If you have indicated your interest below, your next step is to write a detailed¬†description of your project (see the calendar for more details on your project description). ¬†Technically this is due today, but I will let you have until next week, March 10th. ¬†If you’ve expressed your interest¬†but you still don’t have a project idea, here are your options:

  • Send me a unique, creative, calculus-related project idea (110 points possible)
  • Check out the Calculus II projects on this page. ¬†These are good source of projects (if you find one you like, check with me before proceeding) (100 points possible).
  • If you would like to create a resource for future students, I am open to this as a project. ¬†I would ask you to choose one topic from the course and create a page (or post) on this website about it. ¬†The page would include an explanation of the topic, a few examples, and links to videos or other resources on the web related to the topic (100 points possible).

From the Course Policies:

Bonus Points. ¬†Interested in doing a project for bonus points? We may be able to work something out ‚Äď send me an email or come talk to me during office hours in the first few weeks of the semester.

This page provides more detailed information on the project, including a timeline of important dates. ¬†It is your responsibility to meet each of the deadlines below — missed deadlines may result in loss of points, or rejection of your project.


What’s the commitment?¬† You are expected to spend 1-2 hours per week working on your project (this should include completion of all of the tasks listed below).


What’s it worth?¬† I haven’t worked out the point assignment details, but a project earning full points will improve your overall grade in the class by about 5%. ¬†Project earning less than the full number of points will still help improve your grade.


Project timeline

Declare your intentions/Brainstorm project ideas.  January 30 РFebruary 25.    Post a comment on this page indicating that you would like to complete a project, and include three different project ideas.  You must do this whether or not you have communicated with me previously about a project.  If you wish, you can post a comment right away saying you want to do a project, and edit the comment later (before February 25th) to include your project ideas.  You may use the book and the internet for inspiration.  The most points will be awarded for original, creative projects, preferably relating something in the course to some other part of your life (your interests, job, home, background, etc.).  Your project must have a written component as well as some other kind of hands-on component (examples:  create a short video, give a presentation, write a song, create a virtual world, create a poster, etc.).

Finalize your project idea.  February 25 РMarch 10.  Work with Professor Reitz either by email or in person to finalize your project idea.  Submit a detailed description of your project at the bottom of this page, and begin work.

Project Description.  Due March 10.  Your project description should be completed after  Professor Reitz approves your project idea.  It should be 1-2 paragraphs, and should include (at a minimum) the following information:  What is your project about?  Describe it in your own words.  What calculus topic is is related to?  What will you actually do over the course of your project (research, experiment, build something, write something, etc)?  What will you produce at the end of your project (a paper, a web page, a video, etc)?

BiWeekly Progress Reports 1-3.¬† Due March 17, March 31, April 14 (every second Saturday March 17 – April 14). ¬†Progress reports should be posted in the Course Profile / Discussion area (click Course Profile at the top left of this page, then select Discussion from the menu on the right), in response to the appropriate topic. ¬†Look for a topic titled something like “Project Progress Report 1: March 17”. ¬†Post a brief but detailed¬†description of what action you have taken over the past two weeks on your project. ¬†You are expected to spend 1-2 hours per week on your project — let me know what you did! ¬†For example “I read pages 35-39 of this book, which was about finding the volumes of solids of rotation. ¬†I don’t understand the formula on page 38. ¬†I also researched on the internet locations in which to perform an experiment for my project, and found the following locations: etc.

Midsemester meeting.¬† March 26 – 30. ¬†Schedule a meeting with Professor Reitz this week to update him on your progress. ¬†Come prepared to discuss what you have completed so far. ¬†Bring at least two questions to the meeting — either things you are stuck on, or things you would like to learn before the end of the project. ¬†Show him your work so far (you must¬†have completed something, even if it is primarily scratch work and research).

First Draft due.  Friday, April 20th.  First draft of your written component, and first look at your hands-on component due.

Final Draft due. Friday, May 11th. Final draft of your written component and hands-on component due.

33 Responses to Projects

  1. I’m having difficulty trying to come up with topics but I’m interested in doing a projects on 3d objects. I don’t know any topics that come under that.

    Gurpreet Singh
    Sect 6637
    T/Th 4:05-5:45

  2. avald1046 says:

    I do have a project idea, we spoke about it briefly. I wanted to make some kind of video tutorial or example of certain topics we cover in class and then post them on YouTube to help others. I think it will help me further develop my understanding for the topics I choose and also show others my point of view and approach to certain problems. I really liked the last 3 topics which were the substitution rule, areas between curves and volumes. Mostly volumes because it really made me think how every object in the world has a volume but you to really split it into geometric shapes that we are familiar with.

    sect 6637
    T/TH 4:05-5:45

    • Jonas Reitz says:

      Great idea. I like volumes because they lend themselves nicely to visuals. Maybe you could find some examples of real objects, show them to us, and take us through how to find their volumes? I think this would make a great video.

    • Jonas Reitz says:

      Hi Avald1046 – Your idea is fine. Your next step is to decide on the specific details of your topic and complete the project description (see the calendar section in the page above) by March 10th.

  3. jesus22 says:

    hey i would like to do a project. but reading through i really don’t have an idea what should my project be about. can u point me in the right direction .

    • Jonas Reitz says:

      Take a look at the link I posted below (several comments down).
      -Mr. Reitz

      • jesus22 says:

        hey a few days ago i got an idea from my baby sister. on the way to her school. i was showing her different ways to apply math. from how fast u are going and how much time it would take a person to get to the place they need to get to. i was thinking of making a book or story that show kids or people how they can apply math.

        • Jonas Reitz says:

          This idea has a lot of potential! BUT in order to make it work, you’ll need to fill in some details — write a Project Description, and include at least two examples of ideas you would put into the book (showing how math can be applied).

  4. ximenam1123 says:

    sect 6637
    T/TH 4:05-5:45
    Ximena Morocho
    I want to do a project based on rainbows. I found this article and is very interesting the link to this idea is
    Another idea is work on areas between curves or integrals.

    • Jonas Reitz says:

      I like the “Calculus with rainbows” idea — fine with me. We might discuss some options for how to extend it slightly, by adding an additional question or two.

      Mr. Reitz

    • Jonas Reitz says:

      This idea is fine. Complete the project description (see the calendar section in the page above) by March 10th, describing the project in your own words.

    • Jonas Reitz says:

      From out meeting 3/13:
      1. Project is fine as written.
      2. Write & submit project description this week.
      3. By 3/23, post an update talking about what you’ve learned and what questions you have. At this point, also arrange to meet with me in person and discuss details.
      -Mr. Reitz

  5. ymerej613 says:

    Jeremy Li
    Mat 1575/6637
    i wanna do a project. but i don’t have an idea on what i want to do

  6. vasquez says:

    Hello professor, I’m interested in writting a project to boost my grade. However, I have no clue as to what to write about, maybe the pascal triangle or einstein famous equation but i know it’s not related to calculus. help me please…lol

  7. Jonas Reitz says:

    Hi everyone,

    If you’re stumped on project ideas, take a look at this website:

    Be sure to look at the Calc II projects. Also, there are some additional links to other sites at the bottom of the page that might have some good resources as well.

    Mr. Reitz

  8. I’m a little late, but hopefully this gets through. I’ve spoken to you briefly about this idea, but I’d like to make a presentation using either hand-drawn pictures or a program much like Maple to show finding the volumes of three-dimensional figures with the integration of functions drawn in a coordinate plane. I’d like to extend it to some more interesting shapes with more complex functions.

    • Jonas Reitz says:

      This idea is fine. Complete the project description (see the calendar section in the page above) by March 10th, adding more details about what you plan to do. Include some examples of the types of shapes you’d like to look at.

  9. jeffreym says:

    hello prof,

    i spoke to you about my project before, but i had a little difficlty posting my description (could find the link).

    i will give a brief summary of what i will be doing.
    i will simply do a political cartoon about the US dropping a bomb on a terrorist location, however because the pilot missed his calculus class he does doesnt know much about curvy areas. he drops a bomb over an area that has a irregular curve shape and miss-calculates how much area the bomb actually destroys. he accidently doestroy more than he intended to.

    • Jonas Reitz says:

      Hi Jeffrey, I like the creativity of this project, but you will need to be very careful in approaching the political content — issues of terrorism and US military involvement overseas are emotional and highly charged. Complete the project description by March 10th (see the calendar above for details).

  10. debitcard says:

    Hi, professor

    I am contemplating on doing a project relating to rotational motion with different shapes and objects? Any suggestions?


    • Jonas Reitz says:

      Hi debitcard — This has potential, but you’ll need to come up with some specific ideas. You can check out the notes at the top of the page for some suggestions (for example, you could do an explanatory web page about volumes of rotation). Be aware, the Project Description is due March 10th (see the calendar above for details).

  11. Fly Jay says:

    I would like to do a project on the concept of time. It is my strong belief that time does not exist. Instead it is an emergent factor of forces we have yet to understand. I had a idea of placing placing 5 equations of motions in matrix notation to try and figure out what constant can I use to replace time that would give me the same result. I also wanted to look at what happens to time as it approaches infinite

  12. pwalia5 says:

    I would like to do a project comparing jobs with Calculus. The use of it and breifly describe the history of calculus and how it is evolved with time and how it is used in certain job areas.

    • Jonas Reitz says:

      Hi pwaliea5,

      This has potential — especially talking about how calculus is used in different job areas. You should make sure that you’ll be able to answer this question, though — do you have any job areas in mind? Do a little research before we meet, and see if you can come up with some examples.

      Your next step is to arrange a time to meet with me — it could be in my office hours, or another time — so we can discuss the details and next steps. Please send me an email and let me know when you are available to meet.

      Mr. Reitz

  13. avald1046 says:

    Just to give a brief update on my project, I do like the idea of taking the volume of real life items so I decided to choose a few a few items that I would show on video how to take the volume of. I chose the tower of a desktop computer, the dresser in my room, a basketball, and even my iphone. I will film the steps I took to take the volume of each item, then post a link on Openlab where you guys will be able to watch via Youtube. I would like to choose another item that forces me to use integrals I am not sure what item that would be, I was thinking maybe a flashlight or something of that nature. Not sure, any suggestions?

    • Jonas Reitz says:

      Hi avald1046,

      Good brainstorming work! I think your project should focus on maybe 3 different items — and at least 2 of them should involve calculus. I like the flashlight idea! Other options might include a flowerpot, a light bulb, a frisbee, a tire, and so on — feel free to think of some on your own as well. Let’s make a final decision about which objects you will consider when we meet.

      Your next step is to arrange a time to meet with me — it could be in my office hours, or another time — so we can discuss the details and next steps. Please send me an email and let me know when you are available to meet.

      Mr. Reitz

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