CSE Calculus I

U of M Catalog Description

Differentiation of single-variable functions, basics of integration of single-variable functions. Applications: max-min, related rates, area, curve-sketching. Emphasizes use of calculator, cooperative learning.

Sample Syllabus

Other Considerations

MATH 1371 is taught over an entire high school academic year.

Class size limit: 28

Student Qualifications

Students enrolling in MATH 1371 must be juniors or seniors in high school and have earned an A or A- in a rigorous precalculus class. They should have a background in precalculus, geometry, and visualization of functions/graphs, or teacher recommendation. Familiarity with graphing calculators is recommended. Ninth and tenth graders may apply if they meet prerequisites.

Instructor Qualifications

Instructors apply and are selected by faculty in accordance with the U of M policy governing Academic Appointments with Teaching Functions. Once approved, an instructor is appointed as a Teaching Specialist 9754 (University Job Title and Code) in the College of Continuing and Professional Studies. Instructor qualifications are determined by the sponsoring University department.

View the Teacher Applicant Handbook for course-specific qualifications and application steps. 


Schools are required to use the same text or a text comparable to the one used in the on-campus 1371 course: Stewart, Single Variable Calculus Early Transcendentals, 7th Ed. ISBN-10: 0538498676; ISBN-13: 978-0538498678 (Amazon.com price in 2013 ranges from $90 to $148).

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the texts and readings specified or mandated by the University of Minnesota? If not, what are some of the choices?
If teachers want to use something other than the text used on campus, they must be certain that the text will allow for all of the topics listed below to be taught, and to be taught in the order presented below. It is important to teach the topics in this order so that students are ready for the departmental exams, or common exams, that all students are required to take.

  • The first common exam will cover the following topics: review of precalculus, the tangent and velocity problem, limit of a function, limits using limit laws, continuity, limits and infinity, asymptotes, and tangents, velocity, and other rates of change. 
  • The second common exam will cover the following topics, with emphasis on those topics discussed since the first common exam: derivatives, derivative as a function, derivatives of polynomials and exponentials, product and quotient rules, rates of change in the natural & social sciences, derivatives of trig functions, chain rule, implicit differentiation, higher derivatives, and derivatives of log functions.
  • The fall final exam will cover all of the following topics: hyperbolic functions (can be omitted), related rates, linear approximation and differentials, and max and min.
  • The third common exam will cover the following topics, with emphasis on those topics discussed since the fall final exam: mean value theorem, how derivatives affect the shape of a graph, indeterminate forms and L'Hospital's rule, summary of curve sketching, graphing with calculus and calculators, optimization applications, and Newton's method.
  • The fourth common exam will cover the following topics, with emphasis on those topics discussed since the third common exam: antiderivatives, areas and distances, definite integral, fund theorem of calc, indefinite integrals, substitution rule, and areas between curves.
  • The spring final exam will cover all of the following (including topics from fall semester): volumes, volumes by shells, work, average value of a function, direction fields, and exponential growth.

Do teachers have a choice in assignments? Are there required assignments?
The course grade must be computed according to the following formula, which mirrors the scheme used in the University's Calculus courses. Each of the four midterm exams counts as 10% of the overall course grade (40% total). Each of the two final exams counts as 20% of the overall course grade (40% total). The remaining 20% of the points can be assigned at the instructor's discretion. These points can incorporate homework, class participation, and any extra quizzes or chapter tests given by the high school teachers. Because the schools in the cohort use various textbooks, the selection of homework problems is left to the teacher, although the faculty coordinator can provide guidance.

The syllabus at right is from the on-campus class MATH 1271, rather than 1371. The 1271 info can be applied to 1371 except that the prohibition mentioned on the website about using calculators during exams will not apply to 1371, with the exception of a “gateway” exam. The sample exams on the website indicate the approximate level of difficulty of the exam questions, but some exam questions on the Web would not be suitable for a course (such as 1371) in which graphing calculators are allowed.

You will note, by looking at the website, that a few sections of the text (see below) are omitted from the University course because of time constraints. The University math professors would recommend including most of these topics as they are often included in the University course if time permits.

Who creates the exams?
The University of Minnesota Mathematics Department will provide required examinations (all 1371 classes on the Twin Cities campus take these departmental exams). There are four "midterm" exams and two final exams throughout the year; the content of each exam is detailed above, in the answer to the first question. High school teachers have the option of designing additional assessments which can be incorporated into the course grade.

Is there a training and mentoring system for calculus teachers new to CIS?
Yes. When you begin teaching MATH 1371 you will be joining a group of high school teachers who share ideas and materials with each other through email and teacher workshops. New teachers also benefit from an orientation to College in the Schools that will familiarize them with the support available through CIS as well as prepare them for administrative tasks such as registering students and posting grades.

High school class schedules vary: can a teacher in the block system teach calculus?
MATH 1371 is taught over an entire high school academic year.

What happens at typical teacher workshops?
Typical activities at CIS workshops include meeting University faculty and hearing about their recent research in the discipline; reviewing and/or developing student assessment tools; sharing instructional materials; discussing particular content, pedagogy, or assessment of the University course; and receiving updates on CIS program policies and practices.

What happens at typical student field days?
Student field days provide an opportunity for CIS students to meet their peers, practice skills they have learned in class, and explore the Twin Cities campus.

High Schools Offering This Course

Academy of Sciences and Agriculture
Belle Plaine Senior High School
Bethlehem Academy
Big Lake High School
Burnsville High School
Cambridge-Isanti High School
Farmington High School
Hill-Murray High School
Hmong College Prep Academy
Jordan High School
Lester Prairie High School
Milaca High School
Mora High School
Nova Classical Academy
Pipestone Area High School
Richfield High School
Roosevelt High School
Shakopee High School
Watertown-Mayer High School