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The Riddle of Calculus

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by: srilathachahnan
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Word Count: 424
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2012 Time: 9:44 AM

How do we understand our universe by measuring what we perceive? The universe is composed of so many details that vary in their features. Each type of matter belongs to its distinct set that consists of similar types of matter sharing common properties. You may study plants and we put certain living beings in the category of plants as we notice that they share common properties. However, rocks belong to a different category of matter. The study of rocks therefore is different from the study of plants. This is why we have many ‘subjects’ and study them accordingly. Likewise Mathematics is a subject that measures reality in a form that is unique to it. Under the umbrella of Mathematics there are different subjects that have the necessary tools to solve problems. Calculus is one of them.


Calculus as a system forms a major component of modern Mathematics. It has two branches namely ‘Differential Calculus’ and ‘Integral Calculus’. Calculus deals with limits, functions, integrals, derivatives and infinite series. It is necessary to explain why a student of Mathematics has to study Calculus. It is not just a milestone to be reached. The purpose has to be clearly stated so that the learner begins to raise the right questions. The background surrounding Calculus is an interesting tale that goes back to the days when Mathematics was studied alongside ‘natural philosophy’ which has come to be called Physics. Isaac Newton used Calculus to describe his laws of gravitation. One may think that an apple falling from a tree has very little to do with Calculus. At least in a lame sense one may not initially see the connection but once you begin working out the basis of a phenomenon you will start using a language very similar to Mathematics which involves finding derivatives and measurement. When you begin to find derivatives you will begin to perform differentiation.


In online tutoring classes your tutor will state certain observations and ask you to raise questions that will make it necessary to use Calculus. You will be left with the subject of Calculus. Its background, which is more than just a fairy tale will leave you in awe at the concepts that constitute this fabulous subject.  Wouldn’t it be surprising to realise that we may be using Calculus without mathematically articulating it? Now with online tutoring, Mathematical articulation is just a stepping stone away to solving the riddle of Calculus.        

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