Pep Talk

Hit the ground running

Business Calculus is a 4 credit course. University policy dictates that students should plan to spend 3 hours outside of class for each unit to obtain at least a C in a college course. Mathematics in particular is a cumulative subject; each new idea builds up from where the previous one left off. Make sure to make time in your busy schedules to work on calculus.

Plan ahead

Here is a calendar that includes the due dates for on-line homework and a schedule of activities and exams. Since this is the first time we are teaching this class with the new textbook and learning systems, we will be updating the calendar periodically. Please check back here regularly. Print an updated version and include it in your notebook.

Math 115 Calendar of Assignments (pdf)

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Supplementary Instruction

Led by undergraduate students who are trained in mathematics content knowledge and study skills. The SI leaders are selected from a deliberated interviewing process that is conducted by the Learning Assistance Center on campus. These three-hour per week sessions are a perfect way to add time on task to your calculus experience. Participating students will stay on top of homework assignments, get questions answered, and a focus on productive and efficient study habits.

Find the times and days in the Schedule of Classes. Look under the "Comments" for your large lecture section of Math 115.

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Course Structure

This course includes a 3-hour per week large lecture session (called “seminar” in the schedule of classes), and a 1-hour per week breakout activity sessions (called “lecture” in the schedule of classes).

In addition to exams, your grade in this course a variety of graded tasks:

1) On-line ALEKS homework (more information)

Details: You will use ALEKS to refresh or learn the algebra skills needed to support your work in calculus and the other courses in the business major.

2) On-line WebAssign homework (more information)

Details: You will practice your calculus skills in online homework. Keep up in class by staying on top of these bi-weekly assignments.

3) Off-line homework (more information)

Details: You practice communicating the math the way you do on exams and in your future economics classes, by writing neat and coherent solutions to these select exercises.

4) In-class Activity (work/attendance) (more information)

Details: Attendance in the 1-hour Activity session is mandatory to receive credit. You will work on tasks presented by the instructor. Bring your class notes and your Off-line Homework to your Activity sessions.

5) i>Clicker Points (handled differently in each large section of Math 115; see your professor's syllabus for more information)

6) Excel Group Projects (more information)

Details: You will practice communicating and writing mathematical analysis of real-world problems, using a spreadsheet. Note: The three projects each begin the week after one of the three exams, in Activity. Some project credit is awarded for attending and participating in Activity during those sessions.

7) Notebooks (more information)

Details: Keep course materials in an organized notebook so that you may refer to them when preparing for your exams. Off-line homework assignments are spot checked as part of the notebook grade.

8) Exams

There are three midterms and the final. In all sections, the final exam is cumulative.

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Course Materials

TI-30X IIS 2-line scientific calculator

A two-line (non-graphing) scientific calculator (Required) You may not use your phone as a calculator during exams. Some large lecture professors will not allow graphing calculators on exams, please verify that with your instructor.

A two-line calculator shows you what you typed on the top line and the answer on the second line. TI-30X IIS is a good choice; it runs $10-$15; the bookstore caries it or something similar. You are not required to have the two-lines, but it does make it easier!

Barbee and Newberger iclicker, iclicker+ or iclicker2 (Required)
Ziemer's Math 115 Section 13C: iclicker2 (Required)

*Text (Required): Applied Calculus, 6th edition, by Waner and Costenoble; Cengage Learning.

Buying Options

Applied Calculus 6th edition Hybrid, by Waner and Costenoble

Buy the bundle

(available at the bookstore,,, etc )

What you get:

  • Hybrid edition paperback textbook
  • Enhanced WebAssign (EWA)
  • eBook


Go Electronic

(buy directly from or from the bookstore (they call it the "Olcard")

What you get:

  • Enhanced WebAssign (EWA)
  • eBook

What you don't get:

  • A book with paper pages that you can put under your pillow or take to the library.

On-line Homework Systems (Required): (Registration Instructions are below.)

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Registration Instructions

These files will help you sign on to your on-line homework. The course codes are below.

ALEKS Registration Instructions (pdf)
WebAssign Registration Instructions (pdf)

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On-line enrollment codes

To enroll, you will need the following course codes to access the systems.

ALEKS Enrollment Codes


Click to visit now.
(if you want to use ALEKS from a campus computer, use this url to avoid having to install a plugin:

WebAssign Enrollment Codes

csulb 2700 9955
csulb 6532 2192
csulb 7928 3424
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Your ALEKS Assignment

By completing this self-paced algebra supplement, you will prepare yourself for calculus and the quantitative side of the business and economics courses in your major. If you have a good background in math, you will have little to do, but if it has been a while since you've had a math course, ALEKS will help you make sure you have the tools that you need to succeed in Business Calculus and beyond.

A Brief Overview

The initial assessment

When you first access your ALEKS account, you will go through a tutorial, and take an initial assessment.

Do your best ...

  • The better you do, the fewer topics ALEKS will ask you to study later.
  • On the other hand, if you do not know how to do a problem, don't worry. ALEKS will guide you to learn how, and give you problems to practice.

The initial assessment is a 25-30 question quiz through which ALEKS will determine what topics in algebra you have mastered and what areas require further study. This can take a couple of hours to complete, longer if you know how and take the time to do all the problems. You do not need to finish it in one sitting, but make sure to start it well before the deadline.

You will be awarded course credit for takign the initial assessment on time, independent of the number of questions you get right. To receive credit, you must complete the initial assessment by the first deadline at 11:59 pm. If you miss that deadline, you still need to complete the assessment to continue, and you still may receive the other part of your grade that is associated with ALEKS.

The milestones

By the first deadline, ALEKS must report that you have completed the initial assessment.

By the second deadline, ALEKS must report that you have mastery of 75% or 90 of the 120 topics. If you know your algebra, the initial assessment may indicate that you have 90 topics mastered without further study; in this case, you do not need to do anything to meet this milestone. Meeting this deadline is worth course credit.

At the third deadline, you will be awarded course credit if you have completed all of the topics. If you do not reach the goal of 120, the percentage of your grade that you will receive will be prorated accordingly.

Periodic assessments

As you work through the topics, ALEKS will add to the list (pie chart) of topics you understand. From time to time, ALEKS will check that you have retained these topics by giving you another assessment. If you show that you have forgotten a topic, ALEKS will remove that topic from your pie. You will be able to recover this pie with a quick review of the content, but be careful! It is inconvenient to lose pie as you are nearing your deadlines.

To avoid missing deadlines due to the periodic assessments, finish your milestones well before they are due.

Goal completion assessment

A goal completion assessment is triggered automatically in ALEKS the first time that a student reaches 100% mastery in the Learning Mode (that is, fills in her or his pie chart completely). Often, the student will score less than 100% on the goal completion assessment; when this happens, the student can fill in her pie chart again and, in this way, gain additional reinforcement on the most advanced topics of the course. The second time that the student fills in the pie chart, there will not be a goal completion assessment.


Milestone Deadline
Complete Initial Assessment Sunday, Week 1
Master 90 Topics (75%) Sunday, Week 3
Complete Goal Completion Assessment
and Master 120 Topics (100%)
Sunday, Week 6
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After you have registered with WebAssign, access your homework at

Complete the WebAssign assignments to stay caught up in Math 115. You must solve problems to learn mathematics; the WebAssign homework includes exercises from the textbook for you to practice the material being addressed in your large lecture and 1-hour activity section. The WebAssign homework is linked to your textbook; you will find the worked examples in the textbook helpful when you are completing your WebAssign homework.

What is WebAssign?

WebAssign is a system used by Cengage Learning, the publisher of our textbook, that includes a homework system to deliver and grade some of the exercises from the textbook and access to the ebook.

Your homework assignments

WebAssign homework is due most Tuesdays and Fridays, pertaining to the material covered in lecture. The tentative due dates for your assignments can be found in the Course Calendar. You will see the current due dates in the Assignments List when you log in to WebAssign.

Doing the math

Do your work on paper (you can print the assignment, if you want; this suggestion is for your mathematical health, not an assignment to be turned in).

Entering your answers

Things to help you within WebAssign

Grace period

We understand that sometimes issues may arise that prevent you from meeting a deadline. You may request an automatic extension to complete the assignments within 2 days of the deadline, but problems completed after the deadline will receive 80% of their point values.
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Excel Group Projects

Mark your calendars for the mandatory in-class group meetings, in your activity during the week after each exam. See the Math 115 Course Calendar for the dates. During these meetings you will

If you miss the mandatory meeting, in addition to losing points, you will not be put in a group, or you will end up in a group with others who also failed to attend. You will still be responsible for completing the project.


Download the worksheets, instructions and data here, when the assignments become available.

Excel Project 1

Start Date: Begin your group project by completing on the Worksheet. You will have time to get started on this during your Activity in Week 6.

You complete your group projects outside of class.

Due Date: Your group report (1 per group), individual report (1 per student) and worksheets (1 per student) are due at the beginning of your Activity in Week 8.


Download and print the Worksheet and bring it with you to your Activity during Week 6.
Excel Project 1 Worksheet.pdf

These files contain the instructions and data for Excel Project 1
Excel Project 1 Instructions.pdf
Excel Project 1 Data.xlsx (clicking may land the data in your downloads folder)

Excel Project 2

Start Date: Begin your group project by completing on the Worksheet. You will have time to get started on this during your Activity in Week 10.

You complete your group projects outside of class.

Due Date: Your group report (1 per group), individual report (1 per student) and worksheets (1 per student) are due at the beginning of your Activity in Week 13.


Download and print the Worksheet and bring it with you to your Activity during Week 10.
Excel Project 2 Worksheet.pdf

These files contain the instructions and data for Excel Project 2
Excel Project 2 Instructions.pdf
Excel Project 2 Data.xlsx (clicking may land the data in your downloads folder)

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Activity Sessions

Bring your lecture notes and the most current off-line homework packet to your activity class and be ready to work on some of these exercises during activity session. The entire packet must be completed by the notebook check. Each day the instructor will direct students to work in groups to answer questions about one or more of the off-line homework problems, and then complete an exercise addressing similar content. If time remains, students will be permitted to work on other Math 115 content, practicing problems from lecture notes, completing further off-line homework, or if they have a portable device, working on ALEKS or WebAssign. Do not expect to leave early.


Due in Activity, Week 2: Mini Group Project Week 1 (pdf) - Instructions and Sample Project

Due in Activity, Week 3:
Mini Group Project Week 2 (pdf) - Instructions and Sample Project
Mini Group Project Wee 2 Data (xlsx) - Spreadsheet with the data you need

Due in Activity, Week 4: Mini Group Project Week 3 (pdf) - Instructions and Sample Project

Print and bring to class in week 7: Week 7 Handout - Worksheet to be completed in class

Print and bring to class in week 8: Week 8 Handout - Worksheet to be completed in class

Activity Grades

In order to receive full credit, students must (1) show up, (2) stay on Math 115 tasks, working productively the entire period, and (3) complete select group homework assignments. (Think of Activity Sessions as 50 minutes of studying you don't have to do at home.)

The Activity session is designed to give you the opportunity to discuss Business Calculus with your peers and instructor, guided by exercises designed to support your efforts when you study and work on homework. Attendance in the activity is required.

Your attendance and productivity in the activity sessions is part of your grade. Each activity session student will receive points (0, 1, or 2) for each assigned problem set according to the following rubric:

2 The student attends the activity and works on the assigned problem set productively with his/her peers for the entire period or until the problem set is correctly completed to the instructor’s satisfaction.
1 The student arrives late or is doing something other than the assigned exercises during some of the session.
0 The student does not attend, or attends but fails to participate.

In addition to the points for in-class participation, students will receive part of the Activity Participation grade for select group assignments, completed in teams, working outside of class. These assignments will be described in detail later.

Making-up missed Activity Sessions

You may make up one missed worksheet during the semester. To do so you must:

1) Contact your instructor on or before the day of your absence.

2) Complete the assigned exercises outside of class, and make an appointment with your instructor to discuss your answers during his or her office hours. Simply having the correct answers is insufficient; you must discuss how you found your answers with your instructor.


2’) Get permission from your instructor to attend a different Activity section that week.
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Want a practice exam?
Use the Off-line Homework

When you prepare for your exams, begin by studying the off-line homework.

Keep up with these exercises, so that you have already written complete solutions that you can study from, when it comes time to review for an exam.

Off-line Homework

Download your off-line homework here.

Off-Line Homework Sections 1.1/1.2/1.3, 1.4, and 3.4/3.5/3.6

Off-Line Homework Sections 2.1 and 2.2.

Off-Line Homework Sections 4.1, 4.2, 4.5, 4.3, and 4.4 (yes, we are doing these sections in a different order than the book does)

Off-Line Homework 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.6

There is an Off-line homework set for each section that we cover in this course.

Because in economics and in your academic and professional future, you will not be communicating technical subjects by typing answers into WebAssign, you must practice communicating mathematics in writing, using appropriate logical arguments and mathematical vocabulary. Your off-line homework consists primarily of problems directly out of your WebAssign assignments, but with different numerical values.

Off-line Homework Grades

As listed below, the Off-line Homework is refiewed with each Notebook check for completeness and correctness. Include all of your completed Off-line Homework sheets in your Notebook for the Notebook Check. For full credit, your work should include:


The many components of this course combined to give you an experience of listening to, reading, writing, and discussing approaches and solutions to Business Calculus problems. In order for these course components to support your success in Business Calculus and your future economics courses, you must stay on top of all the deadlines, allow yourself time to complete the tasks and keep organized. This assignment is to keep a notebook with your Business Calculus materials organized, complete, and easy to access.

Notebook Grades

Notebooks are worth course credit. Your notebook will be spot checked for completeness and correctness. Grading takes place three times during the semester in the activity session during weeks with midterm exams. Your activity instructor will grade your notebook on the spot and return it to you.

  The notebook is a three ring binder, divided into clearly labeled sections.
  The notebook includes the following items, in this order.
  A printout of cover sheet (Get the cover sheet for Notebook Check 2 here)
  A printout of the Course Calendar.
  Complete lecture notes for all sections listed on the cover sheets.
  Complete Off-line Homework assignments for all sections listed on the cover sheet, in order, neatly written by you.
  The midterm exams that have been given so far.
  Excel Group Assignment write-ups.

Notebook checks take place in your activity sessions during the weeks with midterm exams.

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Don't wait to get help

In a large lecture environment, it is your responsibility to get help when you need it. Tutors can do more to guide you if you contact them before the last minute!

Get the most from your tutor!

Work on the problems in advance and bring printouts of the WebAssign problems and similar examples from the text that you would like to study with a tutor.

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Problems with this site? Contact Florence Newberger at