General Information

Title: MA3540: Calculus III
Time: MWF 11:15-12:05PM, Th 9:30-10:45AM
Location: Hyde 316 (MWF), Hyde 315 (Th)

Course Information and Policies


A satisfactory grade in MA2560 (or MA2500 with consent of instructor).

Course description

This is the third course in the calculus sequence. Loosely speaking, Calculus III revisits the topics from Calculus I and II, but explores them in multiple dimensions. Topics include three-dimensional vectors, directional derivatives and the gradient, and multiple integrals. Some key theorems include Green's Theorem, Stokes' Theorem, and the Divergence Theorem. We will occasionally make use of software packages, like Sage, which is capable of doing symbolic mathematics.


We will be using Calculus, 6th edition (Thomson/Brooks Cole) by James Stewart. There are two different versions that you can choose from. One option is to obtain the full textbook. The second option is to obtain the multivariable version of the book, which consists of chapters of 13-18. Note: This is not the same book that I am using for Calculus I and II. I expect you to be reading the textbook. I will not be covering every detail of the textbook and the only way to achieve a sufficient understanding of the material is to be digesting the reading in a meaningful way. You should be seeking clarification about the material in the textbook whenever necessary by asking questions in class or posting questions to the course forum on our Moodle page.


We will have two types of homework assignments.

You are allowed and encouraged to work together on homework. However, each student is expected to turn in their own work. Lastly, students are allowed to modify their homework in light of discussions/presentations made in class; however, you are required to use the felt-tip pens provided in class.

You can find the list of homework assignments here. I reserve the right to modify the homework assignments as I see necessary.


There will be 3 midterm exams, which are tentatively scheduled for the following Thursdays: February 23, March 29, and April 26. Each exam will be worth 15% of your overall grade. There will also be a cumulative final exam, which will be on Thursday, May 17 at 11:00am–1:30PM (Note: I'm using our Thursday at 12:30–1:45PM time slot to determine when our final exam is). The final exam is worth 20% of your overall grade. Make-up exams will only be given under extreme circumstances, as judged by me. In general, it will be best to communicate conflicts ahead of time.

Basis for Evaluation

Your final grade will be determined by the scores of your homework, exams, and final exam.

Category Weight Notes
Daily Homework 15% each assignment has equal weight regardless of length
Weekly Homework 20% each assignment worth 10 points
Exam 1 15% Thursday, February 23
Exam 2 15% Thursday, March 29
Exam 3 15% Thursday, April 26
Final Exam 20% Thursday, May 17 at 11:00am–1:30PM

Grade Determination

Grades may be "massaged" at the end of the semester, but in general you should expect the grades to adhere to the standard letter-grade cutoffs.

Additional Information


Regular attendance is expected and is vital to success in this course, but you will not explicitly be graded on attendance. All students should be familiar with the university attendance policy which can be found on page 45 of the PSU Academic Catalog as well as the Academic Integrity and Fairness in Grading policies as written on pages 40-43 of the PSU Academic Catalog. The catalog may be viewed here.

About Calculators and Other Technology

I am a huge fan of technology and believe that when it is used appropriately, it can greatly enhance one's learning experience. However, when learning, technology should never replace one's own amazing cognitive abilities. When we are discussing concepts in class or when you are doing homework, you should feel free to use whatever resources you feel will help you understand the concepts better. So, feel free to use things like Sage, Wolfram|Alpha, your graphing calculator, etc. when doing homework. However, be warned that I am much more interested in the process by which you arrived at your answer than the answer itself. An answer to a homework or exam question that is correct but lacks justification may be worth little to no points. If you understand a concept, then barring a silly computational error, the correct answer comes along for the ride. Yet, getting the correct answer does not imply that you understand anything! You are not required to purchase a graphing calculator nor will you need them on any of the exams. However, you will be allowed to use a graphing calculator on exams as long as the calculator does not include a computer algebra system (CAS). If you decide to purchase a graphing calculator, I recommend the TI-83 Plus. If you have questions about whether a particular calculator is appropriate or allowed, please ask. I will not spend class time discussing how to use a graphing calculator.

Getting Help

There are many resources available to get help. First, I recommend that you work on homework in groups as much as possible, and to come see me whenever necessary. Also, you are strongly encouraged to ask questions in the course forum on our Moodle page page, as I will post comments there for all to benefit from. To effectively post to the course forum, you will need to learn the basics of LaTeX, the standard language for typesetting in the mathematics community. See the Quick LaTeX guide for help with $\LaTeX$. If you need additional help with $\LaTeX$, post a question in the course forum on our Moodle page.

Also, you can always .

Math Activity Center

You can also visit the Math Activity Center, which is located in Hyde 351. This student-run organization provides peer tutoring services for most 1000 and 2000 level math courses and some 3000 level courses. Tutors are typically math majors interested in teaching math and practicing their instructional skills. You can drop in anytime during open hours.

Student Handbook

The PSU Student Handbook addresses policies pertaining to students with disabilities, religious observation, honor code, general conduct, etc. The Handbook can be found here.

ACT for Growth

All teacher education majors are subject to the Areas of Concern/Targets for Growth policy, which is located here.

ADA Statement

Plymouth State University is committed to providing students with documented disabilities equal access to all university programs and facilities. If you think you have a disability requiring accommodations, you should immediately contact the PASS Office in Lamson Library (535-2270) to determine whether you are eligible for such accommodations. Academic accommodations will only be considered for students who have registered with the PASS Office. If you have a Letter of Accommodation for this course from the PASS Office, please provide the instructor with that information privately so that you and the instructor can review those accommodations. I urge anyone having difficulty with the material to see me during office hours to get extra help.

Closing Remarks

When does the learning happen? It might happen in class, but most likely it happens when you sit down to do your homework. Most of you can follow what happens on the board in class, but the question is, can you do it on your own? To learn best, you must struggle with mathematics on your own. It is supposed to be difficult. However, if you are struggling too much, then there are resources available for you. I am always happy to help you. If my office hours don't work for you, then we can probably find another time to meet. You can also get help from each other. Get a study buddy! Help each other learn. Go the Math Activity Center. It is your responsibility to be aware of how well you understand the material. Don't wait until it is too late if you need help. Ask questions!