Instructor: Safa Janajra,
WebAssign: WebAssign credentials must be purchased through
: You will need access to a computer with Maple and Excel. Almost all NCSU Libraries computers have these programs, and they are accessible via the Virtual Computing Lab. Software purchase is not required.
Online Office Hours: By appointment 1-3 by Zoom .

Scope and Objectives

In this course, we'll use two software tools, Excel and Maple, to model and interact with real-world phenomena and data. We will use this software to handle the "grunt work" of calculus so that we can focus on applying mathematical concepts -- derivatives, differential equations, finite-difference equations, etc. -- to understand the world.

After taking this course, a successful student will be able to:

  • learn basic ways of working with data and mathematical models
  • become competent at using spreadsheets and computer algebra systems (Excel and Maple)
  • solidify your understanding of the concepts of calculus
  • apply your knowledge to real-world problems


The prerequisites are at least a C grade in the first semester of calculus such as MA 121 or 131. I will expect you to be passingly familiar with the calculus of a single variable. You may on occasion need to go back and consult your Calculus I notes or a textbook, but probably not -- the computer's going to do most of the work for us.

Assignments and Grades

The semester grade is based solely on 16 assignments, submitted via WebAssign.

  • Assignments are roughly one per week during the semester.
    • All assignments are visible in WebAssign from the beginning of the term.
    • The due date for all assignments is Nov/13. You should not do them all the day before ! You should plan to do roughly 1 assignment per week.
    • Feel free to work the assignments "out of order." Assignments numbered like 6-I and 6-II are related, so you may wish to work on them at the same time.
  • WebAssign allows multiple attempts on each part of each problem of each assignment.
  • Each regular assignment is worth 7.6 points; the introductory practice assignment is worth 1.2 points.
  • The lowest two 7.6-point assignment scores will be dropped. Your semester grade will be computed from your total score on the introductory assignment and the best 13 assignments, according to the following table:
    97+ 93.0 - 96.9 90.0 - 92.9 87.0 - 89.9 83.0 - 86.9 80.0 - 82.9
    A+ A A- B+ B B-
    77.0 - 79.9 73.0 - 76.9 70.0 - 72.9 67.0 - 69.9 63.0 - 66.9 60.0 - 62.9
    C+ C C- D+ D D-

    WARNING: WebAssign's gradebook feature doesn't support this kind of dropping-and-averaging; your grade as reported in WebAssign may differ slightly from the grading policy above. At the end of the semester I compute all grades in my own spreadsheet rather than using WebAssign's reported semester grade.

  • There will be no make-up or excused assignments.
  • There will be no extra credit.