Math 19
Winter 2015

Home Course Schedule Syllabus Resources

Course Description and Prerequisites

Math 19 is a 3 credit course in introductory calculus. The class covers limits, derivatives and some applications of differentiation. The syllabus can be found here, and a more detailed breakdown of the schedule and homework can be found at the Course Schedule page.

Students need to have a strong foundation in 'precalculus', i.e. the concepts from high school algebra and trigonometry. Stanford has developed a Precalculus Resource Portal to help you review and acquire the precalculus skills you will need for Math 19.

The precalculus skills you need include knowledge of standard mathematical notation and vocabulary, comfort with the concept of a function, a mastery of all things concerning lines (how to compute slopes, several ways to write the equation of lines), and an ability to manipulate algebraic expressions (simplify fractions, factor polynomials). We will only have time to briefly review these concepts before they are used. Students who are unsure of their background should see their instructor as early as possible.


  • Dr. Robert J. Lemke Oliver
    Office: 380-383a
    Email: rjlo(at)stanford(dot)edu
    Office Hours: MTW 3-4pm, and by appointment

  • Jacek Skryzalin
    (Course assistant)
    Office: 380-381a
    Email: jskryzal(at)stanford(dot)edu
    Office Hours: T 6-9pm, and by appointment


Single Variable Calculus: Concepts and Contexts, 4th edition, by James Stewart. Most homework exercises and reading assignments are taken from the book, so you should have a copy. This will also be the text for Math 20 and 21. This course will cover the first four chapters of the book. Contact your instructor if you cannot find a copy of this book in the bookstore. It is not recommended that you use a copy of a different edition, since the homework problems will come from the 4th edition and the numbering may be different.

In the Math 20 series (as well as the 40 series) we do not use WebAssign. Therefore it is not necessary to purchase the textbook bundled with an access code to WebAssign; the textbook suffices for our class.

For your convenience the textbook is available for purchase at the Stanford bookstore. However, this is a pretty standard textbook and you might be able to buy it elsewhere new or used for a lower price.


Your grade will be based on the following components:

  • Homework: 20%
  • Midterm Exam 1: 25%
  • Midterm Exam 2: 25%
  • Final Exam: 30%

There are no predetermined numerical cutoffs for letter grades.

Throughout the quarter your grades will be posted on CourseWork. It is your responsibility to periodically check that there have been no errors entering your scores into the system.


There will be weekly homework posted on the Course Schedule page. The practice problems will not be collected; however they are an important part of learning calculus and you should solve most of them every week.

Your solutions to the assigned homework will be graded and returned to you. Your work on the assigned problem will be graded on clarity of exposition as well as correctness.

On exam weeks you will be assigned a review homework. You must hand in solutions to every assigned problem in the review homework.

Homework will be due every week on Wednesday at the beginning of class, except on exam weeks where homework will be due on exam day. We will drop your lowest homework score from your total score at the end of the quarter when computing your final grade. Late homework will be accepted only under very exceptional circumstances; the purpose of the dropped homework score is exactly to account for the less exceptional circumstances when you are unable to hand in your homework on time.

Your homework must be stapled and have your full name. Otherwise, you will receive a score of zero on this homework. This is a firm policy; no amount of complaining or arguing will give you back your points.


There will be two in-class midterm exams and a university scheduled final exam. Most of the problems on the exams will be similar to the problems in the weekly homework, but there will always one or two harder problems. The material covered by each exam is given by the reading assignments and homework, including the practice problems. All exams for Math 19 this quarter are closed-book, closed-notes, with no calculators or other electronic aids permitted. Individual exams will be neither curved nor scaled.

The in-class midterm dates are given below; it is your responsibility to verify right now to you can attend class on these days. Please contact your instructor as soon as possible if you will not be able to attend one of the midterms. In any case, if you need to reschedule the exam you must do so no later than two weeks before the exam. The final exam cannot be rescheduled, per university policy.

If an emergency occurs and you need to miss an exam, contact your instructor as soon as possible.

  • Midterm 1: Friday, January 30, in class
  • Midterm 2: Friday, February 20, in class
  • Final exam: Monday, March 16, 7:00pm - 10:00pm

Other important policies

  • Extra credit assignments: Occasionally students ask for extra credit in order to improve their grade. While we can recommend additional practice problems, we cannot offer them for credit as it would be unfair to the entire class if only a small number of students were allowed a chance to improve their grade. If you become worried about your understanding and grade in the course, please see your instructor as soon as possible for advice.
  • Handing in other student's papers: Sometimes it is necessary to have a friend hand in a homework assignment for you. Please note however that if your friend forgets, hands in the paper late or in the wrong location, then the late assignment cannot be accepted.
  • Calculator policy: Calculators are not used in a systematic way in the Math 19-20-21 sequence. Calculators are not allowed or needed on any of the exams. Occasionally, homework problems may call for the use of a scientific or graphing calculator, and it is fine to use them for this purpose.
  • Honor code policy: By Math Department policy, any student found to be in violation of the Honor Code on any assignment or exam in this course will receive a final course letter grade of NP.

Winter 2015-- Department of Mathematics, Stanford University
Problems with this page? Contact Dr. Lemke Oliver so we can fix the problem.

(Page stolen from Christelle, who stole it from Rob, who stole it from Eric, who stole from Math 41. Thanks to anybody who ever had anything to do with this page!)