MATH 104
Differential Calculus with Applications to Commerce and Social Sciences


  1. Solutions to the posted business problems will be put up on Wednesday, September 27th.
  2. The Week 3 Learning Goals are posted below.
  3. WebWork Assignment2 will be available this week and due on Wednesday, September 27th.

Course Information

This is the common page for all sections of MATH 104 in Term 1 of the 2017W session (September to December 2017). This page gives the course outline, suggested homework problems, course policies, other course information, and information on available resources. For section-specific information, please contact your instructor, who may have a section-specific webpage.


Text: Differential Calculus Notes by Joel Feldman and Andrew Rechnitzer. Problems by Elyse Yeager.

This is a locally authored set of notes and problems, which are available free-of-charge here. Note there is a mobile edition available.

Grading Scheme
  • Your grade normally will be computed based on the following formula: 50% Final Exam + 30% 2 Midterms + 10% WebWork Assignments + 10% Homework, Quizzes, Clicker particiation, and other work assigned by individual instructors. Please note that grades may be scaled to ensure fairness across sections; this does not mean the distribution will be the same for all sections. The final exam is common to all sections and may be used to normalize grades across sections.
  • FINAL EXAM PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENT: Students need to achieve a minimum of 40% on the final exam to pass MATH 104. Passing the MATH 104 final exam may not be sufficient to ensure a student passes MATH 104 if they have failed the term work.

    Course Policies

    1. The final examination in December for this course will be common to all sections of MATH 104. This examination will account for 50% of a student's final grade. The remaining 50% will be based on term work. The final examination generally will not be weighted higher for students who perform better on the final examination than they did during the term, although some allowance may be made for students who perform much better on the final examination than they did during the term. (In practice, this rarely happens and the criterion will be set by the Instructor-in-charge and applied uniformly across all sections.) The final examination is board marked (i.e. all instructors teaching this course mark the exams together) to ensure consistency and fairness across sections.

    2. IMPORTANT: The final mark distribution of the term work of each section may be scaled based on the final exam mark distribution of that section. These adjusted term marks would then be used to compute a student's final grade. Any scaling is performed to ensure fairness in the final grades across sections. It is not expected that such scalings would result in significant grade changes.

    3. No unauthorized devices will be allowed at the final examination. This includes cell phones, smart phones, music players, and all other devices. Formula sheets and other memory aids will not be allowed.

    4. No calculators will be allowed on midterms or the final examination.

    5. Midterms: There will be two in-class midterms in MATH 104/184. The dates, which are subject to change, are:

      Midterm 1: Wednesday, October 4th for MWF classes and Thursday, October 5th for T Th classes

      Midterm 2: Wednesday, November 8th for MWF classes and Thursday, November 9th for T Th classes.

    6. Missing midterms: There are no make-up midterms in this course. Missing a midterm for a valid reason normally results in the weight of that midterm being transferred to the final exam.

      Please note that a student who misses both midterms has not completed a substantial portion of the term work and normally shall not be admitted to the final examination.

    7. Missing the Final Exam: You will need to present your situation to the Dean's Office of your Faculty to be considered for a deferred exam. See the Calendar for detailed regulations. Your performance in a course up to the exam is taken into consideration in granting a deferred exam status (e.g. failing badly generally means you won't be granted a deferred exam). In Mathematics, generally students sit the next available exam for the course they are taking, which could be several months after the original exam was scheduled.

  • First year can be an overwhelming experience for many students. If you find yourself having serious academic difficulties in this course, it is best to talk to your instructor as soon as you can.

  • Academic Misconduct
  • UBC takes cheating incidents very seriously. After due investigation, students found guilty of cheating on tests and examinations are usually given a final grade of 0 in the course and suspended from UBC for one year. More information.

  • While students are encouraged to study together, they should be aware that blatant copying of another student's work is a serious breach of academic integrity. Please discuss with your instructors their expectations for acceptable collaboration on any assigned coursework. Cases of suspected cheating will be investigated thoroughly.

  • Note that academic misconduct includes misrepresenting a medical excuse or other personal situation for the purposes of postponing an examination or quiz or otherwise obtaining an academic concession.

  • Individual Section Links
    MATH 104:

  • Section 101 (Michael Bennett)

  • Section 102 (Mark Mac Lean) Also check

  • Section 103 (Guillermo Martinez Dibene)

  • Section 104 (Nate Bade) Also check

  • Section 105 (Mohar Dey)

  • Section 106 (Nate Bade) Also check

  • Section 107 (Adam Gyenge)

  • Section 108 (Daniel Rakotonirina)

  • Section 109 (Nicolau Sarquis Aiex)

    Extra Help
  • Each instructor will hold office hours each week for students in his/her section of MATH 104. These office hours may be by appointment.

  • Math Learning Centre: There is a Math Learning Centre in LSK 301 and 302. Graduate student TAs are there to help you during the day.

  • Online Course Material

  • Course Outline: This is a week-by-week schedule of course material and the appropriate sections of the text.

  • Course Learning Outcomes : This is a list of the skills you will develop throughout this course by engaging with the material and doing the various homework and study problems.

    Week-by-week detailed learning goals:
    1. Week 0 Learning Goals
    2. Week 1 Learning Goals
    3. Week 2 Learning Goals
    4. Week 3 Learning Goals
  • The Instructor-in-Charge shares a perspective on grades and grading. This tells you more than you might want to know about grades and how your professors look at them.

  • The Problem Book: The problems are organized around the sections in the Course Notes. Do not hand in these problems. They are intended to guide you to master the learning goals for this course -- use them to study!

    Weekly WebWork Assignments:

  • Each week there will be an online homework set. You will be able to access this directly by going to WebWork and clicking on the link MATH104-ALL_2017W1. Use your CWL to login to do your weekly on-line homework problem sets. Webwork homework is due at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesdays. Note that the intent of homework is to help you learn the material, and therefore it should be done as you are studying. Data show that students who leave their homework to the night before do poorly in the course.

    Extra notes for class

  • Notes on a Basic Business Problem

    Extra Problems!!

    Additional study problems will be posted here at irregular intervals. These are not to be handed in, but are to help you study the course material.


  • Some business problems for Week 1. NOTE: In MATH 104, we use "marginal" to mean "derivative", so marginal cost is the derivative of the cost function. In first year economics, there can be another interpretation of "marginal".

    Challenge Problems:

  • Challenging Problems from Prof. Emeritus Andrew Adler


    Useful Links
  • Common Errors Students Make (from Vanderbilt University)
  • If you are interested in some examples which may help you see the more subtle points about the relationship between continuity and differentiabiity, check out Dr Vogel's Gallery of Calculus Pathologies.
    Page updated: 19 September 2017.
    Page maintained by Mark Mac Lean.