Calculus I
MATH 200 Sections 7 & 8
Fall 2021

Section 8: MW 9:00-10:15,    Trani  Life  Sci. 0250
Section 7: MW  2:00-3:15,  Oliver Phys. Sci. 3059

Virginia Commonwealth University

  Richard Hammack Office: Harris Hall 4166
Office hours:
  Phone: (804) 828-6237 (Note: VCU does not provide voicemail)
Web page:
Monday 11:30-1:30
Wednesday 10:30-12:30
  Course web page:
and by appointment.


MATH 151 (Pre-calculus) or placement by VCU's Mathematics Placement Test. (For testing, see

MATH 200 is the first course in a two-semester sequence covering the calculus of one-variable functions. This course covers the fundamental ideas of differential and integral calculus: functions, limits, continuity, differentiation and integration. We also examine some aspects of how these ideas apply to real-world problems. The course is designed to give you the mathematical background necessary for many courses in the natural and social sciences, as well as to provide a foundation for further study in mathematics.

  This course is taught in VCU's  hybrid-asynchronous (RONC) modality. You will watch video lectures, read and study outside of class on your own time. Classroom meetings will be used for informal discussions of material, review or practice sessions, and quizzes & exams.  A typical week will be structured as follows:
  • MONDAY: Discussion, Q&A and practice of course content; Quiz.
  • WEDNESDAY: Discussion, Q&A and practice of course content; Quiz or Exam.
  • FRIDAY: Normally this is a free day (no class). Occasionally I may hold optional review sessions or hold extra office hours on Fridays.
You are expected to work enough exercises that you are prepared for quizzes and exams.

Important: This is a blended hybrid class. All quizzes and exams will be on campus, in class.  If you are not able to attend class for quizzes and exams, then you should drop this course and register for a course that is fully online.


Calculus: Early Transcendentals, 2nd or 3rd edition, by Briggs, Cochran and Gillett (published by Pearson).

IMPORTANT NOTE: In order to reduce your expenses, I will not assign any required reading or exercises from the above textbook. Instead you can refer to my online course notes, as described below. These notes include examples,  exercises and solutions. I will assign practice problems from the notes. The course calendar lists weekly readings for both the Course Notes and the Briggs & Cochran book.

MyMathLab (optional):
  MyMathLab is a web-based system on which you can work practice problems with feedback and hints. (You may already have a subscription of you've taken MATH 200 at VCU before.) I will not assign any homework or assignments through MyMathLab, but if working practice problems on line fits your learning style this may be a good purchase. (MyMathLab also contains an e-copy of the Briggs & Cochran textbook). If you want to purchase a subscription, instructions are here. Please note that you can also get a free three-week trial subscription.

  Course materials are on my Calculus I page (NOT on Blackboard or Canvas). Go to Here you will find links to:
  • Course Calendar (Schedule of coverage, assignments, and dates of quizzes & exams)
  • Course Notes (Organized in Chapters that parallel the video lectures. These include examples, exercises and solutions.)
  • Video Lectures (Watch these according to schedule on the course calendar.)
  • Exercise List (A list of odd-numbered exercises from the Course Notes that you should do for practice. Solutions are at the end of each chapter.)
  • Test Archive (An archive of all old tests and quizzes that I have given in MATH 200, with solutions.)
  These PDF documents contain explanations, examples, and exercises (with solutions to odd-numbered exercises).  They are organized in chapters that parallel the video lectures. (For example,  Lecture 3 corresponds to Chapter 3, etc.) To find them go to the course page and click on Course Notes

  The video lectures will closely follow the course notes. To find them, go to the course page and click on Video Lectures.

                   You are NOT required to have a calculator in this course. You are free to use a calculator in doing the practice exercises, but calculators are NOT allowed on quizzes and exams. The same goes for software. We will NOT use any software in class or for assignments. Expect pencil and paper.

  • Midterm: There is one midterm exam. See the course calendar.
  • Quizzes: There are frequent quizzes (usually two per week). See the course calendar.
  • Final Exam: The final exam is cumulative, potentially including any topic discussed in lectures.
  • Engagement: You are expected to be intellectually and positively engaged in the course.

The 10-point grading scale is used:
A: 90100    (Clear mastery of material)
B: 8089    (Ready for MATH 201)
C: 7079    (Pass, but not yet prepared for more advanced math courses)
D: 6069    (Marginal pass)
F: 059    (Insufficient progress)
Your final average will be computed as follows:
Quiz average: 32%
Midterm: 32%
Final Exam grade 32%

Dropped Scores: Your five lowest quiz grades will be dropped. Your final exam grade, if higher than your midterm grade, will replace your midterm grade.

  You can do well in calculus if you study and practice daily. Many ideas in calculus can take some time to sink in; you will not learn them instantaneously.  The key is to take a few small steps each day. (Attempting big steps only once per week---or worse, only before a test---is a recipe for failure.)  Here are some tips for this course:
  • Consult the Course Calendar often. See what chapters are referenced and watch the corresponding video lecture(s) prior to that date. (The video lectures have the same numbering as the course notes chapters. For example, Lecture 4 is for Chapter 4, etc.)
  • Read the course notes or text actively with pencil & paper, checking details.
  • Consult the Exercise List and work the indicated exercises in the course notes until you obtain fluency. Answers to odd-numbered exercises are at the end of each chapter.
  • Work the assigned (even-numbered) exercises from the course notes. We will discuss them in class and you can check your answers then.
  • Though class attendance is not always required, it is strongly encouraged. In missing a class you may also miss valuable insights, practice and experience. Miss class at your own risk.
  • Depending on your learning style, working in study groups can be helpful. However, be ready to do the quizzes and exams on your own!
  • Let me know if you have any questions.
  • Attendance: Attendance is not normally taken. You are responsible for all material covered in lectures.
  • Important: All exams and quizzes are on campus & in-person.
  • Devices: While attending on-campus class meetings, you are expected to be connected with the course and course material. All devices not related to coursework (phones, etc.) should be put away for the entire duration of any class.
  • Make-up work:
    • Quizzes: Under normal circumstances I do not give make-up quizzes. I will drop at least five of your lowest quiz grades. If you miss a quiz, it will count as a dropped grade (up to the number of dropped quiz grades).
    • Midterm Exam: I will consider a makeup midterm exam if you have a documented reason for missing it. The request must be made on or before the day of the midterm. The makeup midterm will be taken on campus (not remotely). 
    • Final Exam: The final exam cannot be given early. If you miss the final exam because of a documented illness or emergency, then I can give you a grade of incomplete (I) for the course and you will have to make up the final exam by the date set by the University.
  • Honor System: Any instance of cheating is considered an honor offense and is dealt with according to University policy.
  • You are expected to work lots of extra problems for practice.
LAST DAY TO WITHDRAW: Friday November 5
Read VCU's syllabus statements at