Welcome to AP Calculus AB!

Math 51A (AP Calculus: First Semester) is the first half of a two-semester independent study AP Calculus course. It is designed to prepare you for the AP Calculus AB exam and subsequent college-level math courses. Throughout the course, we will focus on a balance of skills, conceptual understanding, and the use of technology.


Prior to taking AP Calculus, you should have successfully completed four years of high-school math: two years of algebra, one year of geometry, and one year of pre-calculus that includes trigonometry.


The textbook for the course is the seventh edition of Calculus of a Single Variable by Ron Larson, Robert Hostetler, and Bruce Edwards (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2002; ISBN 0-618-14916-3).

Required Technology

You will need access to the following technologies for this course:

Course Design

To navigate through the course, you will primarily use the Modules tool. Within each module you will encounter objectives, reading assignments, discussions containing additional examples and explanations, and practice problems in the form of assignments to help you grasp the presented concepts. Each module ends with a quiz or test to determine if you have mastered the material.


Final course grades are based upon 25% homework, 35% quizzes, and 40% tests.The grading scale for the course will be the following:

97 A-plus, 93 A, 90 A-minus; 87 B-plus, 83 B, 80 B-minus; 77 C-plus, 73 C, 70 C-minus; 67 D-plus, 63 D, 60 D-minus; 59 and below, F

Contacting Your Instructor

The easiest and fastest way to contact me if you have a question or problem is by sending me an e-mail message at the address listed in the course home page. Additionally, you should add my e-mail address to your regular e-mail program in case the Canvas site becomes temporarily unavailable. Finally, you can contact me via phone by contacting the Independent Study Program at 1-800-334-1011 and requesting to speak with me.

Schedule for Students Planning to Take the AP Exam

If you are planning to take the AP Calculus AB Exam in May, you should do your best to stick to the following schedule.

     Complete             By
Module 1               August 31
Module 2               September 14
Module 3               September 28
Module 4               October 12
Module 5          &nb sp;    October 25
Module 6               November 9
Module 7               November 23
Module 8               December 7
Module 9               December 21

Tips for Success

Learning a new topic successfully on your own requires self-discipline. I recommend that you set aside a specific time each day to devote to working on this course, just as you would if you were attending a regular face-to-face class. Work all of the recommended problems and check your answers. And remember, you are not alone. Use the forums or chat room in the menu at the left to talk with fellow students in the course. By discussing problems with other students, you will become better at understanding the material yourself.

Getting Started

Go to the Modules link and click on the first module to begin the course.