MA005: Calculus 1
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Calculus can be thought of as the mathematics of CHANGE. Because everything in the world is changing, calculus helps us track those changes. Algebra, by contrast, can be thought of as dealing with a large set of numbers that are inherently CONSTANT. Solving an algebra problem, like y = 2x + 5, merely produces a pairing of two predetermined numbers, although an infinite set of pairs. Algebra is even useful in rate problems, such as calculating how the money in your savings account increases because of the interest rate R, such as Y = X0+Rt, where t is elapsed time and X0 is the initial deposit. With compound interest, things get complicated for algebra, as the rate R is itself a function of time with Y = X0 + R(t)t. Now we have a rate of change which itself is changing. Calculus came to the rescue, as Isaac Newton introduced the world to mathematics specifically designed to handle those things that change. Calculus is among the most important and useful developments of human thought. Even though it is over…
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