Online Calculus I     Information    

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4 semester units, summer 2018 [subject to approval], 8 weeks, June 25 - Aug 13,
fully online, flexible Calculus I - MATH 226
15 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.
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!
Nick, stationed in Iraq, applying to Military school, Summer 2010 After reading all the posts about the class and being that I was going to be taking the class online in Iraq I was a little nervous about it. Especially after the first two weeks when I was unable to download a descent version of the lecture. However, eventually I was able to save the whole lectures and that made all the difference. From then I started downloading early so I made sure to get the lecture and have time to turn the homework in early. This not only gave me bonus points but gave me a head start on the next lesson. This is my first class in about 10 years and having the discussion board available was probably the reason I passed the class. I used it on every lesson and lucky for me there were a lot of extremely smart people in my class so when I had a question they could break it down Barney style for me so I could figure out the question. Dr. Goetz and his assistants were helpful too with all the questions I had and I normally received a response in a day or two at the most. The way the course runs made perfect sense to me. What I mean is that each lesson built on the others so that you could use and reuse what you had been learning. The videos and the streaming page were helpful too when I could get them to work. That was due to the speed of the internet over here though and had nothing to do with the system. I feel that the work load for each lesson was spot on. I was able to teach myself what I needed to, ask questions on the discussion board, get answers, and still finish my homework early. I was little cramped for time some days, so that required me to work extra hard other days. I think if you can devote a solid 4 hours per lesson, you will do fine is this class. That sounds like a lot, but it would not only be working on the current lesson but reviewing and applying the past lessons subjects. Also, just like Dr. Goetz recommends, if you pause the video and do the problems on your own or rewind it to double tap some of the segments you will spend more time but be able to get a better understanding of the material.
Mike, architecture major, Summer 2010 This calculus course was very convenient in the sense that it was online and 4 credits without any major prerequisite. But over the summer I took this class while taking another online class and working 40 hours a week. This calculus class is not good for someone who plans on doing too many other things over the summer. When professor Goetz says you need to devote alot of time to this class he is not exaggerating. This class requires your full attention and effort. The only thing I though was not right was the fact that the homework switched from Monday Wednesday Friday to sometimes Tuesday Sometimes Thursday and even sometimes on the weekends. When it was all said and done I am thankful for this class.
Dustin, spring 2010 Thanks for a great semester. The structure of the class is fantastic. I've never seen an online class have as many notes, opportunities for collaboration, and assistance as yours. It's definitely one of a kind (in a fantastic way). It required hours of time for homework, but that's expected. I was just happy to be able to understand the homework in a beneficial way. Were it not for the fantastic structure of the class (say, one that relies strictly on a textbook without relevant notes), I would have struggled to understand anything.
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. [...]
From a student who took the course from a remote location, Fall 2007 I can only echo the sentiments of my classmates and say that this was truly a wonderful way to learn math. I am grateful to Dr. Goetz, Quan and the rest of the SFSU staff who made this happen. I also want to thank my fellow students who really jumped on the opportunity of using all the online tools at our disposal to mutually facilitate our learning. Meeting up online to study has been fun and very fruitful. I loved math before this class, but the experience has strengthened my resolve to continue working hard to understand and explore these profound and incredibly useful ideas. If only the first few math classes I was put through had been like this one! This format is a great idea and it goes a long way toward repairing some of the failings in the way math is traditionally taught at this level. That deserves huge kudos. I will certainly recommend these courses and will watch to see if more advanced calculus courses taught in this format become available. I actually can't wait to take more calculus now, haha smile OK, that's all for now, thanks again and have a wonderful summer everybody!
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!!!!

David - 20 May 2008, 07:42 PM The hardest part for me, as someone who hadn't taken a math class in more than 5 years, was adjusting at the beginning of the semester. It was easy for forgotten algebraic principles and equivalencies to get in the way of new concept learning in the beginning. I was a little nervous at first because the first few assignments were taking much longer than anticipated, but it became much more comfortable once the algebraic rust fell away. Do review algebra first! I got a great amount of information from the lectures and online forum, but I found it also helpful to reinforce those concepts by reviewing the corresponding textbook sections. The textbook is good for the general concept and formula checking, but when you have a more specific question just shoot it off to the forum and the feedback comes almost immediately. Trying to teach concepts in the forum to someone else, I also found, was really a great way to lock down new concepts. If you're doing your homework early and not many people are discussing your question on the forum yet, check the stream channel for short video clips (a huge collection) that can provide that one needed concept (or trick) to the problem. Another source for learning (you will see there are very many) are great links to math websites and even designated times to personally chat online, or call, teaching assistants about your questions. Procrastination will penalize you in this course. There were some homeworks that were considerably longer than others that required early starts for a good grade. Overall it was a great learning experience that was just very convenient. You could probably be a full time business traveler and still take the course. I feel much better about my math skills now. Before I took this course, a function was just an equation that was hard to evaluate without a graphing calculator. Simply a great class with a great professor and fellow students! by Arnold - Tuesday, 20 May 2008, 09:22 PM
How to succeed: Tip #1: Do not take this course over the summer unless you are...
a. Either very proficient with math (algebra and trigonometry);
b. Or you have a lot of time to devote to this class and all the homework. Tip #2: Regardless of your answer to #1, you must be willing to do a lot of work, including posting and sharing questions and answers. Tip #3: Really listen to the very first lecture where Dr. Goetz explains how Calculus came into being. That sets the stage for the entire course and its primary objective. Throughout (and especially In the middle) of the course, it is easy to lose sight of how the little concepts add up to something worthwhile or useful. Thinking back on the first lecture will help you see the bigger picture and might even give you the proper perspective to understand that troublesome derivative problem or that confusing integration problem. Seriously! Tip #4: Try on your own first. Active learning is the only way to pass the final exam! Tip #5: When tip #4 fails, use all the resources at hand: the homework forum, video excerpts of the lecture or similar problems, the grapher, external resources, even that expensive dry text book! Tip #6: When tip #4 works, take the time to give others tips or weigh in on questions posed by other students. This serves 2 purposes: it reinforces your learning and it builds your body of "postings" for that all-important class participation credit (which is worth an entire grade improvement)! Tip #7: Convince yourself that you love to solve all kinds of problems, including Calculus, even if that's not entirely true. If you can get into the spirit of things, you will have some measure of fun to help temper the frustration and make the long hours of doing homework less tedious. Tip #8: Dr. Goetz and his staff are the best and they are looking after your best interest: to learn and have an appreciation for Calculus. So trust them and don't be afraid to ask anything that would help you to make the most out of the class.
Enjoy and good luck!