Calculus has famously been called an important driving force behind the industrial revolution and most modern technologies. Isaac Newton and Gottfried Liebnitz are credited with the discovery of modern Calculus, while the ancient works of Bhaskara and Archimedes were also later seen to correspond to the field of calculus.
Calculus is derived from the Latin word for pebbles, which were used back then to keep a count of livestock and other assets. Calculus is the study of continuous change, and has differential calculus and integral calculus as two fields under it.
We can say that calculus helped mathematics move forward because it is the study of rates of change. Prior to this, most mathematical study concerned itself with static and still objects and processes.
Why Study Calculus?
The easiest and most reasonable answer to this is that if you wish to be a STEM enthusiast or graduate, there is no getting away from calculus. Due to its wide range of applicability, studying calculus opens up avenues to take up the study of the field itself or many other fields which are closely related to calculus or use it in their pedagogy.
The exponents of the field also gushingly remark on the inherent poetic nature of calculus and attempt to drive the eyes of eager students toward it. They swear by the fact that calculus is more than a vocational course and needs the curiosity of a real scholar. This should not deter those who merely want to study calculus at a beginning level and not see the intricate functioning of the subject.
Calculus for the “Real World”
Calculus finds its place with physicists, engineers, medical experts, technicians, statisticians, and economists. Calculations about the rate of spread of a tumor, the profit from revenue that a business could make, and the functions behind ejection of a rocket can be made due to the application of calculus.
One space where calculus is often used and you might not know about this is- Weather Forecasts. The algorithms and the digital technology behind the software that makes predictions about the weather owe a great deal to calculus and its differential equations.
So next time you are wondering whether to wear your raincoat or not, you know calculus has played a part in the decision you make!
CR’s Top Pick — Calculus: Early Transcendentals 8th Edition
It would be unfair of us to get you excited about this amazing subject and leave you to carry out the laborious task of finding a textbook to begin with. To solve that problem, we have sifted through textbooks and have a favourite here.
James Stewarts’s Calculus: Early Transcendentals 8th Edition is a beginner text that has been loved by students across the country. The author took seven years to write his detailed and educative first book on calculus and has published over seventy textbooks over his illustrious career as a professor and textbook author. The unique and outstanding characteristic of this calculus textbook is that Stewart based his revisions on the questions and parts of the text that his students needed most clarity about. He says “I paid attention to my students. I paid attention to the questions they were asking, which ideas needed more explanation. And so I incorporated
that into my book.” This is in addition to the stellar exercises which give the 8th Edition an edge over the earlier ones.
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