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Welcome to the Math 103 Computer Labs: Winter 2012



You may be wondering why we have designed math labs to accompany a first year Calculus course. This question is addressed in Why Labs?.


All Lab hours take place in LSK 121, the computer lab on the left (East) of the main atrium as entered from the North entrance of the large grey Loanard S. Klink building to the immediate South of the mathematics buildings.

A map and further instructions on how to find the LSK building can be found here .

You can do any of the labs from home provided you have a web browser, Java and a PDF Reader (see below).

Once you have an account, you can use the machines in LSK121 during the scheduled Math 103 lab hours.

You can use the LSK121 facilities whenever they are available, but avoid using them when they are reserved for other classes (check the schedules posted at the doors). You will be able to save your work in case you need to continue later. The TAs will instruct you on how to use the local printer.


There is a lab on almost every weekday. See below for a table of all hours.

The scheduled lab hour that you are registered for is optional: no attendance is taken, and you are not required to go to the lab, although you are required to complete the lab assignment. This lab time is made available for extra help with the lab assignments from one of our TAs. It is also a good idea for you to use the lab for scheduling and technical reasons: you will always have access to a working computer and printer at this time, and a TA will always be on hand to provide assistance.

During the first two weeks of labs, please come only during your own lab time to allow us to help you set up your computer account properly. Because the labs occur every two weeks, different lab sections have different start dates. For example, both L2A and L2B are held Wednesdays from 2 pm to 3 pm, but on alternate weeks. Please consult the following table to determine when to attend your first lab:

Section Weekday Time Start Date
L2A W 2:00-3:00 January 11
L2B W 2:00-3:00 January 18
L2C Tu 12:00-1:00 January 10
L2D Tu 12:00-1:00 January 17
L2E W 1:00-2:00 January 11
L2F W 1:00-2:00 January 18
L2G M 9:00-10:00 January 9
L2H M 9:00-10:00 January 16
L2I Tu 4:00-5:00 January 10
L2J Tu 4:00-5:00 January 17
L2K Th 11:00-12:00 January 12
L2L Th 11:00-12:00 January 19
L2M Th 12:00-1:00 January 12
L2N Th 12:00-1:00 January 19

There are no labs during reading week. There is also no lab after the last day of class.


At the beginning of your first scheduled lab hour you'll have to get a computer account and you'll have to set things up.

If you run into problems, ask your lab TA and have a look at these FAQ when troubleshooting the Labs.

We recommend treating the lab hour as the time when you can get extra help, or get your questions about the concepts or the spreadsheet answered, NOT as the hour in which you have to complete the assignment. Since the material for each lab is available in advance, and scheduled for 2 weeks, this should give you plenty of time to complete the work if you plan ahead.

The Labs

All work will be done in MathSheet, a JAVA spreadsheet program written by Bill Casselman and David Austin. To work on a lab, we recommend you open the corresponding PDF file (Lab1, ... below) in one Window and Mathsheet in another (Mathsheet, below, and then click on the applet).

If you want a printed version of the lab instructions, open the corresponding printer version below and print it. Please only print the problem set which you intend to do.

For the due dates check your instructor's web page.

Click Mathsheet to start a new MathSheet session.

Lab 1: Computing sums and creating simple bar graphs.

Printer Version of lab 1.

Solutions to Lab 1

Printer Version of the solutions

Lab 2: Approximating areas

Printer Version of lab 2.

Solutions to Lab 2

Printer Version of the solutions

Lab 3: Acceleration, velocity, displacement

Printer Version of lab 3.

Solutions to Lab 3

Printer Version of the solutions

Lab 4: Calculating the length of a curve

Printer Version of lab 4.

Solutions to Lab 4

Printer Version of the solutions

Lab 5: Probability density and cumulative distributions

Printer Version of lab 5.

Solutions to Lab 5

Printer Version of the solutions

Lab 6: Taylor Polynomials

Printer Version of lab 6.

On Labelling and Staples

Some of the labs will require you to hand in two pieces of paper. You must staple these pages together, with a metal staple. Also, you must include the following five (5) items on your assignment:

Submitting your work

As in every technology, there may be occasional bugs that prevent smooth operation of the MathSheet. That is why it is important for you to complete your work well before the due date. Remember that you can always work ahead on your labs, and that you can save your work so that you do not have to rush (and be disappointed) on the last day that it is due.

Each lab has several nearly identical sets of problems. You only do one of these problem sets: Your set will be specified in the instructions for the given lab.

It is your responsibility to make sure that you do the correct version to get credit.

It is also your responsibility to complete the assigned lab by the due date and to hand your work in to your class professor. If you forget to bring your work to class on or before the due date, it will not be accepted as a late submission.

As mentioned above, all work needs to be carefully labeled with your full name, student number, section number, the version of the lab problem that you did, and the date. Multi-page labs must be stapled together.

About viewing PDF files

All the above files are in .pdf format. To view and print these files, you will need to have acrobat reader installed on your machine.

You can download this software (free of charge) by visiting Adobe's web site.

Last changed: Thu Jan 5 19:15 PST 2012