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Department of Mathematics & Statistics

MATH170 Mathematics 2

Second SemesterAlso available:  First Semester
18 points
Not available after 2021

MATH170 is not offered in 2022.

The new 100-level mathematics papers in 2022 are:

MATH120 Mathematics for Scientists (offered in Semester 1 and Semester 2)

MATH130 Foundations of Modern Mathematics 1 (offered in Semester 1 and Semester 2)

MATH140 Foundations of Modern Mathematics 2 (offered in Semester 2)

For enquiries, please contact

Algebra and Calculus form the basic tools used to produce most mathematical frameworks for modelling quantifiable phenomena. For example, to model the movement of an object through space we need first to create an algebraic structure in which to specify where our object is, and then we can study how that position changes with time (i.e. its movement) using calculus.

Many other problems arising in areas such as Economics or Chemistry, can be examined in a mathematical way using the same basic ideas. For example, we may need to minimize a manufacturing cost, or the time for a chemical reaction to take place, or the effects of river pollution; in each case the techniques used for the minimization are based on a mixture of algebra and calculus theories.

This course aims to develop skills with these tools both for use in other subjects and in preparation for further study of Mathematics.

MATH 170 is the natural continuation of MATH 160 and provides the basis for progression to 200-level Mathematics as well as a good mathematical background to support other subjects.

Paper details

Like MATH 160, MATH 170 is divided between algebra and calculus, and focuses on both ideas and methods.

The algebra component first expands on the material on vectors and matrices begun in MATH 160. (Note, however, that sufficient background is provided on these topics to enable MATH 170 to be taken directly from school.) The course goes on to consider the determinant (a number associated with a matrix) and linear transformations (special mappings associated with computer graphics). The final section considers numbers and factorization, induction (used to prove sequential statements involving integers) and various counting techniques.

The calculus component extends some of the topics covered in MATH 160, and introduces others that are new. The course introduces special functions such as the natural logarithm, hyperbolic functions, and inverse trigonometric and hyperbolic functions. After further methods of integration, we consider applications of integration to arclength and volumes, as well as to the study of differential equations (and examples of their many uses). The paper concludes with sequences (an ordered list of numbers, possibly infinite) and series (the sum of all the numbers in a sequences).

Potential students

This paper should appeal to a wide variety of students including Mathematics and Statistics majors, those studying Computer Science, Physics, Chemistry, Surveying or any discipline with a quantitative component requiring competent manipulation of mathematical formulae and interpretation of mathematical representations of systems.


MATH 160 or high achievement (mostly Excellences and Merits) in NCEA Level 3 Calculus

Main topics


  • Algebra and geometry of 3 dimensional vectors
  • Manipulation of matrices and matrix equations
  • Introduction to linear transformations
  • Eigenvalues and eigenvectors
  • Discrete mathematics, including mathematical induction, Diophantine equations and basic counting techniques


  • Natural log, exponential, hyperbolic, inverse trigonometric and hyperbolic functions
  • Methods of integration
  • Arc length; volumes and surfaces of revolution
  • Solving differential equations
  • Sequences, series and Taylor series



Course materials will be available on the resource page.


Course materials will be available on the resource page.

Useful references

Several standard texts are suitable for reference or for extra practice problems. For example:

  • Elementary Vector Algebra by A.M. MacBeath
  • Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry by M.V. Sweet
  • Elementary Linear Algebra (Applications version) by H. Anton and C. Rorres (7th edition)
  • Introductory Linear Algebra (with applications) by B. Kolman (6th edition)
  • Calculus with Analytic Geometry by Howard Anton (Wiley)
  • Calculus and Analytic Geometry by George Thomas and Ross Finney (Addison Wesley)
  • Calculus by James Stewart, metric version, 8th edition (available from the University Book Shop).

You are not required to purchase any of these texts.

Lecturers (Semester 2)

Algebra: Dr Timothy Candy (room 216)

Calculus: Dr R. A. Van Gorder (room 212)


Algebra: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday at 12 noon, weeks 1 through 6

Calculus: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday at 12 noon, weeks 7 through 12

Exam Review: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday at 12 noon, week 13


Attendance at tutorials is voluntary. An open system operates: tutorial classes run for 4 hours per week , and students may attend as many as they need to and are able to. These will take place in Room 124 of Science III, Wednesday and Thursday, 1:00-3:00 PM, starting the second week of the semester.

Internal Assessment

Ten online Skills Tests make up 20% (T) of your final mark. The other 80% comes from a mix of your exam mark (E) and the assignment mark (A) which is based solely on the ten marked weekly assignments.

You can check your marks by clicking on the Resources link at the top of this page.

Terms Requirement

You have to fulfil the terms requirement in order to be allowed to sit the final exam.

In this paper, to pass “terms” you need to:

  • achieve an overall mark of 40% on the 10 assignments

Exam format

The 3-hour final exam is answered in spaces provided on the question booklet. All questions should be attempted and the number of marks available for each question is indicated on the paper. There are usually from 10 to 15 questions for each of Algebra and Calculus. You may allocate your time between the two sections as you wish.

Final mark

Your final mark F in the paper will be calculated according to this formula:

F = 0.8max(E, (4E + A)/5) + 0.2T


  • E is the Exam mark
  • A is the Assignments mark
  • T is the Tests mark

and all quantities are expressed as percentages.

So your internal assessment counts at 1/5 weighting if that helps you.

Students must abide by the University’s Academic Integrity Policy

Academic integrity means being honest in your studying and assessments. It is the basis for ethical decision-making and behaviour in an academic context. Academic integrity is informed by the values of honesty, trust, responsibility, fairness, respect and courage.

Academic misconduct is seeking to gain for yourself, or assisting another person to gain, an academic advantage by deception or other unfair means. The most common form of academic misconduct is plagiarism.

Academic misconduct in relation to work submitted for assessment (including all course work, tests and examinations) is taken very seriously at the University of Otago.

All students have a responsibility to understand the requirements that apply to particular assessments and also to be aware of acceptable academic practice regarding the use of material prepared by others. Therefore it is important to be familiar with the rules surrounding academic misconduct at the University of Otago; they may be different from the rules in your previous place of study.

Any student involved in academic misconduct, whether intentional or arising through failure to take reasonable care, will be subject to the University’s Student Academic Misconduct Procedures which contain a range of penalties.

If you are ever in doubt concerning what may be acceptable academic practice in relation to assessment, you should clarify the situation with your lecturer before submitting the work or taking the test or examination involved.

Types of academic misconduct are as follows:


The University makes a distinction between unintentional plagiarism (Level One) and intentional plagiarism (Level Two).

  • Although not intended, unintentional plagiarism is covered by the Student Academic Misconduct Procedures. It is usually due to lack of care, naivety, and/or to a lack to understanding of acceptable academic behaviour. This kind of plagiarism can be easily avoided.
  • Intentional plagiarism is gaining academic advantage by copying or paraphrasing someone elses work and presenting it as your own, or helping someone else copy your work and present it as their own. It also includes self-plagiarism which is when you use your own work in a different paper or programme without indicating the source. Intentional plagiarism is treated very seriously by the University.

Unauthorised Collaboration

Unauthorised Collaboration occurs when you work with, or share work with, others on an assessment which is designed as a task for individuals and in which individual answers are required. This form does not include assessment tasks where students are required or permitted to present their results as collaborative work. Nor does it preclude collaborative effort in research or study for assignments, tests or examinations; but unless it is explicitly stated otherwise, each students answers should be in their own words. If you are not sure if collaboration is allowed, check with your lecturer..


Impersonation is getting someone else to participate in any assessment on your behalf, including having someone else sit any test or examination on your behalf.


Falsification is to falsify the results of your research; presenting as true or accurate material that you know to be false or inaccurate.

Use of Unauthorised Materials

Unless expressly permitted, notes, books, calculators, computers or any other material and equipment are not permitted into a test or examination. Make sure you read the examination rules carefully. If you are still not sure what you are allowed to take in, check with your lecturer.

Assisting Others to Commit Academic Misconduct

This includes impersonating another student in a test or examination; writing an assignment for another student; giving answers to another student in a test or examination by any direct or indirect means; and allowing another student to copy answers in a test, examination or any other assessment.

Further information

While we strive to keep details as accurate and up-to-date as possible, information given here should be regarded as provisional. Individual lecturers will confirm teaching and assessment methods.

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