Here are links to the other resources:

Syllabus | Tentative Schedule  | Pre-Class Reading Verification | Chapter Resources & Materials Non-Math Majors Math Club

Syllabus for MA 101/102.

This course covers the fundamentals of single-variable calculus with an emphasis on pre-calculus including functions, limits, differentiation, integration, and their applications. While students will extensively cover computational methods, this course will incorporate a deeper conceptual reasoning from the broad range of topics in calculus. Students are expected to understand the material at a deeper conceptual level, as well as being able to compute when necessary. This course’s goals are to learn the basics of calculus, be able to critically think through exercises, utilize logical and quantitative skills, and be able to communicate the ideas in an intelligent and concise way.

These two courses together cover the same material as MA 121 and together satisfy all the requirements and prerequisites that MA 121 does. That is, MA 101 and MA 102 together are equivalent to MA 121. So if you decide to take MA 101, you are also committing to take MA 102 over JanPlan.

Instructor: Dr. Phoenix Mourning-Star

Office: Davis 206


Office Hours: By Appointment and highly supportively flexible additionally: Updated Office Hours/Study Group Sessions: Tuesdays & Wednesdays 5-6pm in Diamond 141; Thursdays 4-5pm Davis 201

Covid-19 Reminder: I am able to meet with only 2-3 students at a time. Both in class and in office hours, we must keep physically distant and wear masks at all times.

Course Time and Location: For Fall 2020, the course meets MTWF from 4 – 4:50 PM in Diamond 141. The time and location during JanPlan is to be determined.

Textbook: Taalman, Laura. Calculus I, with integrated precalculus. The electronic version of the book can be purchased or rented directly from the publisher’s website:

If you have already purchased the textbook for MA 121 from the Colby bookstore, you can likely return it for a refund. If you have any challenges associated with purchasing the book, please speak with your advising dean and/or Scott Taylor (Math/Stats dept. chair).  It is crucial that you have your own copy of the book.

Academic Integrity: Academic Integrity is essential to the pursuit of truth and to gaining the most out of your studies. It is much more than just the absence of dishonesty. It is giving credit to all whose work you rely on; it is putting forth a good faith effort in the class; it is reaching out for help or encouragement or advice when you need it. It is doing the best you can in the circumstances you find yourself in. I value academic integrity greatly and expect you to. Don’t hesitate to start a conversation with me about it. It’s a passion of mine. (And, yes, there are consequences for academic dishonesty. It doesn’t matter what they are. What matters is if you know the difference between academic honesty and academic dishonesty and choose honesty. If you don’t know the difference or if you are unsure — ask! If you need help — ask!) In our course, this plays out in two main ways: If someone (whether another Colby student or someone back home or someone on the internet) helps you out, give them credit. When you rely on other sources, whether books, articles, or websites — give them credit.

Related to this, but distinct, is the expectation that you not post course materials (videos, readings, classmates’ work) to the internet (excepting of course your submissions to Moodle).

Flexibility: Here are three distinct options for flexibility this semester. For any given situation you may invoke any one of these two options.

  • Sickness: If you are sick, please email me to arrange for alternate due dates.
  • Late Homework: You really shouldn’t get behind. Please! Doing so will severely limit your ability to get anything out of the course. Homework may be turned in up to prior to the graded assignment being returned to the class, for a 15% penalty.


30% Homework (collected each Friday)

25% Quizzes (weekly-starting 0.14.2020)

35% Exams 

10% Projects/Writing Assignments

Note:  On each exam, you may rework any problems you got wrong to earn back up to 10% of the points for the exam.

Course letter grades will be assigned according to the following scale. Any curve will be determined at the end of the course according to the discretion of the instructor. An A+ may be awarded to students who do exceptionally well and who demonstrate an exceptional interest in the course.

93–100% A 80– 83% B- 67– 70% D+
90–93% A- 77–80% C+ 63–67% D
87–90% B+  73–77% C 60–63% D-
83 – 87% B 70 – 73% C- below 60% F

Attendance: I value your involvement in the class, therefore class atten- dance is mandatory. Absence for official Colby activities requires prior approval. Absence for religious reasons will be considered excused if the policy in the college catalogue is followed. I reserve the right to take attendance. More than 3 unexcused absences will result in the reduction by 1/3 of the final course grade. Excessive tardiness or early departure may also result in such a reduction.

Homework: Homework is probably the most important part of this course – it’s when you get to put into practice the concepts you’ve played with during class. Some of the homework questions may require you to explore some topic which we didn’t discuss in class. The purpose of such questions is to help you develop the ability to read and learn mathematics on your own. If you go into a mathematical or scientific career, there will undoubtedly be times when you need to teach yourself some mathematics. If, however, all the homework problems fall into this category, you should check to make sure that you are working on the correct assignment.

Homework will generally be due every class period and will always be communicated in class or emailed. You are responsible for checking email. If no homework assignment is communicated, you should ask. A webpage may be created to help facilitate this communication, be sure to refresh the webpage on your browser and, if that doesn’t work, email me to let me know. In the special circumstance that there is no new homework, the webpage will make note of that. If you will not be in class on the day that homework is due you should arrange to turn it in at my office (prior to the start of class) or to have a friend bring it to class. Late homework may be penalized.
While we are on campus, homework is to be submitted at the beginning of class.

You should start the homework early, some problems will require multiple attempts and careful thought. If you are having substantial difficulty with a particular problem or the entire homework set you should email me or come to office hours. I am eager to help you!

You are encouraged to work with a partner on the homework, but all work should be your own. In other words, you may discuss particular problems but you may not copy someone else’s solution. Doing so violates academic honesty. As the course progresses, the question of how much work to show will arise. I encourage you to use common sense. If the work pertains to concepts discussed in class or in the reading, you should show it. If the work requires substantial effort and thought, you should show it. If the work is simply elementary algebra, you do not need to show it (although showing it may help the grader follow your work).

In general, your work is your answer. It is possible for someone to obtain a correct answer but to not receive full credit because their work is incorrect. Conversely, (almost entirely) correct work with an incorrect answer may receive full credit.

Homework must be very neat. This means: no messy scratchwork, no cramped writing, no huge eraser marks. Multiple pages should be sta- pled and the problems should be in order with section and problem number clearly indicated. If these guidelines are not followed you may be penalized. If you are incapable of writing neatly, you should type your solutions. LaTeX is the most popular mathematical typesetting software, but you may also use programs like Scientific Word or Mathematica.

Quizzes: You will be given a quiz almost every Tuesday. If you are absent on the day a quiz is given, it may be made up within one week of when it was given. You are responsible for requesting a make-up quiz. The lowest quiz score will be dropped from the computation of the course grade.

Religious Holidays

Colby College is supportive of the religious practices of its students, faculty, and staff. The College is committed to ensuring that all students are able to observe their religious beliefs without academic penalty.

The College will enable any student to make up any course requirements scheduled during a religious holiday that is observed by that student. Students are expected to inform course instructors within two weeks of the beginning of the term of any religious observance that will conflict with coursework. The faculty member will then work with the student to find a reasonable accommodation that will allow the student to complete the academic work. In addition, no student will be required to participate in college events such as athletic commitments, lectures, or concerts on these holidays.

Learning Differences: Students with learning differences are encouraged to meet with me to discuss strategies for success. I am committed to helping all students succeed and to making reasonable accommodations for documented learning differences.

Sexual Misconduct/Title IX Statement: Colby College prohibits and will not tolerate sexual misconduct or gender-based discrimination of any kind. Colby is obligated to investigate sexual misconduct (including, but not limited to sexual assault and sexual harassment). If you wish to speak confidentially about an incident of sexual misconduct, please contact Colby Counseling Services (207-859-4490) or the Director of the Gender and Sexual Diversity Program, Emily Schusterbauer (207-859-4093). Students should be aware that faculty members are considered responsible employees; as such, if you disclose an incident of sexual misconduct to a faculty member, they have an obligation to report it to Colby’s Title IX Coordinator. “Disclosure” may include communication in-person, via email/phone/text, or through class assignments.

To learn more about sexual misconduct or report an incident, visit \url{}

Syllabus | Tentative Schedule  | Pre-Class Reading Verification | Chapter Resources & Materials Non-Math Majors Math Club