FAQ page for Math 261: Calculus III


REGISTRATION
  1. I am unable to get into the section I want (or maybe any section at all). What can I do? Can you give me an override?
    Before the end of the first week of class, there's nothing I can do to help. Your best bet is to get on the waitlist for the section(s) you want. Around the end of that first week, the powers that be (not me) will do what they can to fit everybody on a waitlist (and not already enrolled in some section of 261) into some section of 261. The people who work on this put a lot of effort into it; please be patient. If, at the end of the first week, you still aren't in some section, please let me know and I'll look into it. Precedence is given to students who must take Math 261 this semester to graduate on time. While waiting to see if you will get in, please attend some section so that you don't fall far behind.
  2. May I sit in on a different section?
    Yes, though please make sure the people enrolled in that section have the first opportunity to sit. Also, please note that you must take all quizzes and exams with your section.
  3. I just transferred into CSU and my transcripts haven't been translated into the CSU system yet, so I cannot yet register. Can you give me an override?
    Unfortunatley, no. Please wait for your transcripts to make it over, after which we'll do our best to get you into a section. The instructors have no override permission (only the front office can give overrides for calculus courses).
GRADES
  1. Do you curve the exam grades in Math 261?
    Sometimes. This is not a decision that is made ahead of time, and the choice to curve one semester has no bearing on the choice to cover in any other semester. After grading an exam, we look at the (approximate) distribution of grades. If the course-wide mean seems low or the distribution seems inappropriate, we look closely at the exam to decide whether it was actually a reasonable instrument to assess the knowledge of the students. If we determine that there was some flaw in the construction of the exam, we will curve it. This decision does not depend on the performance of any particular student or section; we look at the data in aggregate.
  2. Do you curve the final grade?
    The only curve on the final grade comes from the curve(s) on the exam(s). If there are no curves on the exams, you should not expect a curve on the final grade.
  3. I believe there was a grading error on my exam. What can I do about this?
    Turn it in to your instructor ASAP for a regrade. There's a time limit on this, so turn it in ASAP!
  4. Could I get some bonus assignment, extra credit, or something similar?
    No. All students have the same opportunity in this class, so we cannot provide you (or some subset of the students) with extra credit assignments. We do not assign any extra credit assignments in this course; we assign you the grade you earn.
  5. I am N points away from the next grade up. Can you just give me those points?
    No. We assign you the grade you earn.
QUIZZES AND EXAMS
  1. I missed a quiz (or exam) for a good reason (or a bad one). Can I make it up??
    Maybe. It depends on the excuse. If it was a documentable illness or emergency, then sure. If you just forgot it, overslept, etc., then no. Proper documentation must be submitted to your instructor to be considered for a make-up.
  2. I really messed up on some quiz or exam. Can I take it again or turn in corrections for more points?
    Sorry, but no. See the bit above about extra credit and the like.
  3. Can I take my quiz in a section other than my own?
    No. Quizzes are specific to sections, so you must take the quizzes in your own section.
  4. I need to miss a quiz or exam for some really good reason that is not a documentable illness/emergency or a University-excused absence. Can I please take the exam at an alternate time?
    This is highly unlikely. If this is a once-in-a-lifetime situation (meeting the President, launching your own fashion line at a Paris fashion show, etc.), please contact the coordinator. If it is instead for pre-planned travel, a concert, skiing, etc., then sorry, but no.
BOOK
  1. Is the book required?
    No, but it's definitly suggested that you pick up some copy of the book (hard copy or e-copy) so you can try the suggested homework.
  2. Is it OK if I get some other edition of the book?
    Sure, but beware that the problem numbers of the suggested homework might be a little off here and there. I believe the difference (for our course) between the 12th and 13th editions comes only in the problem numbers in two or three sections. If you successfully try some problems from each section of problems within each section of the book, you should be OK.
  3. Could you let me borrow your book so I can copy the homework problems?
    Sorry, but no. There are many students in your section; please check with them. I don't mean to be impolite about this, but I (we) cannot make a habit of loaning out a book that we don't personally own and use frequently.
DIFFICULTIES
  1. I have a question about the course and wrote to you (or my instructor) but haven't heard back. What should I do?
    First, please keep in mind that we are human. Please be patient. We don't work 24/7, and even when we are working, teaching is just one part of our jobs. Instructors should respond within one or two business days, often much more rapidly. If it is pressing, write again, or try asking a friend or the other coordinator.
  2. I have a gripe. Who should I tell?
    If you can tell your instructor, start there. If it's about them, tell the coordinator. If it's the instructor and the coordinator, tell the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Mathematics (currently Alexander Hulpke).