terrible book, we need to know that.


Putnam Training Sessions, Fall 2007

The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition takes place on December 1 this year.

This note is just a reminder that the Mathematics Department is conducting weekly training and proactice sessions designed for students to prepare for the competition. These session are headed by one of the graduate students here in the Math Department: Hamid Hezari.

The sessions are held on Thursday evenings, from 6pm to 8pm in Krieger 308. Pizza and drinks will be present.


The German Abitur

With the ever increasing number of students coming in to JHU with advanced placement credits in calculus under their arms, we are now getting a larger and larger number of students who have studied abroad prior to attending Hopkins. Many of these students also have some sort of advanced training.

As a means to recognize this international form of advanced placement, we look at the exam curricula, both in content and level, and compare it to what we offer as coursework here. The Advanced Placement AB and BC exams correspond roughly to what we offer as Calculus I and II, respectively.

We have been looking at the German Abitur lately, and have come to the conclusion that the Mathematics Department will accept a score of 10 or above (out of 15) for 4 credits of either 110.106 or 110.108 Calculus I. This is fairly consistent with that of MIT, and Duke as well as others.

So far, other international exams will have to be examined on a case by case basis.

Come talk to me if this conclusion is of interest to you. Also, as I learn more I will append this post or add others under the Advanced Placement tag.