I need the Young Lady's Illustrated Primer of Calculus
October 28, 2018 9:13 PM   Subscribe

For a number of reasons, I'm struggling with Calculus. Khan Academy has helped a great deal, but the problems are too simple and aren't quite getting me where I need to be to do the problems in the textbook. Problem is, I seem to learn best with online videos (must have captions!) and practice problems with instant feedback in just that manner. Is there anything available that will take me all the way from the basics up to the really hairy equations??
posted by Soliloquy to Education (7 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
I have liked PatrickJMT in the past.

Also, what textbook are you using? Do you have a student solution manual? I've found that looking at a solution to a problem I'm struggling with after I've at least taken a stab at it has been really helpful. Like "OH! THAT'S HOW YOU GET AROUND THAT ROADBLOCK" or "ARGH! I WAS GOING DOWN THE WRONG PATH FROM THE START!" or "OH, GEEZ, I CHANGED A 2 TO A 1 WHEN I COPIED A LINE".
posted by Reverend John at 10:02 PM on October 28, 2018

Schaum's calculus
posted by j_curiouser at 10:03 PM on October 28, 2018

I just soundly flunked my calculus exam so i have advice I wish my teacher had given at the start of the semester not two weeks before the exam (still my responsibility): time yourself. I did well on written assignments when I could work through them slowly and carefully, but I hadn't gotten fast, only thorough.

Memorizing key formula and rules in anki/quizlet did help a fair bit in speeding up when I realised the lag. But i wish I'd practiced on a timer from the start knowing I had a timed exam at the end.

Thankfully not a mandatory grade!
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 11:55 PM on October 28, 2018

What counts as hairy? Integration by parts? Substitution of variables? Something more advanced?

It helps enormously to make sure you have the basics down absolutely cold - you must simply know the integrals of simple polynomials, trigonometric functions so you don’t have to think about them. Differentials too.

You can’t go fast unless you can nail the basics without having to think about them & that just takes practice.
posted by pharm at 1:37 AM on October 29, 2018

Calculus Made Easy

As recommended by the thoughtful folks at /r/math.
posted by sammyo at 7:25 AM on October 29, 2018 [3 favorites]

Essence of calculus
posted by sammyo at 7:29 AM on October 29, 2018

I remember calculus as being this big, esoteric thing that was almost magical. As I took more maths courses I felt almost tricked or cheated. Once the foundations are gone through in depth (analysis), and supplementary/adjacent courses are taken (linear algebra, any proofs-based course really), calculus is a lot less mysterious.

I assume that you do not have time for the "learn the foundations and come back to it) approach, so I will say that the best way to get an 'A' (I assume this venture is for a class and not just personal enrichment?) is to find a text AND BUY IT'S ACCOMPANYING SOLUTIONS MANUAL. It is so frustrating that this is necessary, it is clear that the education system/textbook industry values profit and professor convenience over actual learning, but the textbooks usually do not have worked solutions (if they have any solutions), so this is necessary.

Then, do problems. Lots of them. Check the solutions manual, and make sure you check if the solutions manual has errata (another frustrating thing). You can also leverage free softqare with symbolic manipulation capabilities like SageMath to make graphs/check answers(they can literally just do an integration, for example, definite or indefinite, as long as you get the syntax right.

Finally, don't let your troubles with the subject turn you from math. Unfortunately the modern educational system just loves to suck the beauty and wonder and fun out of even the most profoundly interesting subjects. Math is so much more than this.
posted by hypercomplexsimplicity at 1:17 PM on October 30, 2018

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