Math 1231: Single-Variable Calculus I
Section 10
Fall 2020

Contact Info
Fall 2020

Office: Blackboard

Office Hours:

Course Information



Daily Assignments

October 27: Classifying Extrema

October 22: Mean Value Theorem


October 20: No class; midterm due

October 15: Maxima and Minima



October 8: Implicit Differentiation


October 6: Rates of Change and Physical Models


October 1: Tangent Lines and Linear Approximation


September 29: Trigonometric Derivatives and the Chain Rule


September 24: Computing Derivatives


September 22: Linear Approximation and the Derivative


September 17: Infinite Limits


September 15: Trigonometric Limits


September 10: Continuity and Computing Limits

Slides from Lecture

September 8: Formal Limits

Slides from Lecture

September 3: Informal Continuity and Limits

Slides from Class

September 1: Syllabus and Review of Functions

Course Goals

This is the first semester of a standard year-long sequence in single-variable calculus. The main topics are limits and continuity; differentiation and integration of algebraic and trigonometric functions; and applications of these ideas. This corresponds to Chapters 1–5 of Stewart and Chapters 1–6 of Herman–Strang.

By the end of the course, students will acquire the following skills and knowledge: students will know the intuitive and formal definitions of the limit, derivative, antiderivative, and definite integral of a function. Students will be able to distinguish continuous from discontinuous functions by visual and algebraic means; to calculate derivatives of functions both by definition and using various simplification rules; to formulate and solve related rates and optimization problems; to accurately sketch graphs of functions; to calculate antiderivatives and definite integrals of a variety of functions; to compute areas of regions in the plane and volumes of solids of revolution; and to explain the significance of important theoretical results such as the Extreme Value Theorem, Mean Value Theorem, and Fundamental Theorems of Calculus.

The course syllabus is available here.

Course notes

Mastery Quizzes

The topics for the quizzes are:

  1. Informal Continuity and Limits
  2. Formal Limits
  3. Computing Limits
  4. Trigonometric Limits
  5. Infinite Limits
  6. Definition of a Derivative
  7. Basics of Computing Derivatives
  8. Trigonometry and the Chain Rule
  9. Linear Approximations and Tangent Lines
  10. Rates of Change
  11. Implicit Differentiation


Graphing calculators will not be allowed on tests. Scientific, non-programmable calculators will be allowed. I will have some to share, but not enough for everyone.


The official textbook for Math 1231 is Calculus, 8th edition by James Stewart (ISBN-13: 978-1285740621, ISBN-10: 1285740629). It is a very good (and very expensive) textbook. If you go on to take Calculus 2 or Multivariable Calculus at GW, you will also need this book for those classes.

Another perfectly fine book is Calculus 1, by Gilbert Strang and Jed Herman. It is available for free online here.

I will be loosely following Stewart, and will attempt to give references to both books whenever I can. I will not assign problems from either book, but both will contain many problems for if you need extra practice.

Do not purchase Calculus: Early Trancendentals, also by Stewart: it is not the same book as Calculus and it is not used in any mathematics course at GW.

This section of Math 1231 will not use WebAssign.