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Learning calculus on your own

  1. Nov 25, 2009 #1
    I don't learn well in lectures so I do 95% of the learning at home. This works out well for chemistry, physics and biology because in a day I can learn about 2 weeks worth of lectures for either of these subjects but I'm having trouble with maths. I spent a whole day learning limits of functions but I only have the basics of it. What I really need is access to all the problems I'll encounter in a first year course and their answers that way I can practice and if theres a problem I can't do I know what area I'm lacking in. Anyone know a good site where I can find a diverse range of calculus problems and answers?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 25, 2009 #2
    Gilbert Strang has a free book available with solutions manual and student study guide on the MIT OCW site.
  4. Nov 25, 2009 #3
    I'm not exactly sure of one place on the internet to find a bunch of calculus problems and their answers. the calculus book i used while taking the classes had a solution manual you could purchase. if the book you currently use has that option, i highly recommend it. you could also search some of the places posted in this thread.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  5. Nov 25, 2009 #4
    Thanks. I downloaded that ebook. It covers lots of topics that will come in useful for physics too. I find it a hundred times easier to learn concepts when I know their applications.

    I just found out they do sell solutions manuals for my book so I'm pretty much sorted. Thanks a lot.
  6. Nov 28, 2009 #5
  7. Dec 2, 2009 #6
    If you are looking for some good Calc I/II/III videos, check out http://www.khanacademy.org/

    I personally haven't watched the calc videos, but judging form his DiffEq vids, they should be around the same quality.
  8. Dec 3, 2009 #7
    I'm completely self-taught in Calculus; I've never taken a University course in Calc I.

    I used a paperback book....I think it was from Dover, that I found at the community library. I wish I could remember the book because I worked through the entire thing (it was only about 100 pages) in a week or two and that knowledge has held up through an entire math major at University.

    It was an older book and was fantastic...not a single wasted word.
    I'll try to find the name of the book so I don't just praise it and leave you hanging.

    I think it was an old paperback edition of "calculus made easy."
    One cool thing was that it had a few methods that I haven't seen taught in any of the books my University uses. One of them is a method of "logarithmic differentiation" (I think that is what it is called....I don't remember the name, only how to do it) that makes any difficult derivative involving powers nothing but an algebraic manipulation.
    I later found out that Richard Feynman explains the method in the "Physics tips" mini-book of his Feynman lectures series.

    I've taken enough math courses to be a math major and through all of it, I still feel most confident differentiating functions. If any differential looks difficult, I can revert back to that method and know I'll get the correct answer (although it may have superfluous terms that can be canceled out).
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
  9. Dec 3, 2009 #8
    Any more info on this? I constantly get stuck on those. I think I may be logaphobic. :)
  10. Dec 3, 2009 #9
    If he is talking about what I think he is (I haven't read the book he is talking about), it is to take the log of both sides before differentiating, and then manipulating the infinitesimals to get what you want. Kittel does it all over the place in Thermal Physics - it is quite a good trick.
  11. Dec 3, 2009 #10
    Hmm...I'll have to see if I can find it.

    As for the thread starter....this site has helped me tremendously with my calculus class, sometimes moreso than the actual professor does. It's in the correct order as well.

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