Welcome to the HappyCal Zone

(Honors AP Calculus BC, Period A)
Web address shortcut for this page: www.modd.net/1112hcal

Are you nervous when you see NCWEE? concerned when you see CIRC? perturbed when you see PBC? Visit Mr. Hansen’s fabled abbreviations page to make sense of those cryptic markings you see on your papers.


Schedule at a Glance (see archives for older entries)
Written assignments should follow the HW guidelines. Enter your scores here.


M 4/23/012

No school. Continue studying AP review problems every night. The “Exam-ish Tests” will be scored at a total of approximately 150% of the value of a typical 50-minute test.


T 4/24/012

AP Exam-ish Test, Part IA (multiple choice, no calculator). We will start at 7:55 sharp: 28 questions in 55 minutes.

HW due (will not be collected until next week): another 70 minutes’ worth of AP review problems, double dose over the long weekend.


W 4/25/012

AP Exam-ish Test, Part IB (multiple choice, calculator required). We will start at 8:00 sharp: 17 questions in 50 minutes.

HW due (will not be collected until next week): another 35 minutes’ worth of AP review problems.


Th 4/26/012

AP Exam-ish Test, Part IIA+ (free response, calculator required for #1 and #2, not permitted for #3). Question #3 will be distributed at the 30-minute mark, and you may continue working all 3 problems without calculator until time is called at 8:45 sharp.

HW due (will not be collected until next week): another 35 minutes’ worth of AP review problems.


F 4/27/012

AP Exam-ish Test, Part IIB (free response, no calculator). We will start at 7:55 sharp: 3 multi-part problems in 45 minutes.

HW due (will not be collected until next week): another 35 minutes’ worth of AP review problems.


M 4/30/012

HW due: Bring your AP review log up to date. You should have 35 minutes’ worth of problems for each day (except weekends). It is better to do a little each day, but if you have a block of time on the weekend to make up for time missed during the week, you can still earn full credit.


T 5/1/012

HW due: Continue daily AP review log. Class today will start at about 8:15.


W 5/2/012

HW due: Same as yesterday, except that class will start at about 8:10.


Th 5/3/012

HW due: Same as yesterday, except that class will start at about 8:05.


F 5/4/012

HW due: Same as yesterday, except that class will start at 8:00 sharp.


M 5/7/012

HW due: Spend 5 or 10 minutes reviewing last Friday’s Question #2 and the solution key. Write a few sentences summarizing what you learned. For example, you might say, “In part (c), I learned that I should have remembered that the Taylor approximating polynomial is guaranteed to match the function and all the function’s derivatives only at the center of the expansion. Away from that point, all bets are off! In this problem, we were told that f and all of its derivatives existed for all real numbers, but in general, we wouldn’t even be able to say that.”

With your remaining time, continue working on AP review problems. Keep your log spreadsheet up to date, as always.


T 5/8/012

HW due: Nothing special, just another 35 minutes’ (or more) worth of AP review problems.


W 5/9/012

AP Exam, Trapier Theater. Please arrive by 7:45 a.m.

What to bring: calculator, spare batteries, several sharpened pencils with erasers, snack.
Leave at home or in your car: scratch paper, cell phone.

A pen is allowed on the free-response questions, but a pencil is preferred. Remember, mark an “X” to save time instead of erasing large sections.

You must leave your calculator in the exam room during the break. There is to be no discussion of exam questions during the break.

Ms. Dunn will be providing some snacks not only for her class but for our class as well. Be sure to thank her warmly for her generosity!


Th 5/10/012

No additional HW due. Bring your log sheet for final checking. There will be a “relaxed start” today at approximately 8:15 or 8:20.


F 5/11/012

No additional HW due.

AP U.S. History students are automatically excused.

AP European History students are not automatically excused unless there is an e-mail request on file. If you miss class and have not made a request to miss class, a cut will be charged.

Once again, there will be a “relaxed start” today at approximately 8:15 or 8:20.

In class: Excel.


M 5/14/012

No class. Everyone has an excused absence for morning or afternoon AP exams today.


T 5/15/012

No additional HW due; relaxed start at approximately 8:15 to 8:20.

In class: Excel (continued).


W 5/16/012

No additional HW due; relaxed start at 8:15. Class today and tomorrow will be in MH-313.

In class: Excel (continued).


Th 5/17/012

No additional HW due; relaxed start at 8:15. Class today is in MH-313.

In class: Painting With Numbers by Randall Bolten, STA ’70.


F 5/18/012

Field trip to the National Cryptologic Museum, Fort Meade, MD (adjacent to the NSA parking lot). We will leave at 8:00 a.m. sharp from the service road near the Martin Gym.


During the bus ride to and from Fort Meade, you may remove your blazer if you wish.

If you attend the field trip, you are excused from A-F period classes. If you cannot attend the field trip, then you must attend all classes as usual and write up problems 4, 5, 9, and 10 from the Mathematical Scavenger Hunt. In that case, your paper will be collected on Monday.


M 5/21/012

Guest speaker: Mr. Fred Richards, Senior Director, Oracle Business Intelligence.

HW due (only for those who did not attend the field trip): problems 4, 5, 9, and 10 from the Scavenger Hunt.


T 5/22/012

No additional HW due; relaxed start at 8:10, please.

In class: Excel (continued).


W 5/23/012

HW due: Read through the entire “Excelcise” (click here and read the 10/28 calendar entry), and practice the techniques. Your target time for a passing score is 5 minutes. If you can beat Mr. Hansen’s best time, you will earn a bonus.


Th 5/24/012

In class: More attempts at passing the “Excelcise.” Those who have already passed are expected to help their classmates.


Essential Links:
STA School Handbook
-- College Board: AP Calculus BC Course Description
-- Eric Weisstein’s World of Mathematics, the Web’s most extensive mathematics resource (no kidding!)
-- WolframAlpha, a site that I possibly shouldn’t tell you about . . .

Extra Help:
-- Karl’s Calculus Tutor for first-year students
-- Calc101.com, another site I might not want to tell you about (click it and you’ll see why)
-- Temple University: Calculus on the Web (COW)

Links Based on Class Discussions:
-- Troy’s Integral Approximation Thingy: a neat JavaScript application for Midpoint Rule, Trapezoid Rule, Simpson’s Rule, etc.
-- The “RiemannSums Applet” found by John S. (actually shows you the rectangles or trapezoids)
-- Chris and Andrew’s proof that Simpson’s Rule is a weighted average of the Midpoint and Trapezoid Rules
-- Braxton’s direct proof of FTC2
-- Proof that FTC1 implies FTC2 and conversely
-- Related rates tutorial and practice problems
-- Partial fraction decomposition with sample problems and solutions, courtesy of the University of California at Davis

Links for AP Preparation:
-- Real sample AP questions from the College Board
-- AB Calculus Cram Sheet
-- BC Calculus Cram Sheet (courtesy of Will Felder and Mr. Hansen)
-- “Stuff you MUST know cold” (link to another AP calculus teacher’s site; requires Adobe Acrobat reader)
-- Review question logsheet (requires Microsoft Excel); also available are old versions for 2003, 2009, 2010, and 2011
-- Permitted features for graphing calculators on the AP examination
-- Actual college calculus tests from Mr. Hansen’s alma mater (great practice!)
-- Multiple choice practice #1 with answer key
-- Multiple choice practice #2 with answer key
-- First semester recap (recycled from my 2006-07 IntroCal class, for which this handout served as a full-year recap)

Fun Links:
-- Homemade “Segway”-like balancing scooter uses a fair amount of calculus!
-- Mathematicians as depicted in the movies (Good Will Hunting, etc.)
-- An Algebra II problem that has a calculus flavor to it. (This is problem #26 from §11-7 of Foerster’s Algebra and Trigonometry: Functions and Applications.) The problem is to determine which sweepstakes prize is better: a $20,000 lump sum or $100 a month for life. Assume 4% annual interest compounded monthly. In part (d), the challenge is to determine how the answer changes if the interest rate changes to 7%.
-- The Mt. Sinai problem and two variations
-- The astonishing Bailey-Borwein-Plouffe algorithm for calculating pi to any desired decimal place
-- Sound wave analysis (harmonics, Doppler shift, etc.) / excellent site developed by students at TJHSST in Virginia
-- Good problems (some calculus, some not)
-- More fun links on Mr. Hansen’s home page

Serious Links:
-- Summer math camps for talented high school students
-- Click here for other serious links

Return to Mr. Hansen’s home page

Return to Mathematics Department home page

Return to St. Albans home page

Last updated: 23 May 2012