Montgomery College

                                                        Department of Mathematics

                                                              Rockville Campus

Professor:  Rick Penn

Office: 30 Science West  (SW)

            (240) 567 - 5195


Office Hours:  Tuesdays, Thursdays 5-6 pm, or by appointment.  I am also available by email most any time.


Textbook: Required:  Calculus, Concepts and Contexts, 4th edition by James Stewart.

This is available as a hardbound book or loose-leaf (binder-ready) from the bookstore, or can be purchased as an e-book at

            Optional:  The Student Solutions Manual contains solutions to all odd numbered exercises.


Calculator:  You are required to bring a graphing calculator to class every day.  The recommended model is the TI-84+, but if you own another model and know how to use it, that may also be acceptable– see me.


Supplemental Materials:  The Math/Science Center, located in the basement of the Macklin Tower, has reference books, solutions manuals, loaner calculators, and, best of all, free tutors!  Its summer hours are Monday-Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 



Math 181 Course Policies:

Communications for this class, when necessary, will be made via college e-mail.  Be sure to check regularly! 


You are expected to attend every class, and to come to class having read the assigned materials.


The pace of this course during the summer is fast.  Incredibly fast.  Fast enough that if you think you will not be able to attend every class, and then spend several additional hours studying and practicing before the next meeting, you may want to seriously consider dropping now while you can still get a refund.  Really! 

If you do miss a class, it is your responsibility to contact me as soon as possible so that you can be prepared for the next class session – do not wait until the next class meeting to ask for missed work!  I will often be able to e-mail you copies of the missed activities so that you don’t fall even further behind.


On any graded assignment – whether homework, a quiz, or a test – answers need to be supported by work and explanations to earn credit.  Assume that I am reading your answer without the book or the question in front of me, and I need to be able to understand exactly what you did, and why.


 Grading:                                Total Points Possible:

            Tests:  3 x 100 points each:     300

            Gateways:                                80

            Quizzes and Homework:         100 (approximately)

            Final exam                               150


I will drop your 1 lowest quiz grade and count the rest.  When homework is collected (see below) each question will generally be worth around 2-5 points each, depending on the length and complexity of the problem


I do not curve grades in this class, but I do give one opportunity to make up for a bad (or missed) test - If it helps, I will drop the lowest of your test grades and replace it with your final exam grade.  

Then, if your class average is 90% or higher you will earn an ‘A’, 80-89 will earn a ‘B’, 70-79 will earn a ‘C’, 60-69 will earn a ‘D’ and less than 60% will earn an ‘F’.


Homework:  Homework for each chapter will be posted to my website before we start that chapter.  While most assignments will not be collected (I will announce which problems you should prepare to submit), it is very important to remember that math is not a spectator sport.  If you just read the book, but do not actively work the problems yourself, you will have a very difficult time passing the course! 

Remember the rule of thumb:  A college math class will generally require at least 2-3 hours of work at home for every hour in class.  We will be meeting 7 hours/week, so you should plan on an average of at least 2-3 hours of uninterrupted time to work on math homework every day, and more on some days.


Gateways:  These are mini-tests which are graded on an all-or-nothing basis.  Most of the gateways will be given online, via my website.  To pass these you will be required to answer 6 questions correctly while getting at most 1 wrong.  If you miss more than one question you fail the gateway and earn no credit – BUT- you can always start over and try again!  The computer will not even keep track of how many attempts you take.

The last gateway, which will cover techniques of differentiation, will be given in class using paper-and-pencil.  For the differentiation gateway, all attempts after the 1st will be given during my office hours (up to one per day until the deadline), but there is a catch: after each failed attempt, you will need to earn an admission ticket for your next attempt by passing an online version of the gateway. 


Each gateway will have an announced deadline by which it must be passed.   No credit will be given after the deadline for any reason, so you are strongly encouraged to pass well before the deadline to be safe.


Quizzes:  Quizzes will be frequent – about one per week – and will be based on recent lecture and homework content.  I will drop your lowest quiz grade, and average the others.  No makeups will be given.


Tests:  There will be 3 tests – the anticipated dates for these are shown on the syllabus.  I will announce in class if there are any changes from the dates and content listed.  Note that while each test will emphasize material covered since the previous test, due to the nature of the course the tests will be somewhat cumulative.  In general makeups for missed tests will not be given.  The only exceptions will be if before the test: 1) you notify me that you must be absent for a college excused reason, and 2) we agree on a time to makeup the test before the next class meeting.  Under all other circumstances, the missed grade will be recorded as a 0 (and this will be the component that you replace with the final exam).


Academic Dishonesty will not be tolerated.  Anyone who cheats on any assignment or test will be reported to the Dean of Students, and will be subject to disciplinary actions.  Please make sure that you obtain and read a copy of the Student Handbook which contains the Student Code of Conduct.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I expect that when you come to class, you are doing so with the intention of learning.  I will do my part to make the atmosphere as conducive to learning as possible, and I ask you to do the same.  Feel free to ask questions, or to try to answer questions for other students.  But please help keep the distractions down -  make sure all cell phones, ipods, etc., are turned off before you come into class.  Also, keep conversations unrelated to math to a minimum.  If anyone wants to discuss the state of the world, or more importantly the college basketball season, I'd love to talk with you about it, just not during class time. 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Any student who may need an accommodation due to a disability should make an appointment to see me during my office hour. A letter from Disability Support Services (R-CB122; G-SA175; or TP-ST120) authorizing your accommodations will be needed.


Any student who may need assistance in the event of an emergency evacuation must identify him/herself to the Disability Support Services Office; guidelines for emergency evacuations for individuals with disabilities are found at:



Montgomery College

Department of Mathematics

Approved Math 181 Course Outcomes


Outcome: Upon completion of the course a student will be able to:


1. Evaluate limits graphically, algebraically, and numerically.

2. Interpret limits verbally.

3 Use the definition of continuity to determine whether or not a given function is continuous at a point.


4. Understand and distinguish between average and instantaneous rates of change and be able to interpret each within the context of an applied problem.

5. Find a derivative directly from the definition of a derivative.

6. Interpret derivatives verbally in the context of an application.

7. Use first and second derivatives to obtain information about the graph of a function and use the graph of a function to obtain information about its first and second derivatives.

8. Identify and apply the appropriate rule(s) for symbolic differentiation.

9. Implicitly differentiate a function.

10. Use derivatives to determine the extreme values of a function.

11. Use derivatives to model and analyze a variety of applications, such as problems involving optimization, related rates, and motion.


12. Interpret the definite integral as a limit of sums.

13. Interpret the indefinite integral as an inverse process of differentiation and evaluate indefinite integrals.

14. Determine when and how to apply the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus.

15. Set up and evaluate definite integrals to solve applied problems, such as problems involving area, motion, and net change.


16. Use technology to discover, explore, illustrate and understand limits, derivatives and integrals.



Below is a syllabus describing approximately which sections we will be covering each week.

Note that this is only an estimate, and changes will likely be made.  I will announce at the end of each class which section(s) we will cover the following time.   You are expected to come prepared for class each day.  Being prepared requires that you, have completed any assigned homework from the previous lessons, bring your book and calculator to class, and have familiarized yourself with the material to be discussed that day.


Week of

What we will (probably?) cover:



Intro, 1.1-1.6

5/29 -  deadline to drop w refund




2.6-2.8, 3.1-3.2

6/10 - deadline to drop w no grade, change audit/credit



Test 1, Tuesday 6/18, Chapters 1-2





(No class 7/4)  Test 2, Thursday 7/6, Chapter 3





7/17 - deadline to drop w a 'W'



Test 3, Tuesday 7/23, Chapter 4





Final exam, 8/6



Gateway Instructions and Deadlines


All online gateway assignments are accessible via my website at

From that page, click on the link that says “Skills Practice / Gateway Main Menu”

Enter your name and the last 6 digits of your student ID # at the prompts (everything after the M20). 

You will then see a table with 20 different modules.


Click on the box with the name of the gateway module you want to complete.  Each module generates problems as you go along – so it will present different, but similar, problems each time it is run.  Each module has slightly different features from the others, so play around with them, and make sure you read all of the instructions.  Also - make sure you scroll down on your browser window (if necessary) to see all instructions and options that might not fit on the screen.  In any case, once you complete the gateway, make a printout of the results before you exit the module – no information is stored once you leave the module!



Due (prior to class)



Equation of a line

given point and slope

June 6


Print the recap sheet after you answer 6 out of 7 consecutive questions correctly.

Equation of a line

given 2 points

June 6


Print the recap sheet after you answer 6 out of 7 consecutive questions correctly.

Systems of linear equations in 2 vars

June 6


Print the recap sheet after you answer 6 out of 7 consecutive questions correctly.  Turn in your work along with the printout

Graph a line

June 6


Print the recap sheet after you answer 6 out of 7 consecutive questions correctly.

Factor a quadratic polynomial

June 6


Print the recap sheet after you answer 6 out of 7 consecutive questions correctly.   Note -you will be given a choice of whether to restrict the leading coefficient to 1 or allow any quadratic.  Make your life easier - restrict the leading coefficient to 1.

Solve a quadratic equation

June 6


Print the recap sheet after you answer 6 out of 7 consecutive questions correctly.  Turn in your work along with the printout

Warning: the instructions and some of the buttons will probably not be visible unless you scroll down – be careful not to miss them!


June 18


There is no recap sheet for this module – but it does tell you how many you have answered right/wrong directly under the problem. 

Once you’ve answered 6 right and at most 1 wrong, print out the screen showing the problem and # right/wrong

Derivatives (graphical)*

June 18


There is no recap sheet for this module – but it does tell you how many you have answered right/wrong directly under the problem. 

Once you’ve answered 6 right and at most 1 wrong, print out the screen showing the problem and # right/wrong

Derivatives (analytical)*

July 11*


This gateway will be given in class, most likely on June 25. 

Feel free to use this online module as practice to help you prepare. 

In addition, if you do not pass the in-class version, you may earn a “retake” in my office by correctly answering 7 out of 8 consecutive questions on this module. 

* The deadlines for the last 3 modules may be slightly adjusted depending on the pacing of the class.  I will announce in class if this happens.


Remember, no points can be earned for any gateway after the deadline!