Getting Started With COW

Calculus on the web (COW) is an on-line homework site at Temple University. You will use COW both as a source of practice (ungraded) homework problems and to complete graded on-line homework assignments. To have your graded homework recorded in the COW gradebook you must create a permanent COW password. Read on. (Anybody can practice on COW without a password but practice session are not graded.)

Now you are ready to use COW. Here's how:

  1. To explore COW for the first time, click here and set a bookmark for future use. Look around the COW homework site and go to Overview > Student Manual and read through the short manual. Really, read it!
  2. Login for a graded or ungraded COW session: Once you have a permanent COW password, the login procedure for establishing a graded COW session is to go to the COW web site, click the Login button, and enter the requested information. To establish an ungraded COW session simply go to the COW web site and don't use the Login button.
  3. Which homework problems in COW are assigned? When are they due? When you login for a recorded session you will see a button labeled Homework. Click on it to get a list of homework assignments and their due dates. (You may find it helpful to print out the list of problems in a particular assignment.)
  4. Most COW homework due dates come well after you should have finished solving the assigned problems. Your should start working the COW assignments as soon as the topic of the assignment has been introduced in CalculusQuest.
  5. Homework in COW works just like traditional homework. You can work on an assignment for a while, logoff, come back to it later any number of times before the due date. If you miss a problem several times before getting it correct, you get full credit for solving the problem, providing of course that you get the correct answer before the due date of the assignment.
  6. Want to save time and aggrevation? Use the COW Interpreter to find out what COW thinks you mean. You input mathematical expressions into COW much like you input data into a scientific calculator or a computer algebra system. For example, 2^x means 2 raised to the exponent x. When you first use COW, you may input an expression that means one thing to you and another to COW. To learn how COW will interpret your input do the following (whenever you like): Input your expression into a COW dialog box for the problem you are solving. Then click on the Expression Interpreter link underneath the box. A new dialog box opens with your input in it. Click on Interpret and COW will show you how it will interpret your input. With a little practice you and COW will quickly become simpatico and you will only occasionally need the Expression Interpreter, but don't forget it is there.