Course Guidelines

Multivariate Calculus

University of Puget Sound

Math 280B

Fall 2015

Dr. Beezer


We will be using Calculus, 2nd Edition, by J. Rogawski as our textbook. We will cover material from Chapters 12 –17, as described on the attached calendar.

You may also find useful the openly licensed Vector Calculus, by Michael Corral of Schoolcraft College. Look for a link on the course web page.

Course Web Page

Off of you can find the link to the course web page. This page will evolve as the course progresses.

Office Hours

My office is in Thompson 303. Making appointments or simple, non-mathematical questions can be handled via email — my address is Do not confuse this address with the one used for submitting homework (I only look at the homework address when something is due). I rarely do not receive your email, and I read all of my email all of the time, usually very shortly after receiving it. Urgency of replying varies by the hour, day and nature of the message. Office Hours are 1:30–3:00 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Office Hours are first-come, first-served, so I do not make appointments for these times, nor do you need to ask me if I will be present at these times. You may assume I will be there, unless I have announced otherwise in class or by email. You may make an appointment for other times, or just drop by my office to see if I am in. Office Hours are your opportunity to receive extra help or clarification on material from class, or to discuss any other aspect of the course.

Class Preparation

You are expected to read and study the day's section of the textbook in advance of the lecture. The daily homework (described below) will contain routine questions on this material and these will be due prior to the lecture.


I will demonstrate certain concepts in class using the open source software system Sage, and you will be encouraged to use this system as well. You can make a free account at the new SageMathCloud at The university hosts a Sage notebook server at for use on-campus (or via vDesk or the VPN).

That said, examinations will be designed for exact computations and therefore inexact calculators will not be used during examinations.


We will work problems in WeBWorK, an online system. These will be due at 6:00 AM on the mornings when we begin the next section. I will demonstrate the system in class and you can find a link on the course page. Your total percentage correct for each of four intervals (prior to each exam) will be equally weighted to form your score on this part of the course. These problems cannot be accepted late.

It is your responsibility to be certain that you are learning from the homework exercises. The best ways to do this are to work the problems diligently, start studying them early, and participate in classroom discussions. If at this point you are still unsure about a problem, then a visit to my office is in order, since you are obviously not prepared for the examination questions. Making a consistent effort outside of the classroom is the easiest way (only way?) to do well in this course.

Mathematics not only demands straight thinking, it grants the student the satisfaction of knowing when he [or she] is thinking straight. — D. Jackson
Mathematics is not a spectator sport. — Anonymous
I hear, I forget.
I see, I remember.
I do, I understand. — Chinese Proverb
An education is not received. It is achieved. — Anonymous


There will be four 50-minute timed examinations. Planned dates are all listed on the tentative schedule. The comprehensive final examination will be given on Monday, December 14 at Noon. The final exam cannot be given at any other time, so be certain that you do not make any travel plans that conflict, and also be aware that I will allow you to work longer on the final exam than just the two-hour scheduled block of time.


Grades will be based on the following breakdown:

Attendance and improvement will be considered for borderline grades. Scores will be posted anonymously on the web at a link off the course page.


Here are three reminders about important university policies contained in the Academic Handbook. These are described thoroughly online at, or a printed copy may be requested from the Registrar's Office (basement of Jones Hall).

“Regular class attendance is expected of all students. Absence from class for any reason does not excuse the student from completing all course assignments and requirements.” (Registration for Courses of Instruction, Non-Attendance)

Withdrawal grades are often misunderstood. A Withdrawal grade (W) can only be given prior to the university deadline listed on our course schedule, and after that time (barring unusual circumstances), the appropriate grade is a Withdrawal Failing (WF), even if your work has been of passing quality. See the attached schedule for the last day to drop with an automatic `W'. (Grade Information and Policy, Withdrawal Grades)

All of your graded work is expected to be entirely your own work, this includes Reading Questions and Sage Exercises. Anything to the contrary is a violation of the university's comprehensive policy on Academic Integrity (cheating and plagiarism). Discovered incidents will be handled strictly, in accordance with this policy. Penalties can include failing the course and range up to being expelled from the university. (Academic Integrity)


One of the goals of your college education is to progress to becoming an independent scholar. To this end, you will be given a great deal of freedom in how you choose to learn calculus. Of course, with freedom comes responsibility.

Read the book before the lectures, work the exercises diligently, tidy up your class notes each evening, and ask questions. Arriving late to class, or having conversations with others during class, not only disrupts your peers, but tells me you are not serious about your education. Our class is small enough that I will notice when you are not here, and again this will be another way that you signal me about your commitment to the endeavor.

Calculus is one of the most amazing intellectual developments of the past several hundred years and is responsible in large part for many of the advances in science and engineering that we take for granted today. The study of multivariable calculus will solidify what you learned about single-variable calculus, while also introducing you to the process of generalizing broad areas of mathematics. Your commitment to this course will be rewarded, and your inattention will be a waste of your tuition and your time.


Daily attendance is required, expected, and overall a pretty good idea. Class will begin on-time, so be here, settled-in and ready to go. In other words, walking in the door at the exact time class is to begin is not considered arriving on-time. Repeated tardieness and absences will result in grade penalties, in accordance with university policies. Do not leave class during the lecture unless there is a real emergency — fill your water bottles, use the toilet, and so on, in advance. I do not care how much food or drink you bring to class, so long as it does not distract others or make me hungry. Please do not offer me sweets. Please keep phones in your pocket or bag, unless you are using them to read course material. In short, we are here to learn and discuss mathematics together. It is your responsibility to not distract your peers who are serious about their education or distract me as I endeavor to make the best use of the class time for you and your colleagues.

Student Accessibility and Accommodation

“If you have a physical, psychological, medical or learning disability that may impact your course work, please contact Peggy Perno, Director of the Office of Accessibility and Accommodation, 105 Howarth, 253.879.3395. She will determine with you what accommodations are necessary and appropriate. All information and documentation is confidential.”

I request that you give me at least two full working days to respond to any requests from this office.

Student Beravement Policy

“Upon approval from the Dean of Students Office, students who experience a death in the family, including parent, grandparent, sibling, or persons living in the same household, are allowed three consecutive weekdays of excused absences, as negotiated with the Dean of Students. For more information, please see the Academic Handbook.”

Classroom Emergency Response Guidance

Please review university emergency preparedness and response procedures posted at There is a link on the university home page. Familiarize yourself with hall exit doors and the designated gathering area for your class and laboratory buildings.

If building evacuation becomes necessary (e.g. earthquake), meet your instructor at the designated gathering area so she/he can account for your presence. Then wait for further instructions. Do not return to the building or classroom until advised by a university emergency response representative.

If confronted by an act of violence, be prepared to make quick decisions to protect your safety. Flee the area by running away from the source of danger if you can safely do so. If this is not possible, shelter in place by securing classroom or lab doors and windows, closing blinds, and turning off room lights. Lie on the floor out of sight and away from windows and doors. Place cell phones or pagers on vibrate so that you can receive messages quietly. Wait for further instructions.

Tentative Daily Schedule
Monday Tuesday Thursday Friday
Aug 31
Sep 1
Section 12.1
Sep 3
Section 12.2
Sep 4
Section 12.3
Sep 7
Labor Day
Sep 8
Section 12.4
Sep 10
Section 12.5
Sep 11
Section 12.6
Sep 14
Section 12.7
Sep 15
Section 13.1
Sep 17
Section 13.2
Sep 18
Section 13.3
Sep 21
Section 13.4
Sep 22
Section 13.4
Section 13.5
Sep 24
Section 13.5
Sep 25
Problem Session
Sep 28
Exam 1
Chapters 12, 13
Sep 29
Section 14.1
Oct 1
Section 14.2
Oct 2
Section 14.3
Oct 5
Section 14.4
Oct 6
Section 14.5
Oct 8
Section 14.6
Oct 9
Section 14.7
Oct 12
Section 14.7
Section 14.8
Oct 13
Section 14.8
Oct 15
Problem Session
Oct 16
Exam 2
Chapter 14
Mid Term
Oct 19
Fall Break
Oct 20
Fall Break
Oct 22
Section 15.1
Oct 23
Section 15.2
Oct 26
Section 15.2
Section 15.3
Oct 27
Section 15.3
Oct 29
Section 15.4
Oct 30
Section 15.5
Nov 2
Section 15.5
Nov 3
Section 15.6
Nov 5
Problem Session
Nov 6
Exam 3
Chapter 15
Last Day: Auto W
Nov 9
Section 16.1
Nov 10
Section 16.2
Nov 12
Section 16.2
Section 16.3
Nov 13
Section 16.3
Nov 16
Section 16.4
Nov 17
Section 16.4
Section 16.5
Nov 19
Section 16.5
Nov 20
No Class
Nov 23
Section 17.1
Nov 24
Section 17.1
Nov 26
Nov 27
Nov 30
Section 17.2
Dec 1
Section 17.2
Dec 3
Section 17.3
Dec 4
Section 17.3
Dec 7
Problem Session
Dec 8
Exam 4
Chapters 16, 17
Dec 10
Reading Period
Dec 11
Reading Period
Final Examination: Monday, December 14 at Noon (Section B)