• Introduction

  • Benefits & Testimonials

  • How to Buy

  • Get to Copy Factory

  • Printable Flyer of Map & Directions

  • Copy Factory Website

  • Download Course Lecture Notes Samples

    NOTE: Some sections may take a minute to open/download, so please be patient.

  • Links to Foothill Instructor Websites

The Math Survival Guide by Brian Stanley and Marc Knobel, with photograph of sculpture at Foothill College campus


Hey students! Are you struggling in your calculus class? Feeling overwhelmed with the textbook homework problems? Did you fail your last quiz or exam? Perhaps you should try one of our survival guides! These highly recommended workbooks will help you grasp the abstract concepts so that you'll survive your math class and succeed in college!

Are you a math instructor? Not enough time for lecture preparation? Or, are you new to teaching calculus and need a compass to guide the progress of your class? Increase student success and allow these workbooks to foster an interactive and positive focus in your instruction.

Developed from our personal class notes and specifically designed as companion instructional tools for the class textbooks, the survival guides support study in precalculus, calculus series 1A through 1D, as well as finite math. Our goals in writing these guides were:

  1. To have a set of interactive notes for the classroom in which topics of the course are developed through a series of class activities.
  2. To make the notes available to the students so that they can participate in the activities either in conjunction with the instructor or in groups with their colleagues.

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Benefits & Testimonials

Reasonably priced, the survival guides are popular with students and teachers alike. There are many benefits, outlined below:

Benefits for Students:

  • We provide a set of incomplete notes — notes that would normally have to be copied from the board.
  • Saving the student from copying everything down allows more time for problem solving and permits the student to focus on what the teacher is saying.
  • The notes are easy to read, and emphasize the "big ideas," while simultaneously providing many concrete examples.

Benefits for Instructors:

  • The instructor has a ready-made set of lecture materials from which tranparenciess can be generated.
  • The novice instructor can avoid many of the pitfalls that are faced by someone teaching the course for the first time.
  • The experienced instructor gets a new spin on familiar material with lots of new class activities.


Here are some of the positive comments we've received from students and instructors:

  • The notes are great. I am not good at taking notes in class. The notes are here for me. At the same time, I still have to listen carefully and watch what's being written up on the board/slide, because the notes are not complete. I am the one that has to complete them.
  • When I get home at night, I have a set of notes with no missing parts of the lecture.
  • These course notes made it a breeze to teach the course. My prep time is reduced.
  • I had always struggled with calculus, but I got through the courses because of Mr. Stanley's and Mr. Knobel's Survival Guides. They really helped me to structure the way I studied and gain a better understanding of the concepts.
  • The notes contain many novel ideas for introducing a topic. They anticipate the students' problems so that an instructor can address them.
  • If there was a Survival Guide for every math course, I’d become a math major!

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How to Buy

You can buy a hard copy of the survival guide at The Copy Factory in Palo Alto. They are located at:

3929 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA 94306
Phone: 650-856-2020 or 1-877-856-3400
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 A.M. to 5:30 P.M.
Please call store about Saturday hours.



Getting to Copy Factory - Map & Directions

Yahoo! map section showing path from Foothill College to Copy Factory
Directions from Foothill College:
Go east on El Monte to Foothill Expressway.
Left turn on Foothill Expressway.
Right turn on San Antonio Road.
Left turn on El Camino Real.
Last major intersection before store is Arastradero / W. Charleston Road.
Copy Factory is on right side, about 1 mile before Page Mill Road.






For directions from other locations, connect to Yahoo! Maps

From campus, both 52 and 40 bus lines intersect El Camino Real. At El Camino, you can catch bus 22 or the express bus 522, and take it north to the Copy Factory at 3929 El Camino Real.

Here are links to maps and schedules for these VTA buses:

Bus connectors for Foothill College:
Bus 40
Bus 52
Public transit on El Camino Real:
Bus 22
Express Bus 522

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Contact the Webmaster

Mr. Knobel and Mr. Stanley are Mathematics Instructors at Foothill College
12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills, CA

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