While a first course in calculus can strike you as something new to learn, it is not comparable to learning a foreign language where everything seems different. Calculus still depends on most of the things you learned in algebra, and the true genius of Isaac Newton was to realize that he could get answers for this something new by relying on simple and known things like graphs, geometry, and algebra. There is a need to review those concepts in this unit, where a graph can reinforce the adage that a picture is worth one thousand words. This unit starts right off with one of the most important steps in mastering problem solving: Have a clear and precise statement of what the problem really is about.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 7 hours.
The concepts of continuity and the meaning of a limit form the foundation for all of calculus. Not only must you understand both of these concepts individually, but you must understand how they relate to each other. They are a kind of Siamese twins in calculus problems, as we always hope they show up together.
A student taking a calculus course during a winter term came up with the best analogy that I have ever heard for tying these concepts together: The weather was raining ice - the kind of weather in which no human being in his right mind would be driving a car. When he stepped out on the front porch to see whether the ice-rain had stopped, he could not believe his eyes when he saw the headlights of an automobile heading down his road, which ended in a dead end at a brick house. When the car hit the brakes, the student's intuitive mind concluded that at the rate at which the velocity was decreasing (assuming continuity), there was no way the car could stop in time and it would hit the house (the limiting value). Oops. He forgot that there was a gravel stretch at the end of the road and the car stopped many feet from the brick house. The gravel represented a discontinuity in his calculations, so his limiting value was not correct.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 19 hours.
A visual person should find this unit extremely helpful in understanding the concepts of calculus, as a major emphasis in this unit is to display those concepts graphically. That allows us to see what, so far, we could only imagine. Graphs help us to visualize ideas that are hard enough to conceptualize - like limits going to infinity but still having a finite meaning, or asymptotes - lines that approach each other but never quite get there.
Graphs can also be used in a kind of reverse by displaying something for which we should take another mathematical look. It is hard enough to imagine a limit going to infinity, and therefore never quite getting there, but the graph can tell us that it has a finite value, when it finally does get there, so we had better take a serious look at it mathematically.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 29 hours.
While previous units dealt with differential calculus, this unit starts the study of integral calculus. As you may recall, differential calculus began with the development of the intuition behind the notion of a tangent line. Integral calculus begins with understanding the intuition behind the notion of an area. In fact, we will be able to extend the notion of the area and apply these more general areas to a variety of problems. This will allow us to unify differential and integral calculus through the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. Historically, this theorem marked the beginning of modern mathematics and is extremely important in all applications.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 32 hours.