Vector Calculus I
MTH 254H - Sec 002

MWF 9:00-9:50AM
W 10:00-10:50AM
Phar 107
Fall 2016


Dr. Nathan Louis Gibson  


Kidd 056

Office Hours:

MF 10:00-10:50AM

Course Website:

General Info

Course Description:

In the course we will study vectors, vector functions, and curves in two and three dimensions; surfaces, partial derivatives, gradients, and directional derivatives; multiple integrals in rectangular, polar, cylindrical, and spherical coordinates. We will also consider different physical and geometric applications of multi-variable Calculus.

We will cover (parts of) Chapters 10, 11, 12 and 13 from the class textbook. The specific sections from these chapters to be covered are listed in the class study guide, and will also be outlined on the class Calendar.

Learning Outcomes: After completing this class, successful students will be able to:

  • Represent vectors both algebraically and geometrically and be able to use vector methods effectively in problem solving.
  • Use the dot and cross product to solve problems in a geometrical or physical setting.
  • Integrate and differentiate vector-valued functions.
  • Apply partial derivatives, directional derivatives, and gradients to solve problems of multivariable differential calculus such as max-min problems and rates of change of physical processes in space.
  • Evaluate multiple integrals in rectangular, polar, spherical, and cylindrical coordinates with applications such as volumes and masses.

Prerequisites: MTH 252: Integral Calculus

Required Textbook, Study Guide and MyMathLab Account:

Reading Assignments: Look at the Calendar for a day to day schedule of Lessons and sections from the textbook that will be covered. For Lessons refer to the class study guide.

While it may not be stated explicitly each day, students are expected to read each section to be covered before class. Questions not addressed during class time should be asked in recitation. Any questions still unanswered may be asked in office hours. Students should also take full advantage of the tutoring services provided in the MLC (Kidder 108).

Students are responsible for any material missed due to absence.

As preparation for this class, you should review the materials covered in MTH 251 and 252.

Special arrangements: Accommodations for students with disabilities are determined and approved by Disability Access Services (DAS). If you, as a student, believe you are eligible for accommodations but have not obtained approval please contact DAS immediately at 541-737-4098 or at DAS notifies students and faculty members of approved academic accommodations and coordinates implementation of those accommodations. While not required, students and faculty members are encouraged to discuss details of the implementation of individual accommodations.

Students are expected to be familiar with Oregon State University's Statement of Expectations for Student Conduct.

Course Drop/Add Information: See Office of the Registrar and Academic Calendars


Grade Distribution

Online Homework20%
Recitation Assignments10%
Two Midterm Exams 20% each
Final Exam30%

Grade Scale (by percentage)

A 93
A- 90
B+ 87
B 83
B- 80
C+ 77
C 73
C- 70
D+ 67
D 63
D- 60

Online Homework

There will be (approximately) eight online assignments posted on MyMathLab. Assignments will consist of problems similar to the study guide.

Recitation Assignments

There will be (approximately) eight quizzes and/or group work assignments given in the recitations. Problems will be similar to the suggested homework problems for the sections covered.


No Books, notes, nor graphing/programmable calculators will be allowed on exams. You will be allowed (both sides) of a 3x5 index card, plus any card(s) from previous exam(s). Exam problems will (mostly) be similar to problems from the online homework assignments, recitation problems, and lecture notes. Scheduling conflicts with each exam must be resolved in advance. Dates for the exams are posted on the Calendar.

  • Midterm Exams
    There will be two midterm exams, approximately after Chapters 11 and 12.

  • Final Exam
    A comprehensive final exam will be given. It will consist of three parts generally covering Chapters 11, 12 and 13 respectively.

Course Links:

Calendar for Math 254
MyMathLab Login

Other Links:

Last updated: Mon Sep 26 08:54:42 PDT 2016.