ASU Summer 2016 Session B Week 7 Update

I wrapped up MAT 267 – Calculus III Tuesday. I did better on the final than the third exam. Overall, if my math is correct I was able to pull off a solid B in this course. A bit disappointed I wasn’t able to earn an A but still a respectable score to walk away with given the accelerated nature of the course and my commitments outside of school.

I definitely learned a few important things this semester. For one, make sure you know what your calculator is capable of. I found out late Sunday night that there is a function on my TI NSpire CX that will calculate a definite integral if you feed it correctly. I’ve definitely got a lot of practice calculating those by hand, but you can’t dismiss the time savings and accuracy of having a tool that will do those for you.

Outside of school, I volunteered back in late 2015 to be an Assistant Scoutmaster for the Golden Empire’s National Youth Leadership Training. I spent the last Thursday thru Sunday up at Camp Lassen and took my final Tuesday. I was able to get in a bit of study time, but didn’t get to all of the items I’d hoped to review. I hope my involvement has helped the youth who are participating though. With these ultra accelerated summer sessions, in hind site, not sure I would take on both Calc III and NYLT, but the greater good prevails and hopefully my participation in NYLT has had a positive impact on the scouts.

Next up, I’ll be taking a break from math and be diving back into Physics 121 and 122. Classes resume 8/18. Until then, time to enjoy a few beers, video games and time with my wife and kids before I start year two.



ASU Summer 2016 Session B Week 6 Update

I failed Exam III last Saturday. Not really any other way to put it. 11 questions in 2 hours with some very challenging multiple integrals and I couldn’t solve them fast enough or correctly. Appears to be switching sign errors for the most part.. Extremely frustrated right now over my performance on that exam given I’d spent close to 60 hours trying to master the materials over the past week. Excuses won’t change it, just need to learn from what I did wrong and move on. I can tell you though that working out triple integrals by hand that take 30 minutes when a computer can do it in under 30 seconds doesn’t seem like a good use of time and resources.

At this point, we have 7 assignments in Chapter 13 and the Final left. I must do well on the final to salvage this course. Definitely not pulling an A like I had visioned when I started this 6 weeks ago. Hoping that the professor will make some adjustments, but doubtful. I heard from a friend and he scored comparable to me and the discussion boards have been full of unhappy posts this afternoon.

Enough on that.

Week 6 brings us to

  • Vector Fields
  • Line Integrals
  • Fundamental Theorem of Line Integrals
  • Green’s Theorem

Week 7 is really short. Our final will be on Tuesday 8/9 and we wrap up the last three lectures on

  • Curl and Divergence
  • Parametric Surfance and their Area
  • Surface Integrals

Not too much add, back to the books.

ASU Summer 2016 Session B Week 5 Update

It has been another very busy week. Feels like I’ve been working non-stop on Calculus. My wife would agree. Last Saturday I had my second exam. If I could actually copy an equation correctly I would have had a much better score, but unfortunately a careless mistake cost me an A on the exam. Extremely frustrating and disappointing, but hopefully I’ll be able to do better on the next Exam coming up on the 30th.

This week, lectures continued the Multiple Integral discussion and have focused on

  • Double Integrals in Polar Coordinates
  • Triple Integrals
  • Triple Integrals in Cylindrical Coordinates
  • Triple Integrals in Spherical Coordinates

I’m still ahead on homework and have been averaging one section per day. I have definitely had a number of very late nights to maintain that pace. A lot of the problems from the homework have centered around finding or changing the order of integration and being able to move between Cartesian, Polar, Cylindrical and Spherical Coordinate systems. I find it fascinating to see how a complicated integral can be tamed by switching to a different coordinate system.

I definitely have developed a love/hate relationship with multiple integral equations. It is great when you’re able to get the answer after chugging away at a problem for 20 minutes, but to balance that out, when you’re wrong, I find it takes me 20 or 30 minutes to find where I’m off. Definitely had to use a few new swear word combinations over the past few days. Usually a missed sign or forgetting to divide by something. As I’ve been practicing problems for this Saturdays 3rd exam, hopefully I’ll be ready.

These six week summer classes move so quickly. Almost done though, one more chapter with 7 sections and a final exam after Saturday.



ASU Summer 2016 Session B Week 4 Update

Another very busy week. Saturday 7/23 we have Exam 2 which will be worth 25% of my grade so a lot of this week has been spent reviewing the Chapter 11 topics on Partial Derivatives and all that goes with those. Lecture topics this week included:

  • Gradient and Directional Derivatives
  • Maximum and Minimum Values
  • Double Integrals over Rectangles
  • Double Integrals over General Regions

I have enjoyed most of the partial derivative problems and even had an electrical engineering problem thrown into the homework set. I was quite pleased with myself when I solved it on my first attempt. Some problems have definitely required multiple attempts over the past few homework sets.

I’ve been working ahead and started in on the multiple integral material in chapter 12 and have gotten into some of next week’s topic already. Those have definitely been challenging and very time consuming. I will certainly need a lot more practice on those and need to review some of the MAT 266 integration techniques such as integration by parts and substitution. Saturday 7/30 I have another Exam which is also 25% of my grade covering all of the multiple integral materials so no rest at all over the next few weeks.

If I remember correctly at UC Riverside, ASU’s MAT 267 topics were divided into two classes – Math 10A and 10B and students would have take those two courses over 2 10 week quarters. We’re covering all of that material in 6 weeks!


ASU Summer 2016 Session B Week 3 Update

I survived my first test in MAT 267 yesterday. This one counted for 10% of our total grade and wasn’t proctored. 12 questions and 2 hours to complete them. Topics were all on Chapter 10 – Vectors and the Geometry of Space. Most of the questions were pretty straight forward and I was able to score an 11.83/12 on the exam. I missed a question where we were given an acceleration vector and the vectors for velocity and position at time 0 and then needed to work back to find the general velocity and position vector equations. I missed 1/6 of that question, switching a sign. Very frustrating. The Calculus was easy, it’s that darn arithmetic that is hard sometimes!! All the questions were straight from the homework set and I had 100% on all of the homework questions to date. That problem I missed on the exam took me a number of attempts on the homework, but at least there were no surprises on the exam.

In addition to spending a lot of time preparing for the first exam, this week we moved into Chapter 11 – Partial Derivatives.

Topics included

  • Functions of Two Variables
  • Partial Derivatives
  • Tangent Planes and Linear Approximations
  • The Chain Rule

Homework hasn’t been too heavy this week, just more of the same read the corresponding section in the textbook, watch the video, add new flash cards to my flash card deck, do homework.

Next week on 7/23 I have Exam 2 which will count for 25% of my grade and is proctored online through Test prep information highlights materials from chapter 11 and perhaps some from chapter 10. Biggest challenge I think with Chapter 11 will be remembering all of the derivatives going back to MAT 265 – Calculus I. I have been reviewing a flash card deck of the various Integrals and derivatives so hopefully I won’t forget any come the exam.

Not much else to report this week! Back to the books!

ASU Summer 2016 Session B Week 2 Update

This week has a lot of sections. Started off pretty straightforward but the later topics were definitely more challenging and time consuming.

On the menu for week two we found:

  • The Dot Product
  • The Cross Product
  • Equations of Lines and Planes
  • Cylinders and Quadric Equations
  • Vector Functions and Curve Spaces
  • Arc Length and
  • Motion in Space: Velocity and Acceleration

A lot of problems were assigned from The Dot Product, Equations of Lines and Planes and Vector Functions and Curve Spaces. MAT 265 and 266 didn’t have very many problems with limited attempts but on a few problems, students were only given a handful of attempts. So far, I’ve gotten all of the problems correct. Most of the limited attempt questions were either true or false or matching questions. I am not a fan of those at all. 

The last few sections and especially the Motion in Space section were very similar to what I remember from Physics 121 homework problems. I think having this course prior to Physics 121 in the fall will help me out a lot. I am definitely getting more comfortable with vectors after this week’s section. Plus seeing a few velocity and accelerations problems worked out through the MAT 267 lecture slides was very helpful.  

Probably the most difficult thing for me is visualizing the 3D graphs. I am having to rely a lot on the Wolfram Alpha windows store app to help me graph and more times than not I’m off in my head. My plan over the next few days is to see if I can find a few other videos and resources to help supplement what the instructor has provided through Khan Academy or PatrickJMT’s site.  

Wednesday, July 13 I have Exam 1 which will be 10% of my grade. It will cover all of the week 1 and week 2 material. It isn’t proctored and we’ve got two hours to complete the exam. As with the other MAT 265 and MAT 266 courses it will be through WebWorks and we’ll have two submissions. 

ASU Summer 2016 Session B Week 1 Update

MAT 267 started up Wednesday 6/29 of this week officially. Unofficially though, last Sunday, if I remember correctly the professor had Blackboard, WebWorks and Piazza online and ready for us. I didn’t get a lot done with the three day head start unfortunately, but I did get to spend it down in Disneyland with the family for a much needed vacation.

Summer session courses have a few less days than the usual fall and spring semesters so I think the professor had mentioned that this course crams 16 weeks into a 6 week course. No pressure… I have been very impressed with the professor though. He’s a UCR alum so that is a big plus! Not to mention, he’s got a lot of additional resources listed out for students and has been very quick to respond to questions on the discussion boards. Fingers crossed this course will go smoothly.  

MAT 267 picks up right where MAT 266 leaves off. We started this week by taking a look at the following topics:

  • 3-D Coordinate Systems
  • Vectors

Two sets of homework are due on Saturday, but didn’t take much to get them completed yesterday. I fear though, that the intensity and difficulty will increase as we get further along in the course. This week’s topics definitely appeared in Physics 121 from what I remember last spring so I think having MAT 267 under my belt ahead of PHY 121 and PHY 122 will be beneficial when I retake those two classes this fall. 

I haven’t altered my study work equipment too much, although I did sign up for the Windows Insider Program on my Surface Pro 3. I figured it was safe enough to give it a try since we’ve also got my wife’s Surface Book Pro as a backup. So far the fast builds have been working well the past few weeks and seem pretty stable. I’m using Asana to keep track of due dates and assignments as I did for MAT 266 last semester, in addition to OneNote and OneDrive for class notes and saving files, etc.

To keep well ahead of the work load, my goal is to complete 1-2 sections per day. There are a couple of weekends where I’ll be gone due to Scouting commitments. My wife is home on summer vacation from her teaching job so she’ll be able to help out with the kiddos more. In addition, I did take advantage of one of the local libraries today. I plan to sneak over there more so I can get some quiet time to focus on the various problems.

In addition to the homework which is 15% of our grade, 10% comes from Exam 1 (unproctored) and the remaining 75% (25% each) for Exam 2, Exam 3 and the Final which all three are proctored examinations. ASU continues to use and is picking up the proctor fee again. I do wish homework would be worth more since that is where the majority of my time is spent, but rumor has it that if you do the homework and understand the problems, the exams will be pulling questions from the homework. Exam 1 is on July 13th and additional information will be made available as that date gets closer. 

Health wise, I’m feeling much better than I did back in May. Finally have most of my energy back and have started running again. Slight change to my diet to include a lot more fiber, but so far so good. I’ve got what I hope will be my last doctor’s appointment next week. 

That is all for now! Back to work I go!