- #1

Azrioch

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Thanks in advanced.

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- Thread starter Azrioch
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- #1

Azrioch

- 30

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Thanks in advanced.

- #2

drag

Science Advisor

- 1,100

- 1

I'd like to add some more questions on this :

Can you advise the best way/best material

to learn calculus ?

Thanks.

Live long and prosper.

- #3

Zefram

- 58

- 0

- #4

Azrioch

- 30

- 0

I suppose I will have to teach myself the identities first then.

Thank you for your help.

- #5

Algebra-wise, you need to be very comfortable with the basics: solving equations, powers, etc. Trig is optional, not essential; though later on of course you will need to know it.

Also, there are two types of calculus classes: the first is the usual high-school class (in the US). Here they teach you what integrals and derivatives are, and how to do them. It is sort of a cookbook-like approch: "to integrate blahblahblah, this is the trick you use."

The second is more abstract; you are taught how to define calculus concepts rigorously, how to derive the formulas used in the first type of class, and so on. This requires much more mathematical smarts, but not background.

It sounds like the Cornell class is going to be of the second type... in which case learning the basics will help you a ton. So I would learn what integrals and derivatives are, the chain/multiplication rules, and how to find integrals/derivatives of basic functions.

- #6

Sting

- 157

- 2

I prepared for my first Calculus course by going out and purchasing several Calculus textbooks and going through the first few chapters (some Calculus textbooks like Bittenger's Calculus have an algebra and trig review before you get into the Calculus part.

- #7

lethe

- 653

- 0

my textbook was edwards and penny. most calc textbooks i ve seen look pretty much the same though.

- #8

Sting

- 157

- 2

oddly enough, i learned algebra, analytic geometry, trigonometry, and logarithms/exponentials for the first time in my calculus book. if you are patient, and have a nice book, you don t need many prerequisites. i managed it with just a bit of 7th grade pre-algebra under my belt.

I don't find that hard to believe because I only adapted to logarithms/exponentials in my intro Calculus course.

I'm making a "theory" here: The reason why a lot of people find Calculus initially difficult is because before Calculus, there were four major operations. Once you get into Calculus, there are two new types of operations (differentiation and integration) so the difficulty is the mental adjustment.

It's only my lousy theory though.

my textbook was edwards and penny. most calc textbooks i ve seen look pretty much the same though.

Edwards and Penny is good. My personal favorite is (Thomas and Finney).

- #9

Mulder

- 54

- 1

Originally posted by Sting

My personal favorite is (Thomas and Finney

I think I have the same one. Great for reference and practise questions.

- #10

- #11

Sting

- 157

- 2

I think I have the same one. Great for reference and practise questions.

Yes, great overall layout. I went by T & F when I was in Calculus.

If there is one author to avoid, avoid anything written by Anton. He wrote the Calculus book I used for Calc I - III and the Linear Algebra book I'm using now and I have to resort to other textbooks to learn because of the ambigious nature of the book.

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