New Week 1 – 7.1 Sigma Notation

Welcome to Week 1 of the online version of MATH 232 for Spring 2020.

I know from the survey that a lot of you are nervous about trying to learn content online. I know also that a lot of you are dealing with stressful situations due to the virus and its economic impact. Please know that I am here if you need anything.

I’ve tried to keep the workload low while at the same time giving you as many resources as possible to help you learn the material. To help you navigate this new world, each week I’ll give you a list like this that will guide you step-by-step through what you need to do to succeed.

Please let me know if you need any assistance or have trouble accessing or working with any of the resources. You can reach me by Canvas, email, or even by texting my personal cell phone number (posted in a recent Canvas announcement).

How to use this guide: After attending or watching the kickoff meeting, go through these steps in order to learn the material. Don’t be worried about the length of this list; right now I’m being as verbose as possible in order to guide you through the process of learning the material from the available resources. Just start at the beginning and work your way down…

Step 1: Week 1 kickoff meeting – Monday 10:10 am

  • Attend the Zoom meeting Monday 3/23 at 10:10 am: See Canvas or JMU email
  • Or, if you can’t attend, watch the recording: Link is now in Canvas
  • Agenda: Say hello, learn to use Zoom, overview of weekly plan, a little bit of math

Step 2: Warm-up Videos

Step 3: Read the Book

  • Use the eBook on WebAssign to read Section 7.1
  • Click here to see tips about doing the reading
    • Don’t skip this key step!
    • Key points in the reading:
      • Understand Definition 7.1 and the discussion after it
      • Know how to use Theorem 7.2 and what it means. Look at the proofs of (a) and (b) to see what is going on when the sums are expanded.
      • The sum formulas in Theorem 7.4 are going to be key. Make sure you have formulas (a) and (b) memorized and that you know how to use (c) and (d) if they are given to you.
    • Part of reading the textbook is carefully reading through the worked examples. These examples are a preview of some of the exact types of questions that you will be asked on the homework and Mastery Quizzes. In particular:
      • Examples 1 and 2 should now seem pretty easy; watch the Khan Academy videos again if they aren’t.
      • Examples 3 and 4 are relatively simple, but only after you understand what they is asking. You’re definitely going to see questions like these so make sure to read them carefully.
      • Example 5 is where the real calculational meat happens. You’re definitely going to need to be able to do this, especially because…
      • Example 6 takes things one step further by examining what happens for large values of n, and even as n goes “to infinity”. This example is difficult but it is exactly what we need to be able to do in order to understand limits of Riemann sums later in the chapter.

Step 4: Take a break

  • Deep breath. Cup of tea. Sit for a few minutes and close your eyes. You deserve to have time to rest. Resting will help you have more energy later for all the things you need to do. It is okay to rest.

Step 5: Start the WebAssign homework

Step 6: Watch some more videos

Step 7: Reach out if you need help!

Step 8: Week 1 Roundup Meeting – Friday 5:00 pm

  • Attend the Zoom drop-in session 5-7pm Friday 3/27: See Canvas or JMU email (NOTE MODIFIED TIME)
  • Or, if you can’t attend, watch the recording: (Link to be added in Canvas later)
  • Agenda: Get math help, ask Dr. Taalman anything

Step 9: Finish the homework

  • If you haven’t finished the WebAssign yet then do that now πŸ™‚
  • Some weeks there may be extra paper problems (not collected), but only as absolutely necessary. This week the WebAssign had everything we needed.

Step 10: Take the Mastery Quiz for Section 7.1

  • When you’re ready, take the 7.1 Mastery Quiz in Canvas (and retake if needed)
  • Click here to read details about quizzes - read BEFORE ATTEMPTING any quiz
    • The rules for Mastery Quizzes are now different. For each section in Chapter 7 you will have exactly two opportunities to take the quiz for that section, and both of those attempts need to be completed in Canvas by the end-of-week deadline of 11:59pm on Sunday.
    • (For retakes of previous quizzes, I am working on a solution that I will announce in about a week. Most likely you will get a fixed amount of retakes for previous quizzes. The final exam structure will be announced later, but optimally will also consist of Mastery Quiz retakes.)
    • During each attempt you will have 15 minutes to answer three questions. The questions will appear one at a time and you will not be able to go back to previous questions. You will be able to see your quiz responses only one time, at the very end of the quiz.
    • As always, the quiz questions are randomized from a large bank of problems that are based on the homework assignments. This means that your second-attempt quiz will likely haveΒ completely different problems than your first-attempt quiz, which means that the best way to prepare for your retake is to study the homework assignments.
    • I strongly recommend that you wait at least 24 hours after your first quiz attempt before attempting your one and only retake for that section; therefore you should try to take the quiz the first time by Saturday afternoon so that you have time to take the retake on Sunday before the 11:59 pm deadline.
    • You are on your JMU honor to complete each quiz without any outside assistance; no calculators, computers, phones, or any other technology or help from other people.
    • Because other students will take quizzes at different times, you are also on your honor to not share any information about any quiz or its contents with anyone else. I will take honor violations very seriously; your respect for the JMU honor code will allow us to complete this course online. Thank you for making this possible.

You have all week to do the steps above. Once you finish the WebAssign homework and take the Mastery Quiz in Canvas (and the retake, if you need to), you’re done for the week! You must finish the WebAssign and both quiz attempts before 11:59 pm on Sunday — but having said that, these are not normal times; please just text me if you need an extension due to personal, economic, or family situations.

When you’re done with everything for the week, please fill out this End-of-week Survey so I can think about what might need changing in the coming weeks and how I can best help you learn.

Good luck, stay safe, wash your hands, and please encourage your friends and family to practice effective social distancing. Every effort to reduce social contact will slow the spread of the virus and help avoid a health care catastrophe before it is too late.