Welcome to Calculus -- Math 9, Fall 2003

I've spent most of my life doing math because I think it's just about the coolest thing there is. I know most of you think that I am therefore crazy. But math can be fun and interesting to everyone -- and everyone has the ability to learn it. If you come to class interested and work hard, I will do everything I can to help you learn mathematics and (therefore) do well in the course.

  • Graded Final Homework Sets are Available for Pickup at my office!
  • The week of the exam: Office hour Monday 2-4 pm / Tuesday 12-1:45 pm
  • If you want another office hour, request by email.
  • For information about the final and the last homeworks, etc. see the End of Term Info Page.
  • The final homework is due on Tuesday the 9th. There will be a quiz. Information available on the End of Term Info Page.
  • The final lecture will be Friday Dec 5th. Information available on the End of Term Info Page.
  • The final exam will be on Wednesday Dec 17th. Information available on the End of Term Info Page.
  • There will be a series of review sessions. Information available on the End of Term Info Page.
  • Current Grades: are available on my office door, according to Brown ID number. (I will try to update these soon.)
  • If you want a Course Performance Report filled out, give me the form NOW (not later).
  • Handouts that you missed can be found on my door.

Study Suggestions

Learning mathematics is like learning a language. There are three golden rules:

1) Spend a little time every workday. You cannot learn Russian the day before your Russian exam by reading the dictionary. You will do much better by putting aside an hour a day to work on your homework than by leaving it for the night before. One tip: count your time in hours, not completed homework problems. Relax and enjoy your date with math: explore ideas and don't rush.

2) Practice! To learn Russian, you need to speak it. Similarly, you need to learn mathematics by doing practice problems. If you are reading the textbook and it looks like nonsense, choose a simple example and try to work through it yourself. You will learn much more than the textbook could ever tell you. And, just like with a language, practicing with friends and mentors is even better.

3) Make mistakes! (Do it now so you don't have to do it on the final exam.) To learn to speak Russian, you have to dive in and try! And when you first start speaking, you won't get a single tense right. If you are paralysed by the need to do a problem correctly the first time, you will never solve it. You must try things and see why they do or do not work. Every mathematician and non-mathematician does this. My job description as a graduate student is something like this: "Bangs head against wall for extended periods and writes down many wrong things. Eventually writes down something correct once every month or so." So don't be afraid: I spend more of my day making mistakes than you do. I know what it's like.

Here are some ways to practice making mistakes:

  • try something you don't think will work and see if it does
  • write in pen and cross out errors gently -- you may find out your previous work wasn't as useless as you first thought
  • try to do a problem more than one way and see if you get the same answer

And finally...

Remember, no one understands everything the first time. Learning math means going over things in lecture, then at home, then with the textbook, then with your homework, then in section, then in office hours, then in review sessions...

Still afraid of mathematics? I've learned that some students are really scared of it. Although it's as strange to me as someone being afraid of chocolate, I know that it really does happen. If you want to talk about this, feel free to come by.

Below you'll find some course details and contact information. Don't hesitate to come to me.

Kate's Contact Info
  • Office hours: M 2-3:30 and Th 1-2:30
  • Office: Kassar House 018 (end of the basement hallway)
  • Phone: 863-3560
  • Email: stange "at" math . brown . edu

Class Info
  • Time and Place: F Hour (MWF 1-2 pm), Barrus & Holley 155
  • Section: Math 9 -- 04
  • Recitation Times:
    • Recitation 1: 9:00-10:20 am in Pembroke B2
    • Recitation 2: 2:30-3:50 pm in Rock 412
    • Recitation 3: 4:00-5:20 pm in Wilson 203
    • Recitation 4: 6:30-7:50 pm in Wilson 103
  • Test and Exams:
    • Midterm Wednesday October 22, 2003
    • Final during Exam Period
  • Grading Scheme:
    • Problem Sets & Quizzes 30%
    • Midterm 20%
    • Final 50%
  • Teaching Assistants:
    • Ming Chen (Recitations 1 and 3)
      • Office: Kassar 014
      • Phone: 863-7954
      • E-mail:
    • Office hours: Wed 7-8 pm / Thur 3-4 pm
    • Yulong Xing (Recitations 2 and 4)
      • Office: Kassar 017
      • Phone: 863-9928
      • E-mail:
      • Office hours: Mon 11 am - 12 pm / Wed 7-8 pm
    • Hangseob Cho (Homework TA holding open office hours (free tutoring))
      • Office: Kassar 018
      • Phone: 863-3560
      • E-mail:
      • Office hours: Monday 4-6 pm
    • Main Course Webpage (information for all sections)

Things to Help You
  • Come to my office hours (see above).
  • Always go to Recitation Section.
  • Visit your Recitation Leader (TA) or the Homework TA (see above).
  • Work with friends in the class. (There's a study list outside B&H 155.)
  • The Math Resource Centre is open Monday through Thursday from 8-10 pm. Everyone in the class is welcome to attend; graduate students staff the room and can help you with homework and study. You are also welcome to sit quietly and work. Click on the link to find out more.
  • The Brown University Resource / Academic Support Center provides free tutors, organises study groups, and teaches study skills.
  • Here are some internet resources for trigonometry.
  • The Math Department has a list of tutors (for an hourly fee). Go to the main office (off the main lobby) or call 3-2708 and ask the secretary, Natalie.

Useful Links