Instructor: Gabriele Di Cerbo
Description of Course Goals and CurriculumStandard multivariable calculus course given at the usual difficult Princeton level. Topics include vectors, vector functions and motion, surfaces, coordinate systems, functions of several variables and their derivatives, double/triple integrals, vector fields, and Stokes’ theorem.
Learning From Classroom InstructionClass lectures are where you learn the majority of the material for this course. Although, like most math courses, it’s nearly impossible to take notes and digest the information that’s being thrown at you at the same time. It’s also hard to keep up with what’s going on without skimming the reading ahead of time which I recommend doing otherwise you’ll quickly become totally lost in the class and will be playing catch-up the entire semester. One thing you can do is just try to watch and understand what’s going on during class then take pictures and write down notes afterwards which may help you learn during class and not get lost. Otherwise, most learning can be done out of the book.
Learning For and From AssignmentsHomework assignments are reasonably hard and take a good amount of time. They are somewhat helpful for the exams but they can really through anything at you on an exam and you’ll have no idea what to do unless you really understand the concept being presented. Gaining this mastery will take a lot of reading of the textbook and solving example problems and homework without looking at answer keys. Try to resist the urge to look for answers or help of some sort without attempting the problems first or you’ll have a really hard time on the exams as they usually have somewhat more difficult problems than the homework. It’s tough in general to prepare for math exams at Princeton so prepare to invest a lot of time into studying and doing practice until you start to solve problems relatively smoothly without having to refer to the book because time is usually a factor on the exams.
External ResourcesOffice hours aren’t of much help in this class as the preceptors will be reluctant to give you any specific help with the pset problems. Thus the best resource for this course is your friends. Form a study group and work on the problems together, this is the best/most efficient way to tackle the psets and to study for exams as well.
What Students Should Know About This Course For Purposes Of Course SelectionDifficult take on multivariable calculus as expected for a Princeton course. If you have taken multi in high school, this course will undoubtedly deepen your understanding and address topics you most likely would’ve skipped or only skimmed over in high school. Expect to not understand a lot without putting significant time and effort into understanding the fundamental mathematical concepts in the course and doing a lot of practice problems. Would not recommend unless you have to take for BSE or want to invest your time in improving your fundamental math abilities.