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Tools for Transformation Funded Proposals

Revision of Calculus Sequence

College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Mathematics

The Mathematics Department has instituted several substantial changes to its offerings in Calculus. The two quarter Math 111-112 precalculus/calculus for Business majors was recently reduced in size from 300-500 students per class to 160 per class. New materials for this course were developed by math faculty in consultation with the School of Business Administration. A new three-quarter sequence, Calculus for Life Sciences, was developed in consultation with six departments and programs in the biological sciences and psychology.

Now, with this Tools for Transformation grant, substantial changes will be made to the first two quarters of our main calculus sequence for physical science and engineering students, Math 124-125. These improvements include a reduction of the lecture size from 160 to 81 students, a reduction of the quiz section size from 40 to 27, lengthening one section per week from 50 minutes to 80 minutes, development of special materials for use in these smaller and longer sections, and the adoption of a new text. The department has agreed to increase its teaching load to contribute to the resources needed to fund these changes. A unique feature of the transformation is to bring community college teachers to campus under a sabbatical program to work jointly on curriculum with UW math faculty in order to smooth the transition for our many transfer students. A special version of Math 124-5-6 for students in Mathematical Sciences has also been instituted.

These changes will be funded under the Tools for Transformation grant for three years. Assessments throughout the period will be provided in cooperation with the Center for Instructional Development and Research and the Office of Educational Assessment. The Graduate School has also contributed funds for the assessment of graduate teaching assistants. The Dean of Arts and Sciences has agreed to permanently fund the program, if it proves successful. These changes will result in a substantial improvement of the educational experience for thousands of UW students.

Contact: Donald Marshall
Professor and Chair, Mathematics
Allocation: $663,312 (with $19,543 added in April, 2002)
Date Funded: April 2001

September, 2002

Please see the extensive one-year summary report at the following URL:


Tools for Transformation Funded Proposals