MAT 171 Survey of Calculus for Management and Life Sciences

This is a sample syllabus only. Ask your instructor for the official syllabus for your course.

Office hours:

Course Description

Functions, linear equations, the derivative and its applications, the integral and its applications, and partial derivatives.

Satisfies the General Education Quantitative Reasoning Requeirement.

Note. Students who have credit in MAT 191 (Calculus I) or its equivalent, or who have credit in a course for which Calculus I is a prerequisite, will not receive credit for MAT 271.

4 units credit.

In recent years MAT 171 has focused almost exclusively on the life sciences and applications that are important in life sciences. MAT 171 aims to give biology and life science students an overview of calculus so that they understand what calculus can do in a life-science context. and read and comprehend life science literature that uses the concepts of calculus. Students learn to use the concepts, symbols, language, and tools of calculus: rates of change, derivatives, differential equations, integration, to solve life-science problems. By the end of the course students should be able to understand life-science literature where calculus is used and communicate productively with mathematicians about life science problems.


Fulfillment of ELM requirement.


Calculus for the Life Sciences, a Modeling Approach. by James L. Cornette and Ralph A. Ackerman. Available from

Course Requirements, Tentative Schedule of Class Meetings and Topics, Readings, Assignments and Due dates, Exams

A schedule of class meetings, topics, assignments, due dates, exam dates, etc. will be provided by instructor. See your class syllabus.

Here is a possible outline for the course. In this version exercises were assigned weekly and due the next week.

The final exam is given at the date and time announced in the Schedule of Classes.

Learning Objectives

After completing MAT 171 the student will be able to

Computers and Calculators, Computer Literacy

Most instructors encourage the use of machines, calculators computers, phones etc., for analyzing data. The use of machines may be restricted during examinations or at certain other times. Ask your instructor for the policy in your class.

Students are not expected to be programmers or to know any particular computer language before starting this class. Some instructors may expect students to be able to access information on the internet, or to use calculators, or to learn to use particular software with instruction. Basic skill in algebra and the use of mathematical symbols, order of operations etc., and the willingness to read and follow instruction manuals and help files will suffice.

Grading Policy, Grading Scale, Weighted Value of Assignments and Tests

Students' grades are based on homework, class participation, short tests, and scheduled examinations covering students' understanding of the topics covered in this course. The instructor determines the relative weights of these factors and the grading scale. See the syllabus for your particular class.

Location of Class Meetings

Classes meet on the dates and room announced in the official Schedule of Classes. This is a traditional, face-to-face class.

Attendance Requirements

Attendance policy is set by the instructor.

Policy on Due Dates, Make-Up Work, Missed Exams, and Extra-Credit Assignments

Due dates and policy regarding make-up work and missed exams are set by the instructor. Instructors may, or may not, choose to offer extra credit assignments. If extra credit assignments are offered they will be available to all students.

Academic Integrity

The mathematics department does not tolerate cheating. Students who have questions or concerns about academic integrity should ask their professors or the counselors in the Student Development Office, or refer to the University Catalog for more information. (Look in the index under "academic integrity".)

Accomodations for Students with Disabilities

Cal State Dominguez Hills adheres to all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and guidelines with respect to providing reasonable accommodations for students with temporary and permanent disabilities. If you have a disability that may adversely affect your work in this class, I encourage you to register with Disabled Student Services (DSS) and to talk with me about how we best can help you. All disclosures of disabilities will be kept strictly confidential. Please note: you must register with DSS to arrange an no accommodation. For information call (310) 243-3660 or send an email message to or visit the DSS website or visit their office WH D-180

Behavioral Expectations

We all are adults so behavior rarely is an issue. Just follow the Golden Rule: "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" then everything will be fine.

The university must maintain a classroom environment that is suitable for learning, so anyone who insists on disrupting that environment will be expelled from the class.

Revision history:

Prepared by C. Chang 3/10/01. Revised 7/7/01, 7/25/06, 1/7/15 (G. Jennings).