Math 131 2018 Fall Course Web



High school algebra I and II, Trigonometry, Plan geometry and Pre-calculus (Analytic geometry).


Math131 is the first in a three course Calculus sequence Math131–132–233 which covers basic concepts, methods, and applications suitable for majors in engineering, natural sciences, computer science, mathematics, etc. The emphasis is on problem-solving instead of on proving theorems. Math 131 mainly studies derivatives of single-variable functions, covering these topics: limits, continuity, derivatives, implicit differentiation, related rates, maxima and minima, and an introduction to definite integrals with applications to area. 



1.You may purchase James Stewart, Calculus: Early Transcendentals , Loose-leaf, 8th Edition, Cengage Learning, 2016. Paperback printed book + eBook + WebAssign from Cengage ($134.15). See

 2.You may purchase WebAssign Instant Access (Webassign access code+ebook) for Stewart’s Calculus: Early Transcendentals; Multi-Term; 8th Edition, multi-term ($114.40). See  (Recommended)

3.You may purchase WebAssign Instant Access (Webassign access code+ebook) for Stewart’s Calculus: Early Transcendentals; single-Term; 8th Edition, single-term ($78.00). See

 4. You purchase Enhanced WebAssign directly from the WebAssign website as opposed to the above linked microsite, you will get the same stand-alone Instant Access Code to Enhanced WebAssign (with ebook) but at a higher price.

Please note that you do *not* need to buy any other materials for the course.


Introduction – What is calculus?

Chapter 2 – Limits and derivatives

2.1   The tangent and velocity problems
2.2   The limit of a function
2.3   Calculating limits using the limit laws
2.4   The precise definition of a limit
2.5   Continuity
2.6   Limits at infinity; horizontal asymptotes
2.7   Derivatives and rates of change
2.8   The derivative as a function

Chapter 3 – Differentiation Rules

3.1   Derivatives of polynomials and exponential functions
3.2   The Product and Quotient Rules
3.3   Derivatives of trigonometric functions
3.4   The Chain Rule
3.5   Implicit differentiation
3.6   Derivatives of logarithmic functions
3.7   Rates of change in the natural and social sciences
3.8   Exponential growth and decay
3.9   Related rates **
3.10 Linear approximations and differentials

Chapter 4 – Applications of Differentiation

4.1   Maximum and minimum values
4.2   The Mean Value Theorem
4.3   How derivatives affect the shape of a graph
4.4   Indeterminate forms and L’Hospital’s Rule
4.7   Optimization problems
4.8   Newton’s Method **
4.9   Antiderivatives

Chapter 5 – Integrals (introduction)

5.1  Areas and distances
5.2  The definite integral and Riemann sums


** Topics will be omitted if time is lost from emergency campus closing.

Weekly Schedule

Week Lecture Events
Sept 3 Intro, 2.1, 2.2 Start of first lecture on Tuesday, Sept 4
Sept 10 2.3-2.5  
Sept 17 2.6-2.8 Last day to drop: Mon Sep 17
Sept 24 3.1-3.3  
Oct. 1 review, 3.4(start)

Exam 1 Wednesday Oct 3,7-9pm; Make-up Exam 1 Tuesday Oct 2, 7-9pm; Exam 1 covers section 2.1-2.8

Oct 8 3.4(end)-3.6   Holiday Mon; Tues = Mon
Oct 15 3.7-3.9(start)  
Oct 22 3.9(end)-4.1  
Oct 29 4.2 -4.3(start) Last day for W: Tuesday Oct 30
Nov 5 review-4.3(end)  
Nov 12 4.4

 Monday Holiday, Wed=Mon, Exam 2 Wednesday Nov 14, 7-9pm; Make-up exam 2 Tuesday Nov 13, 7-9pm; Exam 2 covers section 3.1-4.2

Nov 19  Thanksgiving  Recess
Nov 26 4,7, 4.9, 5.1  
Dec 3 5.1, 5.2  
Dec 10 review  Last class Wednesday12/12; Final Exam covers entire semester's work
Dec  12-20 Final exam period  math131 final exam is on Monday 12/17,1-3pm; Final grade is due noon, Jan 2



1.Take three 2-hours Exams (Exam1, Exam2 and Final Exam)

2. Do assigned reading and complete online homework on time.

3. Attend classes regularly including discussion sections, take in-class quizzes, and complete written assignment if there are any in your section.


All three exams are closed book; there is no calculator allowed in any exams; Exam dates and materials covered are listed in the weekly schedule, which are the same for all lecture sections of the course. Your instructor will notify you the exam location of your section at least one week before the exam. For all of Exams, you should justify your answer with clear steps, answers without supporting work may receive 0 credit. Be sure to bring your Umass student ID card and any other exam allowed supplies (like pens, penciles and erasers) when you attend the Exam. All of students must take the regular exam unless you are qualified to take an official make-up exam which has been permitted by your instructor, which follows procedure of make-up request. As long as an exam has been taken, it can NOT be retaken.

Make-up request: All of students should check your travel plan and exam schedules of your courses carefully. If you have any schedule conflicts, you should hand in a written request with your name, student ID, section number, brief reason and an official support document to your instructor at least two weeks before the exam, then your instructor will collect all  make-up requests and report a whole list to course chair, then course chair will reserve a make-up location based on the total number of requests, so any late requests will be refused by course chair. The course chair assistant will notify you when and where to take the make-up exam in a few days before the exam.

Which case and where is the official support document for the make-up request?

(1) if you have an exam (or a class) schedule conflicts with the regular exam, you should go to Office of University Registrar (213 Whitmore Administration Building, University of Massachusetts, 181 Presidents Drive Amherst, MA 01003-9313) 8:00am - 5:00pm Monday through Friday to get an "evening exam conflicts form" as the official document.

(2) if you have a university travel for univerisity business during the regular exam date, like an athletic competition or academic conference etc., you should ask your supervisor or your coach to write an explanation letter including his/her phone number to your instructor as the official written document. Your instructor may verify the event by phone call.

(3) if you have a religious observance on regular exam date and can NOT take the exam, you should write an explanation letter yourself and attach the invitation letter or relevent information as the official document.

(4) if you have a medical reason and can not take the regular exam, you should ask a medical professional's statement including his/her phone number which indicate that you were unable for medical reason to take the scheduled exam. If the medical professional's statement is not given before the exam, you instructor may refuse your make-up request.

 Special accommodation request: new disability students should be certified by Umass disability service center (DSC) at first, then you should ask DSC to send the special accommation documents to your instructor at least one week before exam 1 or exam 2, then you may contact DSC,

Trisha Link
Exam Proctoring Coordinator
169A Whitmore

directly to schedule an appointment, DSC will notify you when and where to take the exam in a few days before the exam . For the documented disability students, DSC will notify you when you should schedule the final exam in DSC.

Exam review sessions: TAs will run at least three review sessions before each Exam. The review sessions will mainly go over solutions of old exams or homework questions. Your instructor will notify you the schedule of review sessions one week before the exam.

Exam review materials:  Fall 2016 Exam1    Fall 2017 Exam 1     Fall 2016 Exam 2    Fall 2017 Exam 2     Fall 2016 Final Exam      Fall 2017 Final Exam


A graphing calculator may be useful for the webassign online homework. There is no calculator allowed in any exams. If you never have one, then we recommend you to buy TI-89, you may see the online tutoring about  TI-89 at If you already have a TI series calculator, like TI-83,84, this should be adequate for the course.


All students require the webassign online homework system, which you may self-enroll the online homework system with a class key. Your instructor will tell you the class key of your section , then you should follow the instruction at  to create a webassign account. You can do homework with others, but you have to enter answers yourself. There is no make-up for homework unless there is some certified special accommodation from disability service center or if there is a medical reason, then you have to provide a mdeical professional's statement.  

How to log on the webassign homework system?

All lecture sections require the WebAssign on-line system for homework. If you have had a cengage account, then you may directly go to and type your username and password to sign in.

Otherwise, All of students have to enroll your online homework system using a class key. See the following instruction.

Your instructor might give you a class key like umass 1234 5678 to enroll in your class. A class key does not verify payment.
Enroll yourself in each class section only once.
1). Go to and click Enroll with Class Key.
2). Enter your class key and click Enroll.
3). If the correct class and section is listed, click Yes, this is my class.
4). Sign in or create your account.
If you have a Cengage Account, then
1). Type your Cengage username and password.
2). Click Sign In.
3). If prompted, either sign in to your existing WebAssign account or create a new WebAssign account.
If you have a WebAssign Account
1). Click Link Your WebAssign Account.
2). Type your WebAssign username, institution code (Umass), and password.
3). Click Continue.
4). If prompted, link your WebAssign account to a Cengage account.
If you Don't Have an Account
1). Click Create Account.
2). Type the details for your new Cengage account.
3). Read and acknowledge your acceptance of the Cengage service agreement.
4). Click Create Account.
You are signed in to WebAssign with your new account and enrolled in your class  

Webassign access code

Webassign will give you two weeks grace period. After the grace period, you will have to provide access code to do homework, therefore, you should buy access code as soon as you can.  


All math131 sections must follow the universal grading policy to determine a student's total score. For your total scores: each of Exam1 and Exam 2 is 25%, the final exam is 30%, online homework is 10%, discussion section 6%, and attendance 4%. If your final exam score exceeds the average of your Exam 1 and Exam 2 scores, then your final exam will count 35% (instead of 30%) and each of Exams 1 and 2 will count only 22.5% (instead of 25%).  The course letter-grade scale after round to nearest integer is: 

A A B+ B B C+ C C D+ D F
90 87 83 79 75 71 67 63 59 55 <55

Extra help and tutoring

A quick way to get help is to visit the Calculus Tutoring Center, which is in LGRT 140 and has drop-in hours starting from second week of the semester: 10am-3pm from Monday-Thursday for help with Math 131, 132, and 233. Another option is to visit the Learning Resource Center in 10th floor of the DuBois Library, where you may find  free tutors who can help with Math131 materials. Of course you are very welcome to schedule a meeting with your instructor or TA during their office hours for help. 

Math 131, Weekly Schedule (approximate)
Week Lecture Events
Sept 4 Intro, 2.1, 2.2 First lecture Tues/Wed
Sept 11 2.3-2.5  
Sept 18 2.6-2.8 Last day to drop: Mon Sep 18
Sept 25 3.1-3.3  
Oct. 2 review, 3.4(start)

Exam 1 Wednesday Oct 4,7-9pm       Make-up exam 1 Tuesday Oct 3, 7-9pm

Oct 9 3.4(end)-3.6   Holiday Mon;Tues = Mon
Oct 16 3.7-3.9(start)   Last day for W: Thurs Oct 19
Oct 23 3.9(end)-4.1  
Oct 30 4.2 -4.3(start)  
Nov 6 review-4.3(end)  
Nov 13 4.4

  Exam 2 Monday Nov 13, 7-9pm                      Make-up exam 2 Tuesday Nov 14, 7-9pm

Nov 20  Thanksgiving  Recess
Nov 27 4,7, 4.9, 5.1  
Dec 4 5.1, 5.2  
Dec 11 review   Last class Tuesday12/12