Math 212 - Fall 2010


Dr. Evan Bullock
Office: Herman Brown 408

Course Information

Class meets: MWF 11:00-11:50am in Herring Hall 100
Office Hours: M10:00-10:50am in HB 408, W 3:30-5:00pm in HB 408, Th 2:00-3:30pm, in HB 423, or by appointment
TA Office Hours: W1:00-3:00pm and Th 1:00-2:00pm in HB B14
Help Sessions: Tuesdays 7:00-9:00pm in SST 106 (HZ AMP on the Tuesdays before the midterms) and Thursdays 7:00-9:00pm in ABL 131
Teaching Assistants: Robert Vance, Diego Vela, Arunima Ray
Homework: generally due Fridays, see OWL-Space for assignments


The textbook for the class is Vector Calculus (5th edition), by Marsden and Tromba, ISBN 9780716749929. This is the same text as was used last year, so it can most likely be purchased used from the campus book store. I would strongly recommend you avoid earlier editions, as homework problems will be assigned by number from the book.

Course Description

This course covers differential and integral calculus in several variables. Topics include partial derivatives, gradient, divergence, curl, Lagrange multipliers, multiple integrals, line integrals, vector fields, Green's theorem, Stokes's theorem, and Gauss's theorem.  Here is a tentative schedule for the course.

The prerequisite for this class is single-variable calculus (Math 101 and 102). This class is independent of Math 211, and Math 211 and 212 may be taken in any order or concurrently. (It is not possible to get credit for both Math 212 and Math 221/222 however.)


Your grade in the class will be based on the following weights, where a lowest 20% item will be dropped:

Midterm 1: September 22 at 7:00pm in KCK 100

Midterm 2: October 20 at 7:00pm in KCK 100

Midterm 3: November 17 at 7:00pm in KCK 100

Final Exam: December 8 at 7:00pm in HRG 100 for A-M,  ABL 131 for N-Z

2x 20%

In theory, this means you could get an A+ in this class without doing any of the homework; if that sounds like a good idea to you, please come see me as soon as possible.


Homeworks will be put up on OWL-Space and are due on Fridays by 4pm. You must turn in your assignment in class, or place it in the Math 212 inbox on the 2nd floor of Herman Brown (next to HB220). Late homework will not be accepted even under most special circumstances. To compensate for this firm policy against late homework, the two lowest homework scores will not count towards your homework average.

Your homework solutions should be legible, and each problem should be worked out in detail with the final answer clearly indicated. If you choose to type up your homework solutions on a computer, I would strongly suggest learning to use LaTeχ.  You may use a calculator or computer algebra program to assist you on the homework, but you must still write up complete solutions showing all the steps.  Remember also that you will not be able to use a calculator on the exams. 

Feel free to check the your answers using the answers to odd-numbered exercises at the end of the book, but you should not look up homework problems in the Student Study Guide with Solutions for Vector Calculus until after you've turned in the homework (nor should you look on the internet for specific homework problems, though you're welcome to read about a mathematical topic on a site like Wikipedia with no relation to Marsden & Tromba).

Please staple your homework and write your name and the assignment number on the front page. You are welcome to work together with other students on your homeworks, but your write-up must be your own and you should list on your homework the names of any other students you worked with.


There will be three midterm exams and one comprehensive final exam (with an emphasis on material covered after the third midterm).  All exams are closed-book and closed-notes and are subject to the Rice University Honor Code. You will not be allowed to use a calculator on the exams.  The midterm exams are scheduled for 7:00pm on 9/22, 10/20, and 11/17; if you have a conflict at any of these times, please let me know as soon as possible.

Midterm 1  Solutions
Midterm 2  Solutions
Midterm 3  Solutions

The final exam is scheduled for 7:00-10:00pm on December 8, in HRG 100 for last names A-M and ABL 131 for N-Z. It is the policy of the mathematics department that no final may be given early to accommodate student travel plans.

Final exam  Solutions

Sage Notebooks

Sage is a free and open-source computer program for mathematics.  You can download it for your own computer or try it online.  Here are the sage notebooks I used to produce the computer-generated pictures in class:

Level sets and sections
The tangent plane

Disability Support

If you have a documented disability that will impact your work in this class, please contact me to discuss your needs. Additionally, you will need to register with the Disability Support Services Office in the Allen Center.

Return to Evan Bullock's web site.

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