Multivariate Calculus
MATH 307
Classroom: Oliver Education 2122
Tues. Thurs.
Wed. 11:0011:50
Spring 2014

Office: Harris Hall 4105
  Richard Hammack
Office hours:
  Work: 804-828-6237
Tuesday 1:30–2:30
  Home: 804-355-3963
Wednesday 12:00–1:30
Thursday 12:30–2:30
  Course web page:
and by appointment


In MATH 200 and MATH 201 you learned the fundamentals of differentiation and integration of functions such as f(x), involving one variable. MATH 307 extends these ideas to functions involving more than one variable, such as f(x,y) and f(x,y,z), etc. This greatly widens the scope and power of calculus, because most practical problems to which calculus applies involve many variables. We begin with Chapters 12 and 13, which cover the basics of vectors and vector-valued functions in two- and three-dimensional space. Chapter 14 treats differentiation of such functions, and this naturally involves generalizing the concepts of limits and continuity. Finally, Chapters 15 and 16 develop the theory of integration of functions of several variables.

This class covers a lot of material and will move quickly. It will probably require much work of you consistently throughout the semester. To do well you will need to read the text carefully and actively, attend class regularly, and work lots of practice problems (not just those assigned for homework). I maintain a list of suggested exercises on the course web page. You will probably find that you need to study at least eight hours per week, every week of the semester in order to do well.

REQUIRED MATERIALS: You will need at least one of the following. (See note below.)
  • Access to MyMathLab for Web-based homework assignments. (This also give you access to an electronic version of the text listed below.)
  • Textbook: Thomas' Calculus: Early Transcendental, 12th edition, Addison Wesley. (There is no need to buy this if you are content with the online version supplied with MyMathLab.)
If you took either MATH 200 or MATH 201 at VCU, you probably already have access to the above materials. Otherwise you have three options for purchasing them. You may do any one of the following.
  1. Hard Copy of Text with MyMathLab and e-text:
    Go to the VCU Bookstore and purchase Thomas' Calculus: Early Transcendental, 12th edition, with MyMathLab Access (ISBN 9780321648426) for $237 (or $178, used). The inside cover of this book contains a package with an access code that allows you to register for a MyMathLab account with access to our course.
  2. MyMathLab and e-text:
    Go to the VCU Bookstore and purchase the MyMathLab Student Access Kit (ISBN 9780321199911) for $111.45 (or $83.60 used). This kit includes an access code that allows you to register for your MyMathLab account with access to our course. The MyMathLab account has a link to an electronic version of the text, Thomas' Calculus: Early Transcendental, 12th edition.
  3. MyMathLab and e-text:
    You can purchase an access code directly from MyMathLab. Follow the instructions on the MyMathLab handout.
  You are not required to have a calculator in this course. You are free to use a calculator in doing homework or working exercises, but calculators are not used on any in-class work, including quizzes, tests and the final exam.

NOTE: If you have a philosophical, pedagogical or financial aversion to MyMathLab, you do not have to use it. I will assign paper homework for those who opt not to use MyMathLab. (Such students will, of course, still need a hard copy of the textbook.) Even those students who use MyMathLab will have the option of turning in a hand-written copy of any homework.

  Your course grade will be determined by your performance on the following:
  • Homework assignments: Assignments are made through MyMathLab and in class. Typically you have the option of either doing an assignment on MyMathLab or submitting it hand-written. Several assignments will be hand-written only (i.e. not on MyMathLab). All will be announced both in class and on line. For the MyMathLab questions you will get as many tries as needed on each question (except for some multiple choice questions), but you must eventually arrive at a correct answer to get credit. You do not have the option of redoing the written homework for additional points. There will typically be one or two homework sets per week. Some homework exercises are intended to make you think about ideas not discussed in class.
  • Tests: There are three closed book tests at times to be announced. Calculators and computers are not used on any in-class test. Tests are written under the assumption that you are studying the material at least 8 hours per week outside of class.
  • Engagement: Engagement means that you in some way demonstrate intellectual involvement in the course. It does not necessarily mean that you ask questions and volunteer answers. Active engagement may include your working lots of exercises, taking advantage of office hours, and displaying preparedness, dedication and intellectual curiosity. Things that could diminish engagement points include sleeping in class, excessive absence, leaving a cell phone on, texting in class, and other rude behaviors. (Not that I expect you would do any of these things!)
  • Final Exam: The final exam is cumulative, covering all material discussed in class. All you will need to bring to the finial exam is something to write with. Books, notes, calculators, computers, etc., are not allowed on the final. The final exam is scheduled for Tuesday May 6, from 8:00 am until 10:50 am. The exam is written under the assumption that you have been studying the material at least 8 hours per week outside of class throughout the semester.
  • Dropped Scores: Your lowest test grade and several low homework scores will be dropped.
The 10-point grading scale is used:
A: 90100
B: 8089
C: 7079
D: 6069
F: 059
Your final average will be computed as follows:

Homework assignments:
Engagement: 1%
Highest two tests grades:
Final exam:

  • Attendance: Attendance is not taken. You are responsible for all material covered in class.
  • Etiquette: Class begins on the hour — please arrive promptly. Late arrivals are disruptive. Except in the event of emergency, do not leave class until it is officially over. Do not pack up before class is over.
  • Phones: Turn off and put away all phones for the entire duration of class. Do not text in class or leave to take a call.
  • Devices: You are expected to be connected with the course and course material. All devices not related to coursework (iPods, laptops, etc.) are to be turned off and put away for the entire duration of class.
  • Make-up work: Except in extraordinary situations, make-up tests are not given. Your lowest test grade and several low homework grades will be dropped. If you miss up to one test or several homeworks, those grades will not be counted. The final exam cannot be given early. Please be sure that your travel plans do not conflict with the exam schedule. If you miss the final exam due to a documented illness or emergency, then I can give you a grade of incomplete (I) and you will have to make up the final by the deadline set by the University.
  • Honor System: You can collaborate on homework, but not on tests and exams. Any instance of cheating is considered an honor offence and is dealt with according to University policy.
  • In addition to the required MyMathLab homework assignments, you are expected to work lots of extra problems for practice. Please see the Exercise List on the course web page.
  • Last Day to Withdraw: March 21. (Withdrawing means your transcript lists a "W" for the course, and you do not get credit for it.)
Read the VCU policies on the course web page. They apply to all students in this course.