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Calculus Help at Penn

Here we describe the Math-Physics drop-in help , and Math Centers, that are available to help you with your calculus course.
If you have more serious difficulties see the bottom half of this web page.

Math-Physics drop-in help

NEW: drop in help for first year math and physics courses is available in the newly furnished Education Commons. This is in the stadium building - enter on 2nd level opposite Hutchison Gym. Bring your Penn Card. The Math-Physics help room is room 235. Hours are MON - THU from 4PM to 7PM (also: the hour from 3PM to 4PM is staffed by physics, not math, but physics students can usually answer your math questions).

The Math Centers

These are places that you can go to ask questions about the course, including homework, exam review and Maple problems/projects. The sessions are held in differnt campus residences Monday-Thursday nights, with a rotating schedule. There is at least one Mathematics graduate student available at each location to answer questions.

We emphasize that the centers are open to ALL calculus students no matter where they live (but remember to bring your Penn ID to be admitted to the residence hall).

Schedule for Math Centers


More Serious Difficulties?

The methods which have been outlined so far are intended for students whose difficulties are more or less manageable. However, if your difficulties are more serious, what should you do? The most important thing is to Get Advice. There are a number of options. It is very important that you are directed to the most appropriate one for your situation.

Getting Advice:
You can always see the Undergraduate Chair of the Math Department, email: <UGradChair@ math.upenn.edu>.

Getting Your Act Together:
Successful students do a number of things which greatly increase the effectiveness of the time they spend studying. They tend to use study groups and take advantage of the various means of help, particularly the Math Center described above on this page.

Unsuccessful students are often unable to organize their work satisfactorily and misjudge their situation until it is almost too late. If you find yourself getting into these difficulties, you will need to do some reorganizing. A good way to start is by finding out about the math help available in your residence or in other places on campus.

Another source of help for general academic difficulties is the Weingarten Learning Resource Center, located in Stouffer Commons (3702 Spruce Street), Suite 300.

Getting a Tutor:
There are two options for getting a tutor:

  1. If you feel that your problem is not just math and that more general counseling is in order, you should go for an interview at the Tutoring Center. If you qualify you may receive financial assistance in getting a tutor.

  2. The Mathematics Department maintains a list of recommended private tutors. For students with special needs, we also have a small amount of money to help in making these tutors available. See the Undergraduate Secretary or the Math Web for the list of tutors, and see the Undergraduate Chair if you have a special need.

Changing Calculus Courses.   After the add period you may find you are taking a Calculus Course (Math. 104, 114, 115, 240, 241) that is too advanced. To give added flexibility, until the end of the drop period the Math Department also permits students in this situation to drop their current Calculus Course and add the previous course in the sequence, for example, dropping from Math 114 to Math 104. This enables you to continue with the calculus sequence without losing a semester.

If you change calculus courses after the official add period ends, you need to request the new instructor for permission to get into the class. After that, you should go to the math office to get a permit, then go to your own school to be enrolled into the new class. You should also notify both your old and new T.A.'s to transfer your homework and make sure that your name is on the right class list.

Taking Math 101 or Math 103:
Math 103 is the for-credit Calculus course for students who have had NO or little Calculus in high school. Some students take Math 103 before attempting Math 104. It is offered every semester, both during the day and in the evening. Math 101 is a non-credit calculus preparatory course for students who need additional work on their algebra and trigonometry skills before being able to take calculus successfully. It is only offered in the evening. The goal is to have you ready to take Math 103.

Dropping Mathematics This Term:
This is the last resort. Before the end of the drop period, any student may drop any course for any reason, and no indication appears on the transcript. For five weeks after this drop date, a student may withdraw, provided that permission is obtained from an Assistant Dean. A grade of W will appear on the transcript. Thereafter, withdrawal must be applied for via petition and is granted only for special reasons. Part of the petition must be filled out by your professor. You can get a petition from your school office.

Guidelines for Retaking (Repeating) a Course


Questions? If you have any questions about the Math Help program, please send email to UGradChair@ math.upenn.edu


To the Penn Math Undergrad Web Page.
How to contact us.