Brown University MA18, Spring 1990, Student Reviews:

Intermediate Calculus

Total Enrollment: 13 Respondents: 9
Frosh: 10 Sophs: 0 Jrs: 1 Srs: 2 Others: 0
Concentrators: 2 Non-Concentrators: 6 Don't Know: 1
Course Format: lecture with section


Mathematics 18, "Intermediate Calculus," is designed to follow Math 17 in what is a year-long sequence of calculus for advanced students of mathematics. The course is designed to introduce the concepts and computational skills necessary to examine multi-varable functions in some detail. Math 17 serves as the prerequisite for the course.

Professor Towse received strong (but not overwhelming) reviews from the class. Students found him to be genuinely interested int the material, and he also seemed very interested in the students' comprehension of the materieal. Those who used his office hours found him to be very helpful outside of class. The few consistent complaints centered around his tendency to jump around from topic to topic in an effort to link various concepts. While most appreciated his effort to show them how various topics were related, this occasionally confused the class and caused his lectures to seem a bit disorganized.

There were weekly homework sets which took most students between 2 and 5 hours to complete. There were two midterm exams which students had few comments about, and a final exam. In general, students found they needed to spend less time than they had anticipated on the course, but did not feel this caused them to learn any less than they had hoped.

Few in the course found it intellectually satisfying, but most felt they now had the calculus background needed to solve most problems they would encounter in whatever science or engineeering courses they might take. A couple of students felt the class could have been slightly more challenging, but overall, the class did not cry out for tougher exams or homework sets.

If Professor Towse did not receive extremely overwhelming reviews from the entire class, it is not due to lack of effort on his part. He showed a sense of caring for the students and appeared genuinely interested in their education. At times, his lectures did not match his level of enthusiasm, and students occasionally became frustrated, but overall students felt the course served its purpose about as well as could be expected.


Ratings: 1(best/agree) through 5 (worst/disagree)







Stimulation of my interest in subject

Enthusiasm about subject

Facilitated understanding of material

Was aware of level of understanding

Organization and preparedness


Writing Assignments

Were of reasonable length

Were clearly stated

Grader's comments were helpful

Homework sets were helpful


Were challenging

Covered what I expected them to cover

Quizzes were helpful

General Information

This course was challenging

I learned a lot from this course

I will take more courses in department

I loved this course