MATH1051 – Calculus & Linear Algebra I

Lecturer Dr Poh Wah Hillock
Course Link UQ Site
Faculty Science
Prerequisites MATH1050 or SA in Year 12 Maths C
Contact Hours 3 Lecture hours, 1 Tutorial hour, 1 Practical or Laboratory hour
Semester(s) Taught Semesters 1 + 2
Course Units 2
Submit reviewView reviews (6)


Total average


Learning Materials ( 90.7 )
Learning Activities ( 81.3 )
Blackboard Management ( 90.2 )
Course Content ( 77 )
Course Structure ( 88.7 )
Contact Availability ( 70.5 )
Course Difficulty ( 55.8 )

Reviews (6)

MATH1051 – Calculus & Linear Algebra I 79.9

Fun course, heavy content in Linear Algebra, Calculus part was not so bad.

Rock your assignment, be on top of the content in that week, please do not fall behind

Do some past exams topics throughout the semester, you will find it easier in Swotvac

I did 1051 and 1052 at the same time and getting 7s for both.

Advice for how to do that? Do the past exams, those are your friends in the exam. Don't panic if you cant do some questions, just skip them and come back later. Please please please revise the assignment the night before finals. There will be at least 1 question they took from the assignments and changed it a bit.

Semester taken

Semester 1 - 2017

Your program/major


Is lecture attendance necessary?

Nope if it is Dianne or Victor. Yes if it is Poh

Is the textbook necessary?

Not at all

  • Helpful tutors
  • Go to SLT please.
  • Dont go to Victor's lectures, go home and watch it with speed 2.0
  • Midsem was a bit harder than finals
Posted on December 1, 2017 9:21 pm
MATH1051 – Calculus & Linear Algebra I 79.4

MATH1051 is tough. One of the best ways to get good grades is to ensure you have a good lecturer, or you'll end up desperately teaching yourself everything after not being able to understand lectures. If you do get stuck with a terrible lecturer, just watch Poh's or Michael's on Blackboard rather than going to your own.

I found a good way to learn was using the Snipping tool to put questions from the companion workbook (look on Blackboard) in Anki, and reviewing them that way. It stops you from forgetting some of the stuff you learnt earlier on as exams approach. Study the stuff as you go, don't be silly like me and start halfway through the semester. Don't disregard MATLAB and the assignments, as everything adds up to your grade in the end.

Semester taken

Semester 1 - 2017

Your program/major

Bachelor of Mathematics/ Bachelor of Arts

Is lecture attendance necessary?

Yes, but only if you\'re happy with the lecturer

Is the textbook necessary?


  • Blackboard management is great so you can basically teach yourself if you manage to get really behind
  • Very easy to fall behind if you don't keep on top of it all
Posted on August 4, 2017 9:44 pm
Riddhima Mathur
MATH1051 – Calculus & Linear Algebra I 86.4

MATH1051 is a subject I don't regret taking, but please only take it if you have to or if you love maths with all your heart and soul. This is quite a difficult course with a high fail rate.

The content, linear algebra and calculus (hence the name of the course) was split into two: linear algebra before midsem and calculus for the final (be warned some linear algebra will appear on the final). The perceived difficulty of the midsem and final exams depends on where your strengths lie. I was more confident in calculus, so the final was much easier for me. However there is a lot of content covered throughout the semester, so cramming is quite difficult (and would not recommend doing it). One downside is the amount of irrelevant information covered (e.g. proofs that didn't help with understanding). It's important to figure out what's needed and what's not.

Because of the massive workbook, most of the lectures were skippable. If you have Poh as your lecturer, I would highly recommend going as she is excellent at explaining difficult content more likely to appear on the exam. MatLabs were not too difficult, and are even easier if you have previous coding experience (e.g. Python). Would recommend working with someone as you're more likely to finish. Tutorials were easy marks cause of the quiz, so I would definitely go to them if possible. Also, tutorials were a great place to get help on assignments.

Overall, while I probably won't do anymore maths courses, I came to enjoy MATH1051 and can see how it is an essential foundation for further maths courses.

Semester taken

Semester 2 - 2015

Your program/major

BSc (Biomedical Science)

Is lecture attendance necessary?

No (unless Poh is lecturing then go)

Is the textbook necessary?

No (past exams and tute sheets were more than enough)

  • Lots of resources
  • Great foundation for future maths courses
  • Lot of content and can be difficult
  • Some content irrelevant
Posted on February 17, 2016 10:46 pm
Yelena An
MATH1051 – Calculus & Linear Algebra I 78.6

(I am an international student. English is not my first language. Sorry about that. )

It is not recommended to take 1051 and 1052 simultaneously but I did that and I got 7s in both.

It is awesome to separate linear algebra and calculus in this semester, linear Algebra in the mid-term while calculus in the final.

Poh is an excellent lecturer, although I think the pace of her lectures is too slow(She keeps explaining one simple thing over and over again). Poh posted important learning materials right after each lectures and she made 3 very review lectures. During the revision period, she sent revision questions via email everyday. Sometimes I found the email bombs annoying :-p, but eventually I realized that they are all very helpful. Do all of them carefully. It is hard to fail 1051.

Reading materials() are helpful in the linear algebra part. Most of the tutorial questions are easy. The past exam papers are very important. Finish all the past papers carefully and find out which area you need to improve. It is hard not to get a 7.

Practicals are extremely easy compared to 1052 pracs(which are definitely nightmares)...

1051 is the beginning of an engineer's journey. Work hard! It is worth the effort.

Semester taken

Semester 2 - 2014

Your program/major


Is lecture attendance necessary?


Is the textbook necessary?


  • Poh is excellent.
  • Separating LA and Calculus.
  • Past exam papers are helpful.
  • Lecture pace is too slow.
Posted on December 7, 2014 3:46 pm
MATH1051 – Calculus & Linear Algebra I 75.0

Recognising that MATH1051 may be your first subject at university, the math faculty has done their very best to make an awful first impression.

Actually, I lie - the course is wonderful in most aspects. The lecturers and tutors are competent, there's plenty of support and learning material available, the course is structured logically and peaks in difficulty around Week 9... in fact, I only really have one complaint about the course - it manages to be even less interesting than Schapelle Corby's recent parole (omg, she was sooooooo 2005, am I right gals?!).

The course content is drier than a region of the world (say Arizona) which normally isn't remarkably dry but has been plagued by drought and heatwaves recently so that when you travel there, you are more taken aback by the aridity than you would have been if you'd visited the Sahara desert instead, simply because you weren't expecting it. Actually, it's not really like that at all, since most people expect math courses to be fairly dry, but by now the length of this paragraph should serve as an indicator that I really want to emphasise the point that this course is extremely dry.

The main culprit is the linear algebra section of the course, taught concurrently with the rest. If you were one of those kids that whinged to your high school teachers about how you'll never use the content in real life then 1) you're a dick, they didn't choose the content and you were being a snotty little brat for no good reason and 2) get you ain't seen nothin' yet, kiddo (unless you did linear algebra in school, like I did, in which case you know exactly what I'm talking about and how boring it will be).

You'll repeat a great deal of easy definitional content from high school, which you've likely forgotten but will pick up again quickly. Don't bother. It won't be on the final exam and studying it will only exacerbate your self-loathing (clearly you're already somewhat masochistic or you wouldn't be taking a math course).

You'll repeat basic calculus, limits, and optimisation. In fact, the overlap is so great you'll probably justify skipping a lecture here and there, which will inevitably turn out to be lectures in which new content was introduced. I managed to, by sheer coincidence, accidentally skip every linear algebra lecture for three weeks and thought I was a genius for not having fallen behind in the calculus content. (Well, I still think I'm a genius, but that's no longer one of the reasons.) If you want to irritate your tutors, deliberately enunciate 'Leh Hospital's rule' around Week 8.

Last and definitely least (aside from some seemingly random content thrown in near the end just to give you more to study), there's a segment on series and sequences. If the previous content seemed dry, this segment is a goddamn vacuum, except instead of dying in space like a badass, you will merely be bored to death in your lecture seat. This segment is also a major part of the final exam, and because of the variety and quantity of the content involved (convergence tests, etc.) it will manage not to look anything like past exams. Have fun!

I'm sure all this content will become relevant eventually, but it's hard to see how and that makes it tough to enjoy the course. In turn, that makes you want to skip lectures and tutorials and avoid studying and working on assignments and putting in the hard work necessary to pass the course (especially since you're probably new to university and are equally confronted with a smorgasbord of social activity). You HAVE to resist those urges. Stay motivated, view the course as a stepping stone to achieving awesome things in life, and buckle down and get it done. If you can do that, you'll be fine.

It's also worth noting that the workload is pretty light for a university subject, but heavy compared to your high school math and physics classes. I had a miniature nervous breakdown in my first semester of physics, simply because I was used to coasting on my intelligence and the necessity of hard work and long hours came as a shock to me. Don't worry - you will adapt to it. Unless you don't, and you drop out of your degree and end up working night shifts at Kmart in your 50's and lie awake at night wondering where it all went wrong for you.

But, hey... at least you get a wicked staff discount on ill-fitting merchandise, right? Right?

Two final tips; don't do MATH1052 at the same time if you can help it, and get MATH2000 done in the summer semester.

Semester taken

Semester 2 - 2013

Your program/major


  • Overlap with Math B / Math C
  • Packed course - easy to fart and blame it on the person next to you
  • No major intuitive leaps
  • Content is drier than a flood (but it's also drier than a lot of dry things, too)
  • Linear algebra? More like linear alge-boring!
  • Long assignments worth 2.5% each will come as a shock
Posted on March 1, 2014 11:18 pm
Cassandra Mai
MATH1051 – Calculus & Linear Algebra I 82.2

The course overall was a mix of good and bad points. The learning material and topics were great, some straight-forward topics already covered in high school and some very challenging topics which takes a while to get your head around it. Contact hours were good and it was a great chance to meet new people, especially in tutorials and practicals as it builds a great foundation of working together to solve maths! It is also easy to catch up by watching the lecture online if any class clashes.

However, I found that my math lecturer wasn't the right one for me due to the monotonous tone throughout the entire semester, and that he did not provide as many other external examples compared to other lecturers I've heard of. My tutor was also remarkably inexperienced, making me question their ability to teach and set out their working in a chronological sequence. My friend who was in the same tutorial as me decided to venture to several other tutorials to see if this was the case and she found that it was similar.

Overall, a generally great course outline in terms of content and learning materials but may need improvement on quality of tutors.

Semester taken

Semester 1 - 2013

Your program/major

Chemical Engineer

  • Able to easily achieve a high grade if studied properly
  • Generally every one loves to work and solve maths together
  • Builds a stronger foundation of maths and explores new theories
  • Chance of getting a poor quality tutor in tutorials/practicals
  • Chance of monotonous tone lecturer
  • Time-consuming and stressful practicals using computer MATLAB program
Posted on February 27, 2014 9:19 pm

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