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Self learning calculus

  1. Nov 26, 2015 #1
    Hi guys,

    I had taken Calc 1, Calc 2, Calc 3, ODE and Linear Algebra in university, in the range of 5 to 7 years ago. I am about to go back to school, how should I re-teach myself calculus? Back then I used Stewart (Calc 1/2), Adams (Calc 3), and DiPrima/Boyce (ODE) for Calculus and ODEs. In each of those classes, I did OK for the most part, worst grade was in ODE with a C, got an A for Calc 3 (multi-var calculus and series).

    I studied Economics back then, now I am going back to school for Chemistry and a little worried about Physical Chemistry and Quantum Chem classes and their heavy use of Calculus, which I had mainly forgotten.

    I had gotten a copy of Courant to (hopefully) teach myself Calculus starting from the Single Variable, but in a more ground up, rigorous way. I would like to relearn everything but not so much the computational side of things; like how to find derivatives/integral of some function, but more on developing intuitions and strong fundamentals on calculus.
    1. Is this the right way to approach this?
    2. Which book should I use? I have the Courant book, still have my Adams and DiPrima/Boyce books as well
    3. How should I approach this? How should I brush up on this?
    4. How advanced would one's Calculus knowledge for Physical Chemistry/Quantum Chemistry?
    Thank you so much.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 26, 2015 #2
    No doubt you need a good Calc 1, 2, 3, Diff Eq and linear algebra skills for your planned courses.

    You might start with something like Calc 1 and Calc 2 through Coursera, taught by an Ohio State Prof, but I think you'll need to end up with MIT OpenCourseWare before you're ready.
  4. Nov 27, 2015 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    You could also look at mathispower4u.com. There is a large collection of videos on math from Algebra to Calculus Diff Eqns and Linear Algebra. Basically first and second year college.
  5. Nov 27, 2015 #4
    Thanks for the link.
  6. Nov 27, 2015 #5
    If you want to learn single variable calculus more rigorously then Courant is definitely a good book for it. That is the first book where I was exposed to rigorous mathematics. It will also improve your skill in answering computational questions, as you will now understand the theory behind everything. At least that's how it worked with me.
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