Fall 2018 | Professor Kate Poirier

Month: March 2020 (Page 1 of 5)

Monday Update: due dates, review sessions, grants, voter registration

I hope everyone is managing to stay strong during this terrible time. I saw a model recently that predicted that NYC would hit its inflection point as soon as April 6 (one week away). This means that, in the big picture at least, things will get keep getting worse until then, but then they’ll start getting better. Other models predict other dates, but I’m finding small comfort that, even though it will still be some time before we can get back to normal, there’s a math reason that things will actually stop getting worse and start getting better. I know that inflection points won’t help those of you who are directly and personally impacted by this crisis; you guys are in my thoughts and I’m sending you all the good vibes I can.

New due dates

I know due dates have been jumping around a lot lately and they’re hard to keep track of. I’m sorry for that; hopefully things will settle back down soon. I’ve just changed a few more dates. Everything below is now due on Sunday, April 5:

These are the three topics that will appear on Test #2, which will be given on Tuesday, April 7 (which follows a Wednesday schedule).  Monday’s class will cover sequences; this topic will not be on Test #2 but you should review the pre-class prep lesson before Monday’s class. The dates on our new schedule are already old because they don’t account for the recalibration period but I plan to make a new new schedule soon.

Review sessions

This week during the recalibration period, I’m holding review sessions on Monday and Wednesday from 9am to 11am using the regular class Webex link.

Here are the notes from today’s session: Review Session Mar 30, 2020.

Here is the video: Review Session Mar 30, 2020  (password: yFj2M2Rz)

I’ll post the notes and video from Wednesday’s session here once they’re available.


I sent you all an email about this last night; I’ll copy-paste the information here:

CityTech is trying to offer small grants for students who are experiencing unexpected economic hardship. I don’t know a lot about this program, but you can find instructions and the application here: 


Voter registration

If you’re eligible to vote in local and federal elections, you absolutely should. The registration deadline for the New York State primary is April 3. Here‘s a video about how elections impact CUNY directly and how to register.


Wednesday Update: Schedule, computers, today’s lesson, credit/no credit grades

I’m really happy that so many of you were able to attend class this morning! This is such a tricky situation and I think it says a lot about you that you keep showing up.

I’m sorry the technology failed us for the breathing exercise; I really thought that would be a helpful thing for us to try together. Oh well! If you haven’t tried breathing exercises or meditation before and you’re feeling stressed right now (who isn’t?) this might be a good time to try something. Personally, I suffer from anxiety even during normal times and I’ve found that if I can keep up a regular meditation and physical exercise routine, it helps me to feel like I can get through anything. There are lots of free breathing/meditation exercises on YouTube and other places; here’s a mini exercise from the company I subscribe to, if you want to try it on your own.

I hope you are finding ways of trying to stay grounded during this turbulent time. Some people might find comfort in religion or in connecting with friends and family members. Some people are able to meet with their therapists over FaceTime or other apps. Some people are volunteering to help out on the front lines, but even if you’re just playing video games, if it helps you feel less stressed, that’s a good thing. Things look pretty bad right now and they’re probably going to get worse, but then they will get better.

Schedule changes

CUNY is taking another week off from official classes from this Friday, March 27 to Wednesday, April 1. Online classes resume Thursday, April 2. For us, that means that we won’t meet again until April 6.

  • Test #2 will be given on Monday, April 6 (unless CUNY changes the schedule again!). I’ll give details and instructions in a separate post.
  • I’ll hold review sessions during usual class/office hour time next Monday, March 30 and Wednesday, April 1. (If nobody is online at 8am, I might hit snooze again until 9am!)

Spring break has been shortened and is now from April 8-10. If you need to observe religious holidays that no longer fall during spring break, just let me know and we’ll work around it.

Laptops/tablets for students

Next week is called the Recalibration Period for Educational Equity. From what I can tell, the main reason for the pause is so that CUNY can distribute computers for students who need them for their online classes. If you need to borrow one of these devices:

  1. please send me an email so I can put you on one list,
  2. fill out the application here: https://bit.ly/NYCCT24 as well,
  3. fill out the application here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeXUALqOA_hJ7mjFjc28tJ-f-XnhCDD1pLBj_EgNrN4EuySMg/viewform as well.

Last week I posted about different ways to get internet access here.

If you don’t need a computer or internet access yourself but you know a CUNY student who does, please let them know about these resources.

Today’s lesson

It takes Webex a while to generate videos, but as soon as today’s video is ready I’ll post it here. The PDF of my lecture notes and the notes I made during office hours is already posted there. We went over a few more examples showing how to find Taylor polynomials during office hours.

In the future, I’m planning to post the “pre-class prep lessons” the week before the in-class lessons. Then after the in-class lessons I’ll add links to the class videos and my own class notes to the same post. You can see just these posts, organized according to date, by clicking on Pre-class prep lessons in the menu at the top of the OpenLab site.

Credit/no-credit grades

CUNY’s working on a policy that will allow you to select a “credit/no-credit” (sometimes called “pass/fail”) option instead of a letter grade. From the looks of it, you might even be able to make this decision to take the class credit/no credit within 20 days of receiving a letter grade. The university will let students know the details of the new policy and help you understand how this impacts your academic progress and financial aid.

More information is here https://www.cuny.edu/cuny-continuity/cuny-continuity-for-students/#grade-policy


Practice quiz due date update

Antonio noticed that I had listed different due dates for the practice quiz on the OpenLab and in an email update. Sorry, my mistake! It was supposed to be due tonight (Monday) but since one of the updates listed the due date as tomorrow (Tuesday), I’ve changed the deadline in Webwork to tomorrow at 11:59pm.

If you need them, the practice quiz instructions are here.

Monday Update: Class recordings, Quiz #5, schedule, study groups, computers to borrow

I’m really glad so many of you were able to attend our first online class this morning. I’m sorry to hear that the coronavirus situation is so stressful for so many of you, but it’s completely natural to be thrown off by this. I hope you continue to stay home if you’re able to, and stay as safe as possible if you’re not. We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to the essential workers who are making it possible for so many of us to stay home.

Class recordings

I forgot to record today’s session! But my intention is to record all upcoming classes and share the links in the appropriate “pre class prep session” posts on the OpenLab. Please remind me to turn on the recording if you think I’ve forgotten! I’ll also share my own lecture notes and any notes I make during office hours as PDFs.

Here’s the PDF from today’s discussion on coronavirus calculus: Mon March 23 COVID calculus

You may also like to see this video (9 minutes) that goes into some detail about the math behind the coronavirus spread, similar to our discussion on Monday.

Quiz #5

Quiz #5 will be available in Webwork starting at 8:10am tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. Scroll down to “Take Quiz 5 test.” You’ll have until 8:10am on Wednesday morning to complete the Webwork component. Remember that Webwork starts a 10-minute timer when you start taking the quiz and that you’ll have only two attempts to submit your correct answer. Email me your written work at kpoirier@citytech.cuny.edu within 10 minutes of finishing your quiz. There is more quiz info in this post.

We’ll *probably* use this combination of Webwork and emailed written work for Test #2 (midterm) as well, but I will post those instructions later this week.


I keep messing around with our schedule trying to get everything to fit in the time we have left. The schedule might keep changing. I’ve moved some things around so upcoming Webwork due dates have been shifted.

  • Improper integrals now due Sunday, March 29
  • Taylor Polynomials now due Tuesday, March 31

Test #2 (midterm) is now scheduled for Wednesday, April 1.

Study groups

I haven’t decided what the official role of study groups will be yet, but unofficially, now is a great time to get started working together. I’ll send emails to the addresses I have on file for you so you can start a group chat over email or something else. You can also direct message each other on the OpenLab. I used a spreadsheet to determine the groups somewhat randomly, so everyone should be here, but let me know if you don’t see your name.

Group 1: Melvin, Fausto, Nafew, Risul, Reuben, Peter, Isaias

Group 2: Anik, Antonio, Parveen, Mariam, Sheriff, Israel

Group 3: Denny, Mamadou, Maftuna, Raisa, Elijah, Joanna

Group 4: Czar, Da Hong, Levaun, Inderpreet, Pablo, Frederick

Group 5: Garvin, Jared, Taraeah, Aarish, Renee, Tony

Computers to borrow

I’ve already sent you an email about the possibility of borrowing a laptop or tablet from CUNY this semester. I’ll copy that email here:

I’ve received an email update from the provost and will post today’s update for you on the OpenLab shortly, but there’s one topic I wanted to email you about immediately. We really don’t know any details yet, but it looks like CUNY is buying laptops or tablets or something for students to borrow. If you are receiving this email, it probably means you have some kind of access to a device and might not need to borrow one, but if you do need to borrow one, let me know as soon as possible so I can at least get your name on a list. If you have a friend at CUNY who will need to borrow a device, please ask them to email their professors to get them on a list (their professors might not know about this yet if they haven’t read the provost’s email, but the provost will send us more details when she has them).


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