ENGR 121 (2020) - Home Page

Welcome to the home pages for ENGR 121: Engineering Mathematics Foundations.

Closure of Vic Uni

Our Vice-Chancellor has announced that all teaching at Victoria University of Wellington will stop from the end of today Monday 23 March until the scheduled mid-trimester break ends. This will give staff an additional three-week period to prepare for a change in delivery methods. While most academic staff and tutors have been preparing for this possibility for some time now, this will allow us to have a consistent approach across the University.

Teaching will recommence online on Tuesday 28 April. Notwithstanding this, there will still be an ‘Online Student Engagement Day’ on Thursday 2 April. It is intended not so much as a teaching day but as an opportunity to test our capacity to teach online and to engage with our students. You will receive an invitation to a 10:00am meeting for Engagement Day Thurs 2 April, via Blackboard.

Mark plans to review the changes that will happen to the delivery of the remainder of ENGR121, on this day, Thurs 2 April. He will set up a Zoom meeting during our usual lecture time starting at 10:00am Thurs 2 April, and lasting about 20 minutes. Mark will encourage questions from students during this meeting.

We will make up the missing three weeks at the end of Trimester. We are covering material faster than the number of lectures available to us, so there will be no reduction in workload (although it will now be spread over a slightly longer time period) and no reduction in the amount of content as usually covered in ENGR121.

Hence Test 1 is delayed until 6 May; it will be an At Home Test, and you will have 24 hours from release of the Test before you need to submit it online. All other submission deadlines after 23 March are also to be changed very soon, to dates from three weeks to five weeks later than originally set.

Kia kaha

Mark & Emma


Kia ora

You will have heard much about the ongoing measures to ensure that everyone is able to stay safe and healthy in the current environment.

As the university continually assesses measures to that effect, we are now preparing for the delivery of lectures and tutorials online, as well as how to adapt the assessments that take place within the course. We will be letting you know about any changes necessary, be assured that the university approach is guided by advice from the Ministry of Health.

As things develop over the coming weeks, if you need support please reach out to myself Prof Mark McGuinness, or to Emma Greenbank, or to the administrator Dr Steven Archer. For help with labs please contact Dr Howard Lukefahr .

The school will be organising increased availability of tutorials online and we will be taking a proactive approach to the types of support that you will find available.

In the circumstances, if you should need to talk to someone about continuing with your studies, you should talk to your faculty office (most likely Science Faculty Science-Faculty@vuw.ac.nz ) as there may well be more flexibility with regard to fees refunds.

There is further information for students at: https://www.wgtn.ac.nz/covid-19/students

COVID-19 Contact Centre

The University has established a contact centre for student enquiries. You can reach us on the main information number 0800 04 04 04 or by emailing info@vuw.ac.nz.


Howard Lukefahr is running special tutorial sessions suitable for ENGR121 students who are having trouble with their mathematics, lecture material, tutorials, or assignments. These are offered every Monday and Wednesday, 6pm to 8pm. These will be Zoom sessions once Vic Uni resumes teaching on Tues 28 April.

Tutorials started on Thurs 12 March. You do not submit tutorial answers for marking, only assignment answers. We will set up Zoom sessions for tutorials now that students are unable to come to campus.

Labs started on Tues 17 March. They too will become Zoom based, when we resume teaching on 28 April.

The lectures were captured on video, up the evening of Mon 23 March. Go to Blackboard to view them. When we resume teaching on 28 April, I will be setting up Zoom sessions that will start at lecture start times, supported by short videos on key teaching points, and by reading lists based on lecture notes published online. -Mark

Older announcements will go here.


The Course Coordinator is Prof Mark McGuinness. Mark is lecturing the first six weeks, and Emma Greenbank is lecturing the last six weeks.

The Senior Tutor in charge of things administrative like assignments and tutorials and marking is Dr Steven Archer.

Dr Howard Lukefahr is in charge of the labs, their supervision, report marking, and the lab content for this course. Howard is also offering special tutorials and events aimed at giving you extra help in this course (Mondays and Wednesdays 6-8pm in AM106, to be confirmed). Howard is also available to students most times. There is a schedule on his door showing where he can be found pretty much all the time.

Class Representative

Well done, Calvin, Ella, Alex and Nathaniel for bravely standing up for the Class Rep vote. And well done, Eran De Silva, for winning the vote. You can contact your Class Rep, Eran, by email desilva dot eran123 at gmail dot com.

Facebook Page

Eran has set up this Facebook page for ENGR121 students, thanks Eran!


Here is the Discord channel for Engineering and Comp Sci. When you join you should go to the bot channel and type in

(exclamation mark)rank engr-121

and then you will have the maths role added, so you can access the 121 channel. You can also do this for your other courses.

Discord provides an alternative to Facebook for ENGR121 students to text or chat with other ENGR121 students. Thanks Steven for the updated link and information on this.

Extra Help

Howard Lukefahr has started special tutorial sessions suitable for ENGR121 students who are having trouble with their mathematics, lecture material, tutorials, or assignments. Every Monday and Wednesday, 6pm to 8pm, in AM101. These will soon change to Zoom sessions, online rather than on site.

Mathematics Help Desk is noon - 2pm in the Hub weekdays. This will likely change to Zoom sessions soon.

The office hours of math and statistics academics will be listed here.

Lecture Notes

Lecture notes will be put here

Assignments and Tutorials and Answers

Please click for Assignments and Tuts, and model answers.

Test One

Test One will be a take-home Test on Wednesday 6 May (delayed from the original date of 1 April), It will be emailed to all ENGR121 students, and you will submit your answers in the same way you submit an assignment. Each student will be on their honour to ensure that the answers submitted are entirely their own work, done without collaboration with any other person. Tutorials from Thurs 30 April to Tues 5 May will be a chance to revise, using previous Tests.

Test Coverage: Test one will cover material lectured up to and including the end of the logic section, page 30 of the Lecture Notes. Material in Assignments 1 and 2 is included, and material in the corresponding tutorials.

Two Tests will be given. Each Test is worth 10% towards your final grade. If you do better in the final exam, the Test will not be counted, and the exam will be worth 10% more (maximum mark).

Our policy in ENGR121 on showing working in assignments, Tests, and the Exam, is that it is always a good idea to show working. Some questions will explicitly ask you to show working, and in that case you will need to show your working to get full marks. If working is not asked for, you can get full marks for a correct answer even if there is no working shown. An incorrect answer with no working shown cannot attract any marks; this is the danger of not showing your working.

Exam Review Sessions
There will be multiple opportunities to review and get help before the Tests and the Exam. Keep an eye on the announcements.

This formula sheet will be provided with the Test and with the Exam.

Examples of Test One

Test Two

Test Two will be held during a lecture in the last week of May. Please contact the lecturer if this clashes with another lecture or Test.

Final Exam

You must be available to sit the final two-hour exam during the exam period at the end of Trimester One. Note that the exam is two hours long this year, whereas in all previous years it was three hours long.

This formula sheet will be provided with the Test and with the Exam. It has been updated to include the names of sets of numbers.

Previous Exams

Past exam papers are found on the library page: Go this page and EXAM PAPERS is an option at the top. Click and search for ENGR121. You'll find exam papers since 2014.


Or you can just go here for previous exams.

Here are some past exams and some model answers. Note that these past exams were three hours long, so they are bigger and longer than the exam will be this year.


The textbook for ENGR 121 is: Engineering Mathematics: A Foundation for Electronic, Electrical, Communications and Sytems Engineers (4th Edition), by Anthony Croft, Robert Davison, Martin Hargreaves and James Flint, Pearson, 2012. We follow this book very closely, and it is also the text for ENGR 122 Engineering Mathematics with Calculus, so it will be very useful. It costs about $144 at Vic Books. It is recommended, not required, since the lecture notes are so detailed.

Also recommended, but not required, is Engineering Mathematics, by K.A. Stroud, with Dexter J. Booth, Palgrave MacMillan, London. About $133 at Vic Books.

Detailed lecture notes will also be posted on the course homepages from week to week.


To expand on the official assessment notes in the Course Outline, here is how your percentage mark is calculated, on which your final grade is based:

Assignments 10%, Labs 20%, Tests 10% each for a total of 20%, exam 50%.

If you do poorly on your assignments, we count 60% for the final exam and we don't count the assignment mark. If you do poorly on a Test, similarly we don't count it, adding 10% to the final exam maximum count (by rescaling it).

Labs always count for a total of up to 20%, no matter how low the mark. There will be four labs.

In fact, we add up a variety of possible marks, e.g. (10% ass, 10% T1, 10% T2, 50% exam), and (0% ass, 10% T1, 10% T2, 60% exam), and (0% ass, 0% T1, 10% T2, 70% exam), and (0% ass, 0% T2, 10% T1, 70% exam), and (0% ass, 0% T1, 0% T2, 80% exam), and we give you the maximum of the resulting set of marks, and then we add your total Lab mark, for an overall total %. Note that Lab marks always count.

As a consequence of this, you cannot lose by sitting a Test, you can only gain marks, since a poor mark winds up not being counted towards your final grade.

By the way, you can miss two assignments without penalty on the 10% that they attract towards the final grade. There will possibly be just 8 assignments on offer this year; if so then 6 satisfactory ones would get you the full 10% available.

To be satisfactory, an assignment gets a mark of 40% or more, and is on time.

If you miss more than two, the 10% is apportioned; eg doing three (out of six) satisfactory assignments would get 5% towards the final grade, half of the 10% available. Any assignments which are unsatisfactory due to having less than 40% will (if you need them) get a proportion of the full mark they would have got otherwise.

Videos Of Lectures

We record all lectures to video. To see videos of lectures, please go to Blackboard, select ENGR121, then select Vstream Videos on the top left-hand panel.


This schedule describes what we plan to cover during lectures in ENGR121.

Help Desk

The Mathematics Help Desk is a good place to come and ask questions if you are having trouble understanding tutorial and/or assignment questions, or material covered in lectures or in your extended reading. You are welcome here any time.

Dr Howard Lukefahr is running a Workshop every Monday and Wednesday evening, 5-8pm in AM106 for all ENGR students.

Extra Help from Student Support

There is more help available from Vic's Student Support. They will help you with ENGR121, and they can also help advise on study habits and how to pass courses. Take a look at their website:


Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
ENGR121-Test 2-2018.pdfpdf ENGR121-Test 2-2018.pdf manage 180 K 20 May 2019 - 16:25 Main.smithpe  
Test2.pdfpdf Test2.pdf manage 84 K 20 May 2019 - 16:32 Main.smithpe  
Test2_2016.pdfpdf Test2_2016.pdf manage 223 K 17 May 2019 - 09:12 Main.smithpe  
Test2_2017.pdfpdf Test2_2017.pdf manage 117 K 17 May 2019 - 09:15 Main.smithpe  
Test2_2018.pdfpdf Test2_2018.pdf manage 224 K 17 May 2019 - 09:14 Main.smithpe  
Test2sol.pdfpdf Test2sol.pdf manage 142 K 04 Jun 2019 - 12:31 Main.smithpe  
Test_2017_sols.pdfpdf Test_2017_sols.pdf manage 89 K 03 Apr 2019 - 16:13 Main.smithpe  
test1sol.pdfpdf test1sol.pdf manage 139 K 08 May 2019 - 16:22 Main.smithpe  
test2revision.pdfpdf test2revision.pdf manage 53 K 17 May 2019 - 09:18 Main.smithpe