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I need to learn calculus from the fundamentals

  1. Nov 25, 2015 #1
    Hi everyone. I want to do physics after i complete high school. Im on grade 10. I want to start learning calculus now. What shall i begin with?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 25, 2015 #2


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    Learn Algebra up through all of the Intermediate level, and then a thorough course on Trigonometry, FIRST. Those are the minimum. When you are good in intermediate algebra and know basic Trigonometry, then you could study from a good first-year beginning college Calculus textbook.

    Better preparation to begin studying Calculus will include Geometry, and a Pre-Calculus course which is usually College Algebra & Trigonometry, and which often includes introductory studies about Limits.

    If you're in a hurry to start learning Calculus, then (1) How is your Algebra? (2) How is your basic Trigonometry?
  4. Nov 25, 2015 #3


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    At a minimum, you should have studied trigonometry and some kind of college algebra-type course. Most schools usually bundle some of these topics in a course called 'pre-calculus' in the US.

    There are introductory calculus books which you can get which can take a student who has reasonably good high school math skills and teach the basics of differential and integral calculus of a single variable.

    If you want to study online, to see what you are getting into, Paul's Online Math Notes is pretty complete:

  5. Nov 25, 2015 #4


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    I especially like SteamKing's use of the word, "bundling".

    Also, do not be afraid of college-level textbooks for a highschooler, as long as you have the algebra and trigonometry prerequisite SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE. Many of them are NOT written to be difficult, and they are at least as good as any high school textbook.

    There is generally enough college-prep Math courses in high schools so a student could have them throughout all four high school years, and not even get to Calculus in high school. Usually, Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Math-Analysis/Pre-Calculus/IntenseMoreAlgebra&Trigonometry(whatever the school district calls it).
  6. Dec 2, 2015 #5
    List of good Calculus textbooks.

    Serg Lang: First Course in Calculus
    Thomas Calculus with Analytical Geometry (3rd or 9th/ do not get any other edition besides these)
    Kaiser Calculus
    Simmons ( Although I dislike it for a few reasons, delays things that can be introduced at the same time as others)/ Great set of problems.

    Then you have the other calculus books that are much better, but require a level of mathematical maturity.
  7. Dec 2, 2015 #6
    Read this very good insight Micromass posted
    He also recommends free books at the end of the article.
    Be aware though, to study calculus, even on basic books, you need to know how functions work, including trigonometric functions.
  8. Dec 2, 2015 #7
    Note that many calculus books (including the ones I posted about), will actually introduce trig and logarithmic functions in the text. So if you have some gap in trig, then the book will fill that up. It is still recommended to know trigonometry already before starting calculus though.
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