What resources can help me brush up on math before starting calculus?

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In summary, if you're new to calculus and don't feel confident in your high school math skills, you should read books that cover the basics of trigonometry, algebra, and functions.
  • #1
Frzn
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Hey guys, I'm starting calculus this summer and don't feel very confident in my high school math skills. Are there any books I could read that would be able to reteach me trigonometry (stuff like the unit circle, identities, etc not talking about basic solving for angles/sides of a triangle), algebra, etc?
 
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  • #2
I can't remember any books right at this moment but you're correct that you should review basic trig. More importantly, review as much as you can about functions. This is the central focus for most arguments in calculus. Any good calculus book and instructor will review the basics before going into the mathematical structure of calculus. Calculus, at first, may seem very difficult because of the new notation, but once you understand the meaning of the derivative and integral it becomes easily digestible.
 
  • #3
I highly recommend How To Ace Calculus: The Streetwise Guide as a nice introduction to Calculus. I'm using it now to self study so my summer calculus course isn't too overwhelming. It lacks practice problem sets but you can find plenty of those on the web with a little digging.

For Trig I recommend http://oakroadsystems.com/twt/ . It's free and does a pretty good job explaining things.
 
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  • #4


All the math you'll need as an undergraduate. Beginning with elementary algebra. Also a great list of reference books to have. You can always find older versions a lot cheaper.
 
  • #5
kuahji said:


All the math you'll need as an undergraduate. Beginning with elementary algebra. Also a great list of reference books to have. You can always find older versions a lot cheaper.

Awesome! Thank you!
 
  • #6
I think it's easy for you to find what you want. Just use google and type what you need.
 
  • #7
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0199142599/?tag=pfamazon01-20

You don't need to read 6 books before you start calculus. I believe the above book should do more than suffice. Maybe throw some free videos off of www.khanacademy.org[/url] & [url]www.justmathtutoring.com[/URL] into the mix.
 
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1. What is the difference between algebra and calculus?

Algebra is a branch of mathematics that deals with manipulating and solving equations using symbols and letters. It focuses on finding the value of unknown variables. On the other hand, calculus is a branch of mathematics that deals with the study of change and motion. It involves finding the rate of change of quantities and calculating areas under curves.

2. Do I need to have a strong foundation in algebra to understand calculus?

Yes, algebra is an essential prerequisite for understanding calculus. The concepts of algebra, such as equations, functions, and graphs, are used extensively in calculus. Without a solid understanding of algebra, it can be challenging to grasp the concepts of calculus.

3. What are the main topics covered in pre-calculus?

Pre-calculus is a course that prepares students for calculus by covering topics such as algebraic and trigonometric functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, and basic concepts of limits and derivatives.

4. What is the difference between a limit and a derivative?

A limit is a mathematical concept that describes the behavior of a function as the input values get closer to a particular value. On the other hand, a derivative is a mathematical concept that describes the rate of change of a function at a specific point. In other words, a derivative is the slope of a function at a given point, while a limit is the value that the function approaches at that point.

5. Why is it important to have a good understanding of math before learning calculus?

Calculus is a complex subject that builds upon the concepts of algebra and pre-calculus. Having a strong foundation in these areas is crucial for understanding and applying the concepts of calculus. Without a solid understanding of math, it can be challenging to grasp the advanced concepts of calculus and use them in real-world applications.

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