Petition to Revert Math 104E to Math 104

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Math 104 is a course advertised as Calculus I by University of Pennsylvania, however, as we have found out in our first two weeks of classes, this is not the case. The very first chapter in this “Calculus 1” course, Taylor Series, is the very last chapter taught in the BC curriculum. 

Although we are disappointed in the mislabeling of the Calculus II course content as Calculus I, our main grievance is with the fact that we are all expected to take the engineering version of the class. Much of the content of this class is very niche to the engineering fields, meaning that the content we're expected to learn is not applicable to the areas where we actually need it. For example, Big O-Notation is a concept not widely used by any student outside of Computer Science and has never been previously taught in the Math 104 curriculum. The notation is referenced throughout the remainder of the course so MATH 104E inadvertently requires students to master it. 

While we understand that we are expected to struggle through some concepts, as that is an integral part of learning, it is unfair to expect us to stomach ideas that are foreign to both us, our TAs, Penn Calculus tutors, and our professors. Course TAs, who teach students for 50% of class time, as well as Penn Calc tutors, are incapable of completing the worksheets and explaining the advanced material as this is a course they never completed. The lecture videos we are assigned are not comprehensive, and merely add to our confusion. Students are left without sufficient resources to learn from. 

The solution we are proposing is that we let our wonderful current Math 104 professors design an asynchronous course with optional weekly synchronous lectures that covers the material typically covered in Math 104. As of now, Professor Rimmer already has an extensive video series on topics covered in this class, so we believe this to be a small ask. Thank you.