Dear Student,


Welcome to my section of Math 1120 Business Calculus.  Please find time to go to the website for the course, listed below and complete the online form. Also, please take a good look around the website so that you can start the course on the first day of class.  The website is  The course will be available on Moodle2 as well. 



According to my records, you are signed up for one of my two sections of math 1120, business calculus. I am writing you now because you may wish to get started on the course. Also, it is possible that my section is not the right one for you. Therefore I am taking this opportunity to tell you how my section might be different from some of the other sections.  Don't be concerned if you are not a business major. That is not my reason for writing you. Itís about the emphasis on ideas and the high level of expectation.  In case your goal for the course is to eliminate a requirement for graduation, this is not the right section for you!

One aspect of the course which some students have trouble with is my attempt to cultivate a tolerance for confusion in my students. Have you ever been asked to reach inside yourself to grapple with a problem you had not been taught how to solve? It can be very unpleasant for anyone going through this for the first time. You are likely to experience this in my class. 


First, I plan to emphasize ideas. The test interval technique and the geometry of the derivative are important ideas. You will also learn about interpreting 0/0 in several contexts. You'll see four ways to deal with 0/0, and each one is important in calculating a derivative using the limit definition.


You must also agree to complete roughly 14 problem sets. These will be due about once a week throughout the semester. Some of the problems in these sets will be new to you. That is not an accident. If you're being asked to solve only problems that you have been taught how to solve, you're being trained. Education is a great deal more. I hope that in the end, you will realize that getting to address problems you do not know how to solve is a good preparation for the future. In addition you will have the chance to do webwork sets for extra points. You are also welcome to work exercises from whichever text you have. The assignments I have used in the past are listed at the website.


Second, I plan to treat your section, as I always do, as the most important course I teach. I will eventually learn your names and I will consistently be prepared for class. In exchange, I will expect you to be prepared to learn, that you will not leave the classroom during a lecture without warning me before the class begins, that you will consistently do the homework and webwork. BTW, makeup exams when given, are oral.


Please note: this is not a scare tactic. My sections of the course really are different. Find someone who took my section during the last few years and ask them or visit Rate My Professor. 


You will need  a copy of the text. You certainly do not need to buy the ninth edition which sells for more than $200. A copy of the 7th or 8th edition will be quite sufficient. You can buy such a copy online for less than $10 plus shipping.  They are also supposed to advise you not to but the newest edition of the text. As we discussed above, you will use your text to read about  the topics we cover and to do practice problems.  Of course the  problems are renumbered with each new edition of the text. However, you will see that  the  problems  you're asked to do  have been  listed  for each of the three editions of the text., not just the 9th edition.



If you decide that this is the right section for you, please complete the online form at the website. <>. The form is no  longer supported here at UNCC, so I am asking you to send me your pin by email. You will use it to check your grader following each test. A four digit number is a non=zero digit followed by three digits. For example, the three digit number 0123 is not acceptable. 


 You will see at the website that all the tests for the last 8 years (14 sections in all) are available to you, with solutions. The grades are determined using the 85%, 70%, 55%, 40% scale for A, B, C, and D, and that there are bonus points built into each test. In other words, there may be 120 points available on a test, but a score of 85 (out of 120) is an A. I do not take your percent correct, but instead, your raw score.



Cheers, Harold Reiter