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Freshmen Can Take Combined Calculus

By Christopher Falling
Associate News Editor

Freshmen will be able to take a combined Calculus I and II this year as part of changes to the core curriculum.

New, shorter versions of Calculus I (18.01) and Calculus II (18.02) have been added, while Introduction to Solid State Chemistry (3.091) has undergone a substantial revision.

New calculus classes

The introduction of the new Calculus I (18.01A) along with its counterpart, Calculus II (18.02A) will allow freshmen to complete a six week version of 18.01. The remaining eight weeks cover the first portion of 18.02, said Joanne E. Jonsson, academic administrator for Department of Mathematics. The remainder of 18.02 can be completed during either Independent Activities Period or the spring semester.

The purpose of 18.01A is to provide a quick review of 18.01 for students who have taken a full year of calculus in high school, said Professor of Mathematics Arthur P. Mattuck, the instructor for the first six weeks.

"18.01A/18.02A will be good for a lot of students with advanced placement but feel their background is a bit rusty and could benefit from a six week review of calculus," Mattuck said.

Mathematics Instructor Karen E. Smith will teach the class for the last eight weeks of the fall. The instructor for 18.02A during IAP or the first six weeks in the spring is not yet known.

Mattuck said that it would be "very unreasonable" for a student to be enrolled in both 18.01A/18.02A and 8.01L but said he assumed 8.01L will not be held at the same time in IAP.

3.091 revised significantly

In order to give freshmen the freedom to chose a chemistry course without concerns about potential majors, 3.091 has been broadened to include certain topics while maintaining a focus on the solid state, said Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Donald R. Sadoway.

A unit on liquids and solutions has been added, Sadoway said, which includes acid-base equilibria and solubility rules.

"These topics have been added to give the student a complete kernel [of knowledge] about basic chemistry," Sadoway said.

To parallel the new topics, "there has been a major initiative to bring forth examples from environmentally related topics," Sadoway said.

Hope to change requirements

The issue of reorganizing recommendations and requirements that revolve around 3.091 and Principles of Chemical Science (5.11) has not yet been addressed because it would be premature, Sadoway said.

Traditionally, students taking 3.091 choose an engineering major, except for those who plan to be chemical engineers, Sadoway said.

Sadoway said that he expects that within MIT,subjects that have always required 5.11 will begin to also accept 3.091 as progress is made with the new course, Sadoway said. "I am hoping that medical schools will recognize 3.091 as an acceptable alternative to 5.11," he added.