FAQ page for Math 261: Calculus III
- 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 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.
- 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 turn your homework in to the instructor of the section in which you are registered.
- 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?
I cannot, but the front office of the Math Department can. You should contact Annette Gonzales (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your CSU ID number, the CRN of the course you want, and an unofficial transcript showing a passing grade for Calc 2 somewhere.
- 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 curve 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 the grades. This decision does not depend on the performance of any particular student or section; we look at the data in aggregate.
- 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.
- 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 (one week), so turn it in ASAP! If you are concerned about the final exam, you will not have access to your exam until after final grades have been determined, submitted, and made available to you, the week after finals week. Sorry, but this is departmental policy. If you later go to the Math Department office (Weber 101) to see your final exam and believe a grading error was made (and it was a grading error that might have affected your final grade), please contact the course coordinator.
- 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.
- 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. Arguments like "If I fail this class, I'll have to drop out of CSU" (or a particular program, etc.) have no bearing on the grade we assign. Work hard and earn the grade you want.
- I missed an exam for a good reason (or a bad one). Can I make it up??
Maybe. It depends on the reason. 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, and you must contact your instructor as soon as possible (without endangering yourself, e.g., don't email your instructor while you are in your car and it is sinking in Horsetooth Reservoir.)
- I really messed up on some homework assignment 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.
- I need to miss an 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 (tea with the Queen, 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.
- 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. Feel free to buy it with a group of friends.
- 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.
- 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 (I couldn't afford the books when I was in college either), but I (we) cannot make a habit of loaning out a book that we don't personally own and need to use frequently.
- 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 two business days, often much more rapidly. If it is pressing, write again, or try asking a friend or another instructor.
- 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 one of the Co-directors of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Mathematics. In this case, tell Patrick Shipman since the other co-director is also the course coordinator for this course.