A HOT topic is a learning goal for this course. The HOT topic standards are listed below.

A large component of your grade depends on short, weekly presentations you’ll give one-on-one to your instructor over video conference. Usually, for your presentation, you will present the solution to one question, aligned with a HOT topic.

Each student has their own personalized list of HOT topic questions that they will work through one-by-one during the semester. Your list is available in WeBWorK as the HOT Topic Portfolio.

Sign up for a weekly time slot for your HOT topic presentation at the schedule here.

Accessing your HOT Topics Portfolio

Log into WeBWorK and scroll down to HOT Topics Portfolio. (Don’t worry: the portfolio is not actually a test! You will take tests in WeBWorK later in the semester and they will have different settings.) You may check your answers by clicking the Grade Test button at the bottom of the screen. WeBWorK will save any answers that you’ve previewed or graded. Your WeBWorK score for your HOT Topics Portfolio will not count toward your grade.

Preparing your presentation

To prepare for a presentation, you must first determine which of your portfolio questions you will present and which HOT topic standard it is aligned with. The work you present must be your own. You may consult the course hub and your textbook to prepare for your presentation.

You will be producing the solution to your question from scratch live during the video conference, but it is important that you prepare ahead of time how you will present it. You may use your notes during your presentation.

Your presentation should take the form of a short lesson, usually around 5 minutes. Imagine your audience is students who are learning the HOT topic for the first time and you are walking them through an example. Be prepared to answer questions!

Your presentation should be as organized and as clear as possible. You should definitely practice it a few times beforehand. You can practice on a classmate, on your mom, on your dog, or on yourself. Your practice audience doesn’t need to understand what you’re presenting (in fact, it’s better if they don’t!). The point of practicing is to hear yourself go through the whole presentation to see if there’s anything you need to tighten up before you practice again.

Your presentation should begin with “I am presenting HOT topic [standard number or description from the list below] by solving [question number] from my HOT topic portfolio. Be prepared to answer the question “why?” throughout the presentation.

The videos that are included in the MAT 1575 Course Hub Lessons give good examples for the type of presentation you are expected to deliver.


After your presentation, you will be assigned one of three grades. Your goal is to earn an H grade. There is no partial credit.

There are 11 HOT topic standards listed below. Your HOT topic grade will be the number of H grades that you earn, out of 10. (So if you earn 10 H grades, your HOT topic grade will be 100%; if you earn 7 H grades, your HOT topic grade will be 70%.)

  1. H = hits the mark
  2. O = on the way
  3. T = try again

An H grade means that your work meets the standard. You can check this HOT topic off your list and start preparing the next one. Your work does not have to be 100% perfect to earn an H grade, but it does have to show that the standard has been met. This means that very small errors might be okay, but larger errors are not.

An O grade means that your work is on the way to meeting the standard, but it hasn’t hit the mark yet. For example, your work shows that you have the right idea, but you haven’t quite applied it correctly to answer the question. You may reflect, revise, and resubmit at a later date.

A T grade means that there is not enough information to determine whether your work is on the way to meeting the standard. You may try again at a later date.

Reflecting, revising and resubmitting

If your work for a particular standard receives an O grade or a T grade, you may reflect, revise, and resubmit. What this means is that at a future HOT topic presentation meeting with your instructor, you may attempt to earn an H grade by presenting a new solution to the same problem again.

In order to re-present, you must first write a short paragraph (around 3-5 sentences) reflecting on what you did not understand at your first presentation and how you resolved the issue.

Submit your reflections here.

Keeping records

Your instructor will take notes during each of your sessions (including your grade) but you should keep track of your own work as well. You will have lots of paper and files this semester, so plan how you will keep them organized.

One suggestion is to have a folder just for your HOT topic attempts; after your presentation, write the date and your grade on your paper/file and keep it in a safe place. You may also like to print a copy of the HOT topics standards and check them off as you go.

Other options for keeping records may be suggested later.


Each week, you may present whichever HOT topic standard and question from your portfolio that you like. Recommended HOT topics are listed in the week-by-week schedule. The recommended HOT topics cover what you learned in the previous week’s lesson and WeBWorK assignments.

Each meeting session is 10 minutes. If there is enough time, you may present a second HOT topic if you wish.

The recommendation is present a new HOT topic each week according to the schedule. Then if there is time during the meeting, you may wish to present a revised HOT topic.

There is one week where the recommended HOT topic is “student’s choice,” which means you have 12 sessions to earn 10 H grades. Ideally, if you earn an O or T grade for a HOT topic, you will earn an H grade after submitting your reflection and giving your second presentation.

Technology and alternatives

Your HOT topic presentations will be private one-on-one meetings with your instructor. They will be recorded, but the recordings will not be shared with anyone (unless the department or college require them later for some reason).

Ideally, your video camera will be on during the whole presentation.

  • One setup that works is if you have a smartphone or a tablet, you may log into Zoom and place the device in such a way (for example, on a makeshift stand) so that the camera can show you writing on paper without your having to hold it.
  • You may also use a computer’s webcam, write your solution on paper and hold it up to the webcam after you write each line to explain it.
  • If you have a tablet or another device you can write on and share the screen, this is also permitted.

If you do not have the technology setup to share your work like this, or if you are concerned about privacy issues while using your video, email your instructor to propose another way that you can present your solution in real time.

HOT topic standards list

  1. Evaluate definite and indefinite integrals by substitution
  2. Evaluate definite and indefinite integrals by parts
  3. Evaluate definite and indefinite integrals using trigonometric substitution
  4. Evaluate definite and indefinite integrals using partial fraction decomposition
  5. Evaluate improper integrals
  6. Find the Taylor polynomial of a function with specified degree and center
  7. Determine whether an infinite series converges absolutely, converges conditionally, or diverges
  8. Determine whether an infinite series converges or diverges
  9. Find the radius and interval of convergence of a power series
  10. Find the area of a region in the plane with specified boundaries
  11. Find the volume of a solid of revolution