Calculus

Introduction

All of the math you’ve taken up to this point was designed to help prepare you for Calculus. Now you will have the opportunity to use all of those skills you’ve learned to do “real” math!

Calculus is the math of infinities. It was co-discovered (invented?) by Isaac Newton (English) and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (German) separately (Newton probably discovered it first, but Leibniz published his work before Newton). Both of these men were major players in the scientific, philosophical, and mathematics thinking in Europe during the late 1600s and early 1700s. Its development immediately preceded and directly led to more than 200 years of major scientific and mathematics discoveries. Without calculus, our modern world would be very different; it’s unlikely that without calculus we would have most of the technologies we know of and rely on today.

Useful Links

Wolfram Alpha– This is a great online calculator and “knowledge engine.” It’s capable of doing calculus and other forms of symbolic math. I use it all the time.

Wolfram Examples– A selection of examples that demonstrate the capabilities of WolframAlpha for calculus.

Calculus.org– A resource put together by the Math Departments at UC-Davis and Williams College. It’s an old-style HTML website with some dead links, but there are good worked examples, study tips, and other useful resources.

Khan Academy Differential Calculus and Integral Calculus– Video lessons, worked examples, and reviews from Khan Academy. A great resource.

Project Euler– Not directly related to calculus, but fun nonetheless. Project Euler is a series of mathematical/computational puzzles that should be solved through programming. It’s a good way to learn computer programming while solving interesting problems. I’ve only successfully made it to #4 … but I’m not good at programming.

PhET Virtual Labs– PhET has broadened their audience by including some good math applications. These are not so-much labs as they are programs that let you manipulate functions visually. Most are really basic (i.e. Algebra 1 stuff), but some are appropriate for calculus students and they’re all good for reviewing topics.

Calculus Syllabus

Calculus Schedule and Blackbaud page

Year Summary