Online Calculus I     Information    

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Transfer academic credit to your university
4 semester units, fall 2017, 14 weeks, Aug 25 - Dec 20,
fully online, flexible Calculus I - MATH 226
14 years of verifiable track record serving hundreds of students annually
Calculus class online with video lectures, active forum & personal help

Prerequisites Syllabus
Students from any other universities are welcome to join us. Email Dr. Goetz goetz@sfsu.edu if you have any questions that are not answered below.
Info how to join in.

The class is fully online, you can be anywhere with an interent access. There is no need to come to campus. However, there are two proctored events: (a) a readiness test and (b) comprehensive final examination. Both can be taken on campus or at your location via a video link.
In the latter case there is a small fee charged by ProctorU.com You can take a practice readiness test now: calculus.sfsu.edu/ready. Once you pass it, you can retake with ProctorU.com even before you register for the class. If a students cannot demonstrate that they are ready by passing a proctored test within first 7 days of instruction, they will be dropped from the course.

This is the future - recent article about this this class and the professor.
Department of Mathematics, San Francisco State University (SFSU), 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132. SFSU is accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
What are the students who succeeded in this online calculus class say and what advice they offer?

Joey from spring 2017. Hey Dr. Goetz, I wanted to personally let you know what I've thought of this class, as it is my first online course: 1.) This course is designed very well and your lectures are incredibly comprehensive. 2.) The ability to pause and rewind your lectures has greatly increased my capacity to understand lessons. 3.) I am graduating this semester with a BS in geology and have completed a senior thesis, this class has been extremely relative to the data analysis scope of my project. The way I have come to understand the processes of derivation and integration in the applications of geology are extremely empowering! Just wanted to personally thank you, and say that this class has been awesome.



A student from summer 2016. Dear Professor Goetz, I would like to thank you and your team for all your help with this class. Your students have been really efficient with the feedback on the homework and I really appreciate that. Also, your lectures/videos were very clear and easy to understand, the summer class was definitely tough but I had fun.


Continuing student in 2016. I am writing you to inquire about adding your Math 227 Calculus II. Over the summer I completed Calculus I with your online class and received a B. I found a new appreciation for online classes and your class by far made me love online studying. I enjoyed the self paced instruction and I felt as if I was able to understand the material a lot better. The way your class was structured was very organized and is set up for student success. Hopefully I can join your class again.
Josephine, University of the Pacific, Summer 2010 Although this class was an online class, I felt that I got the full experience as if I were taking this class in person. The video lectures really helped me learn a lot since I was able to visualize everything Professor Goetz was doing and explaining. By doing all homework assignments and sharing my thoughts and answers with other students on the forum really helped me a lot. It allowed me to ask questions to receive help from fellow students. Not only did I get help, but I also got to help other students as well. For me, when I'm able to explain something I understand, it makes me remember the concepts even more. This class was absolutely spectacular, if Professor Goetz ever had another math course available online during the summer, I would definitely take it.
Lucas, The Citadel, Summer 2010 I was very pleased with this course. I have never been a math genius and the way that this course is designed helped me tremendously: the video lectures, forums, online notes, etc. I would highly recommend this course to any student who is trying to get ahead in their college credits. Fair warning though, it was not an easy summer course. You must remain motivated throughout the duration of the course and be sure to not get behind in the course load. All students have the opportunity to work ahead in the course and prevent this from happening. If you can do this, do it! Thanks Professor Goetz!
A student who is a parent, Spring 2010 I want to thank you for the great spring semester of online calculus. I never ever would have thought that I would be able to grasp calculus the way I did. Before enrolling in your class, I went and bought some calculus text and notes. And, although, they were insightful they were unable to convey the message the way you were able to so eloquently do. I always found the language of math, as it is written in the text, difficult to understand...it just didn't flow for me, and as much as I tried to grapple it, it just wasn't happening. Back 15+ years ago, when I was a college student, math was always difficult for me. Although I majored in biology and pre-med, I never felt the need for it, until I went into research where besides understanding the biologic processes, there was an ever greater and relevant need to validate and quantify the data by mathematical means. I was young back then, and I saw the world in black and white as I did science, but the real world is not that simple and science requires one to think outside the box. I just wish that somehow, somewhere an instructor would have mentioned that to me. But I had to figure it out on my own through culminating experiences in both life and while in the industry. But irrespective of all the experience I had thus far in life, I don't think it would have helped me understand calculus if you had not been there. Now that I have kids, not just do I want them to have the best education, but also I do not want their education to be as challenging as it was for me. You see, my parents did not have any formal college education. And throughout my education career as I struggled through math and physical sciences there wasn't anyone there for me at home who could have directed me, as I have seen with so many of my friends who fathers and mothers were engineers/scientists. It definitely helps to have some sort of a direction/guide in life. I am just glad, with your help, that I was able to get a much better understanding of math and calculus, and I know it will not just help me but also my kids, whose future I hope to positively influence with this new knowledge. Again, thank you for a great, well-structured calculus course. I had a great time, and thank you for the new found knowledge. Abdouramane. (Club of Emerging Leaders for Africa, Fall 09) I would also like to thank you for the quality of the calculus course, your method and availability. To be honest, I have never been very strong in mathematics in the past, although I covered lots of the fundamentals required to perform in the calculus course (algebra, trigonometry, basic functions, slope etc...). However, your course and method allowed me to work rigorously on each of these fundamentals, to build relationships between them and integrate them to solve calculus problems. At present, I have no doubt that this will help me throughout my professional career. Furthermore, I gained a strong interest in the discipline and wish to participate to a calculus II class. [...]
Migdalia, (post-bac for pre-med, Fall 07 )

1. What was the main reason you why you took the online Calculus course rather than a regular class? I am took online calculus because of the flexible schedule which allows me to work full time.

2. What was the key to your success in this course? In order to do well in the class I consistently set aside 2 evenings a week to listen to lectures and an additional 2 days a week to do the homework problems and participate on the discussion board. [this comment is about the setup for the Fall, in the summer there are three lesson per week] I listened to lectures on the same days and times every week, which I feels helps. I worked on homeworks ANY time, which is great. You could post your questions on the discussion board any time and come back to it later for some answers. The key was to stay on top of the lectures and homeworks.

3. Who in your opinion would be a good student likely to succeed in this class format? Who, in your opinion, would not be a good candidate? In order for a student to succeed in the course he/she must be comfortable with setting up a schedule for classes and sticking to the schedule. You must be comfortable with asking questions and answering questions on-line the majority of the time. You must be comfortable with searching through google or through the sfsu website for examples that will further enhance your knowledge of calculus concepts you do not understand. Do not take this course if you like doing everything last minute, cannot stick to a schedule, and are weak in algebra and trigonometry.

4. What advice would you offer to a potential student? I would advice to make sure to have all the systems in place before class starts, for example: download skype, have a scanner or camera available for submitting homeworks, etc. before the first assignment is due. I would advice having some time available to meet with the TA in person.

5. Please add anything about the class and your experience: The class is set up to allow commited students to succeed. There are many resources and opportunities to learn. If you have the time (or are willing to give up personal time) you can succeed in the course. I committed about 10 hours a week to the course (that included listening to lectures). I learned the most from my online class mates. If they could not answer my questions, I would ask the TA (...). And if that did not help, I would always ask Prof. Goetz, who is very helpful.

6. What is your major and where do you go to college? I am a post-bac for pre-med at SFState. I originally did a B.S. in Kinseiology at SF STATE First of all, thanks to you for everything. This class is wonderful and I learnt alot, espeically the group homework work. The best thing, i like about the class is its "organization." You organzied the class in way that everybody can understand every concept easily. You always be there to help us any time (even 2 am). I definitely recommond this online class to every one because it helped me alot. Again thanks alot for all your help and hard work.

Shakir who took an accellerated version of the class [now at Cornell Business School]. Enrolling in the SF State accelerated online Calculus course with Dr. Goetz was one of the best decisions I made in my preparation to apply to business school. I have to tell you this course was like a marathon. It was intense especially due to the distance learning component. I had to work extra hard to be organized, stay focused, problem solve and communicate my needs with the teacher and other students. But because of the flexible nature of the course and unlimited access to video lectures, I was able to self pace and succeed beyond my expectations. I definitely came away feeling stronger and more confident in my math abilities for quantitative success as I start my Ivy League Business School in the fall. I highly recommend it for B-Schoolers needing to brush up or get a jump start on their education! --Shakir
Why did you take the class?
requirement for biochemistry major and i always regretted not taking it in highschool
I took this calculus course because it is a pre-requisite to apply to some medical schools. The reason why I took it online was for the convenience of not having to be on campus just for one class as I spend a total of 4 hours commuting to and from campus each day during the academic year. It was a nice break, and allowed me to use my time better!
It had been 8 years since I last took calculus so I needed to refresh my knowledge in calculus in order to continue with my economics degree.
I took this class to help enhance my future medical school applications, as some medical schools recommend and/or require calculus. SFSU, unlike other colleges and universities, did not require pre-calculus (which I have not taken). Having this class online meant that I could adapt the work load to my busy schedule.
I needed this class in order to begin student teaching in August, and wasn't able to fit it into my schedule last spring at Peru. So, the timing of this course worked perfectly to enable me to finish my classes and student teach in August.
Becasue i need to complete my degree and take Engineering classes
I took this class to fill my math requirements and it was a way to get the credits while working and continuing my baseball career all at the same time.
It's the requirement for my MBA program.
I needed to take this class since several pharmacy and most medical schools require that all math and science courses be taken within the previous 10 years.
To improve my knowledge of Calculus as a whole. I've taken it before and didn't like my grade.
My Fellowship would not allow me to take a class unless it was from 7PM to 10PM.. and I don't think I have EVER seen any class like that. Also, I wanted to enhance my Mathematics skills. I dropped out of high school and have always had to struggle with math, which I believe, is do my lack of math in my teenage years. I believe having math skills provides an individual with much more than "math" skills, but also changes/enhances one's fundamental thought processes and reasoning skills.
So i could finish the relevant courses faster so that I can put more time into studying for my exams
I needed Cal 1 in order to qualify for the prerequisite of the MS in Computer Science. Unfortunately my fall schedule was full, and I was to be in London taking a class for the remainder of the summer. The online aspect of the class attracted me, and solved my problem of time.
I was not satisfied with my first time through Calculus I, and after taking Calculus II and getting a good grade there, I figured it smart to retake the first one and go for an A.
I took the class because it is a requirement of prerequisite for the MEES program.
The reasons are two-fold: I enjoy math and wanted to become more familiar with Calculus concepts. The second reason is that I want to switch careers and enter the R&D world. Therefore, these two reasons drove me toward Calculus.
In order to satisfy a pre-req in an emphasis area in my program.
To refresh my memory: I last took Calculus in 1975.
It is a requirement for my major
I was lead to believe that I needed to take a calculus class before continuing my education. Turns out I didn't ... but I'm still glad I was able to take this class. It was nice to experience an online class - they can be just as engaging as a traditional class.
I took this class because I had to--for my major. But I took this class specifically because Professor Goetz was recommended by many of his past students. Usually, when so many students praise a professor (especially a math professor) for their work; you can't help by insist that the professor is a hypnotist. After hearing all of the hype, I had the urge to check the class out for myself. I'm not saying that this class was easy or that Professor Goetz is an easy grader, you definitely had to earn your grade, but what I'm trying to get at is Professor Goetz is possibly the only person who can teach college calculus, via the internet, effectively. Now that the semester is over... I can totally say that I believe the hype!
To transfer credits. I needed calculus as a pre-requisite for higher level Econ courses. I wanted to take it online so I could still use summer to take trips, work, etc. If I had taken it in person, It meets every day during the week, and I worked all weekend, so I wouldn't have been able to go camping!
What surprised you the most? at first the work load caught me off guard, but it was no problem adjusting
What was most surprising to me to me was the deep level of engagement and participation that was reached in every discussion forum.The online forums generated more frequent, and more in-depth student-student interaction than a regular in-classroom course where students have the physical contact and possibility to interact with all classmates but often choose to befriend just one or two.
The class was a little more labor intensive then I thought but nothing unreasonable. I thought that the ilearn forums was very helpful.
What surprised me the most about this course was how "learnable" all of the concepts were. Many people I know cringe when they hear the word "calculus," but I thought that this class was presented in an enjoyable way.
The speed of the course is a little surprising at first, but you get used to it. I was also very surprised by how good the lectures were and how thorough and helpful too.
I thought before that MAth Calc is the harsest math, and it gets hard when you take online, I had told everybody that i am taking Math Calc Online, and everybody said it's gogin to be hard fro you to pass this class. However after i did all the stuff in math, i got surprised that it was very easy the degree of participation in discussion board. It's really high. Many students had participated and their comments are really helpful.
What surprised me the most?? The professor, the TA's and the "online" format were not as intimidating as I had feared, after all I hadn't taken Calculus in 20 years. The last time that I took calculus, both Calculus 1 and 2 were weeder courses turning freshmen engineering students into business majors.
The video lectures, seeing Prof. Goetz and then seeing him in person.
Honestly? The pace at which the class was taught. I was very aware of getting into a summer school math class and that it would be taught quite quickly, I had not deeply considered exactly how that would affect my life when I took on a full time Molecular Biology fellowship as well! Also, that Chapter 5 was included. For our first serious of Calculus as SJSU, we only go up to chapter 4. But I found Chapter 5 to be very much worth doing and enjoyed doing it. I felt as if Ch. 5 was my fist time at getting into "real" Calculus!
What really surprised me the most about this course was the dedication of professor Goetz and the TA's. If you ever have a question or need help with something they were always available and answer you back right away. Another great thing was that they were very on top of grading the homework on time, so you can know were your holding and what you have to improve on.
The extreme amounts of contact with not only Dr. Goetz but the other students. There is a closeness there that you sometimes do not see in an actual lecture.
The online support available. The thoroughness of Dr. Goetz's lectures surprised me. He is very verbose and explains concepts quite clearly and with conviction.
What surprised me the most was how easy it was to understand Professor Goetz's method in teaching Calculus!
How interesting the lectures were. I usually learn by myself, but I didn't try to do the homework until after watching the lectures.
I was surprised at how excellent and organized the live lectures were. Although a textbook is quite helpful it is not necessary because Professor Goetz covers everything in his lectures and provides several other helpful resources i,e. online grapher, stram clips, websites, homework forum, etc...
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed some of the lessons. There were a few I didn't like, such as the ones with 8+ page HW assignments - but it was still surprisingly fun at times.
I initially felt intimidated by the idea of taking an online class--especially it being a math class--because I felt that, for some reason, it would be very fast paced and that I wouldn't be at the same level as the other students. However, once the semester began all my worries disappeared and I felt comfortable. What I found most surprising about this class were the students. It was just so refreshing to know that there was always someone online who could help and answer a question.
After Spring Semester, 2008 I was looking forward to do summer school on Calculus I. I never thought about taking a online calculus, since I thought "how can it be possible" to take a math course online. Regardless, I went on Google and searched for "Online Calculus in USA". Then I found the SFSU site at the top of the Google search. Since the domain extension was .edu I was confirmed that it is a legit place for me to take the course. Next day I called the registration and signed up for it. All the lectures of Dr. Goetz are perfect. He does explain every little detail and examples, which makes one to finish the homework properly. All the TA's are extremly helpfull and they know what they are supposed to do. I am really impress with this "Online Calculus" from SFSU. I hope you guys will soon have "online calculus II".
Scanning the homework, instead of having online assignments. I though this was way more helpful. I often had to re-write the homework several times, which only helped solidify the execution steps.   Any other comments Thank you! I had always felt that I was not good at math because I had a hard time understanding it. However, throughout this course I understood every single concept perfectly, and was able to apply it to the homework, and even help others once in a while! This has demonstrated me that the way a course is taught has a lot to do with how well a student does. Even though I do not yet know my final grade, I feel that I gained a very valuable understanding of calculus one, as well as newly acquired self-confidence in learning math!! I hope that this kind of class continues well into the future, and my compliments to its creators.
Thank you for being an excellent professor and helping me understand the concepts of Calculus.
A midterm would have been nice. A middle point in which to recall all of the information you have processed thus far and the ability to put it all together would have served me well. More examples in the .pdf lectures. This is sincerely THEE best calculus class I have ever taken! Dr. Goetz not only is good at his job but enjoys it and that makes ALL the difference. And when is Calculus II going to be available in this manor??? I have a year to complete it so let me know!!! Thanx for a great leaning experience and will recommend to others
Thank you for a great course. I think it was an amazing learning opportunity. I feel as though I learned a lot, though maybe I did not properly show it on my exam. I wish I was a better exam taker, I tend to be very nervous and forget things when I take tests. Regardless, I feel as though I learned quite a bit more than I have ever learned in previous math courses, and Dr. Goetz was the best math professor I have ever had. I like your methods on how you presented this course. It was excellent and I learned that calculus can be understood by someone that is not a math major. Thank you This was a great course. I only wish there was a follow-up online class (Calculus II).
I have already recommended this class to several others, I hate summer classes, but this has been a very rewarding experience. Thank you!
Thank you so much! It was exactly what I was looking for. If I teach AP Calc in the next few years, I'll be reviewing all the lectures and materials. Karyn Keep offering this great class! Thanks Dr. Goetz!!!!
Samantha Spring 2008, Professor Goetz, I believe one of the most important things to succeeding in this course is to constantly do homework. Once you finish an assignment, start the next one. I found myself frequently underestimating the amount of time one assignment could take. With any online class you are forced to teach yourself to a certain degree, which can add time. Also, working with a tutor or completing assignments with a friend is very helpful. An online class provides no one on one interaction, and with math that is sometimes the most useful tool. I highly suggest finding someone (tutor or friend) to make up for that lack of personal interaction. And, don't be shy to use the forum. If you can't get tutoring assistance or don't have a friend in the class, let the forum be your tutor and participate in it. I often held back from posting anything because I was afraid my answer would be wrong, but that's what the forum is for, discussion, hints, tips, etc. on how to achieve the correct answer. Going into this course my major was Zoology. I have recently changed majors to one where calculus is not required, but I believe this course will benefit all who take it. It is a very useful to challenge your brain to think in the manner that is required to do calculus.

Chris, May 2008 I am going into the corporate banking world next year. I will take some of the tools I learned in this class, and make a lot of people money. Thanks once again Professor Goetz, it was a pleasure! Albeit not much pleasure stumped and sweating over graphs and such, but your enthusiasm and lectures gave me prospective of the bigger picture of mathematics. Isn't that the point! Bravo to a teacher who understands this.