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Calculus is the greatest mathematical breakthrough since the pioneering discoveries of the ancient Greeks. Without it, we wouldn't have spaceflight, skyscrapers, jet planes, economic modeling, accurate weather forecasting, modern medical technologies, or any of the countless other achievements we take for granted in today's world. Indeed, calculus is so versatile and its techniques so diverse that it trains you to view problems, no matter how difficult, as solvable until proved otherwise.
And the habit of turning a problem over in your mind, choosing an approach, and then working through a solution teaches you to think clearly—which is why the study of calculus is so crucial for improving your cognitive skills and why it is a prerequisite for admission to most top universities.
With crystal-clear explanations of the beautiful ideas of calculus, frequent study tips, pitfalls to avoid, and—best of all—hundreds of examples and practice problems that are specifically designed to explain and reinforce major concepts, this course will be your sure and steady guide to conquering calculus.
Edwards, an award-winning instructor at the University of Florida and the coauthor of a best-selling series of calculus textbooks. Calculus is one of the most powerful and astonishing tools ever invented, yet it is a skill that can be learned by anyone with an understanding of high school mathematics. Solving many types of calculus problems usually requires employing precalculus—algebra and trigonometry—to work out a solution.
For this reason, Professor Edwards devotes the first few lectures to reviewing key topics in precalculus, then he covers some basic concepts such as limits and continuity before moving on to the two simple, yet brilliant ideas behind calculus—the derivative and the integral.
Despite the apparent differences between the derivative and integral, you discover that they are inextricably linked by the surprising fundamental theorem of calculus. Throughout the course, you will discover that simplicity is one of the hallmarks of the essential ideas of calculus. The derivative is the foundation of differential calculus, which you study through Lecture 17, exploring its many applications in science, engineering, business, and other fields. You start with a classic problem that illustrates one of the core ideas of calculus: Can you find the tangent line to a curve at a given point?
This is the same as asking if the rate of change of the curve can be measured at that point—with a host of potential applications in situations where a quantity is changing, such as the speed of an accelerating vehicle. The answer is: Yes, and with amazing simplicity! After learning the steps involved, you have solved your first calculus problem.
Next, you are introduced to the integral, using a classic problem in which you are asked to find the area of a plot of land bounded by curves. To solve this problem, calculus provides us with the integral—a powerful tool that allows us to calculate areas, volumes, and other characteristics of complex shapes. The balance of the course is devoted to integral calculus and its applications. You study.
Understanding Calculus is well suited for anyone who wants to take the leap into one of history's greatest intellectual achievements, whether for the first time or for review. Those who will benefit include these learners:.
The great courses precalculus book
The plentiful graphs, equations, and other visual aids in these lectures are clear and well-designed, allowing you to follow each step of Professor Edwards's presentation in detail. The accompanying workbook includes lecture summaries, sample problems and worked-out solutions, tips, and pitfalls; lists of formulas and theorems; a trigonometry review sheet; a glossary; and a removable study sheet to use for quick and easy reference during the lectures.
Professor Edwards is the ideal calculus teacher—friendly, animated, encouraging, and witty, but also focused on presenting the material in an organized and understandable way. For anyone who feels intimidated by calculus, there is a distinct joy in being able to calculate a derivative after just a few lessons.
It's easier than one might have supposed, and it opens an amazing new world of insight. As an educator who has been honored repeatedly, both for his teaching and for his textbooks, Professor Edwards is a fount of valuable advice. He offers frequent tips for success, including guidance for those preparing for the Advanced Placement Calculus AB exam, for which he has served as a grader and for which this course is excellent preparation. Among his suggestions are these:.
Ever since its inception in the 17th century, calculus has spawned a continuing flood of new ideas and techniques for solving problems. It's easy to be overwhelmed by the richness of this subject, which is why many beginning students find themselves struggling.
Through Professor Edwards's exceptional teaching in Understanding Calculus , you will come away with a deep appreciation for the extraordinary power of calculus, a grasp of which methods apply to different types of problems, and, with practice, a facility for unlocking the secrets of the ceaselessly changing world around us.
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Understanding Calculus: Problems, Solutions, and Tips
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Mathematics Describing the Real World: Precalculus and Trigonometry
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