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Calculus One

Ohio State University via Coursera

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Calculus is about the very large, the very small, and how things change. The surprise is that something seemingly so abstract ends up explaining the real world. Calculus plays a starring role in the biological, physical, and social sciences. By focusing outside of the classroom, we will see examples of calculus appearing in daily life.

This course is a first and friendly introduction to calculus, suitable for someone who has never seen the subject before, or for someone who has seen some calculus but wants to review the concepts and practice applying those concepts to solve problems.

NOTE: Enrollment for this course will close permanently on March 30, 2018. If you enroll prior to that date, you'll be able to access the course through September 2018.


Welcome to Calculus One
Welcome to Calculus! Join me on this journey through one of the great triumphs of human thought.

Functions and Limits
Functions are the main star of our journey. Calculus isn't numbers: it's relationships between things, and how one thing changing affects something else.

The End of Limits
People have thought about infinity for thousands of years; limits provide one way to make such ponderings precise. Continuity makes precise the idea that small changes in the input don't affect the output much.

The Beginning of Derivatives
It is time to change topics, or rather, to study change itself! When we wiggle the input, the output value changes, and that ratio of output change to input change is the derivative.

Techniques of Differentiation
With the product rule and the quotient rule, we can differentiate products and quotients. And since the derivative is a function, we can differentiate the derivative to get the second derivative.

Chain Rule
The chain rule lets us differentiate the composition of two functions. The chain rule can be used to compute the derivative of inverse functions, too.

Derivatives of Transcendental (Trigonometric) Functions
So far, we can differentiate polynomials, exponential functions, and logarithms. Let's learn how to differentiate trigonometric functions.

Derivatives in the Real World
Derivatives can be used to calculate limits via l'Hôpital's rule. Given a real-world equation involving two changing quantities, differentiating yields "related rates."

In the real world, we must makes choices, and wouldn't it be great if we could make the best choice? Such optimization is made possible with calculus.

Linear Approximation
Replacing the curved graph by a straight line approximation helps us to estimate values and roots.

Antidifferentiation is the process of untaking derivatives, of finding a function whose derivatives is a given function. Since it involves working backwards, antidifferentiation feels like "unbreaking a vase" and can be just as challenging.

By cutting up a curved region into thin rectangles and taking a limit of the sum of the areas of those rectangles, we compute (define!) the area of a curved region.

Fundamental Theorem of Calculus
Armed with the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, evaluating a definite integral amounts to finding an antiderivative.

Substitution Rule
Substitution systematizes the process of using the chain rule in reverse. Considering how often we used the chain rule when differentiating, we will often want to use it in reverse to antidifferentiate.

Techniques of Integration
Integration by parts is the product rule in reverse. Integrals of powers of trigonometric functions can be evaluated.

Applications of Integration
We have already used integrals to compute area; integration can also be used to compute volumes.

Taught by

Jim Fowler


4.5 rating, based on 47 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Calculus One

  • Charles McCall
    This is indeed an awesome course. Unlike other online courses I have taken where the better students provide the lion's share of help on the forums, in Calculus One, the staff do an excellent job of monitoring the forums to help out. Just as often t…
  • Anonymous
    The lectures are very good and engaging. However, MOST of the quizzes I've taken so far, the material does not match what's taught in the lectures. For example, I finished a module ("Limits in Motion") teaching how to calculate speed of a moving objects accurately by using as small of time intervals as possible. I feel confident and interested to apply the strategies and techniques I've just learned to the quiz. However, the quiz has three questions, all giving me point coordinates, and asking me to determine the y-coordinate of the point B. I really pray my future professors don't teach this way. "POP QUIZ!!!" Wow.
  • Santhy Subramanian
    Great math teacher, wonderful course materials, very helpful course staff. Best example of how an online course should be. Course provided excellent tools to study - free textbook, platform for doing exercises, great quizzes and exams.
  • Anonymous
    Two of my best professors were math professors at Northwestern, but Fowler is better. Very entertaining teacher, which is important for those who otherwise might wander away and not learn.
  • Uno de los mejores cursos de matemática que he llevado. El profesor es muy motivante y entretenido. Enseña el porqué de cada tema y no simplemente deja ejercicios con reglas que sin sentido. Otro aspecto positivo es que los vídeos son cortos y eso hace que uno pueda relajarse y llevarlos cuando uno quiera. No sientes que le estás dedicando mucho tiempo.

    Muchas felicitaciones a los creadores el curso.
  • Profile image for Cláudio Tereso
    Cláudio Tereso
    I don't need calculus, I don't like calculus but I need it to finish my degree.
    Watching big-eyes moving-arms loving-calculus Jim Fowler almost makes it interesting :)

    Great, great teacher that makes monster-calculus interesting to learn.
    if i make it through this "quest" it will be thanks to him.
  • Anonymous
    One of the best MOOC couses I have taken. Jim is a wonderful teacher and is so enthusiatic gives us the desire to learn more. calculuts was one of my difficult subjects but I completed the course without any problems. I recommend it to anyone interested.
  • Anonymous
    An amazing course, one of the best i have seen actually. The instructors are wonderful. It is a fantastic course to start Calculus with.
  • Anonymous
    This course is average. It's not bad but need some improvement. Few quizzes are pointless and fails to evaluate the student.
  • Anonymous
    Any 5 stars review means the course is perfect and there is no room for improvement. It is far from accurate.
  • Anonymous
    very good intermediate level calculus class, Jim Fowler is an excellent teacher.
  • Anonymous
    Excellent class, enthusiastic teacher, good course materials.
  • Anonymous
    Wonderful course. I have never had such a good maths teacher. :)
  • Anonymous
    An amazing class! Calculus made fun and understandable.
  • Maggs
    There is no link between the instruction for Limits in Motion and the Exercises. If there is a connection, it is far too distant for someone without a prior model. I cannot even work back from the solution! Where does the BD and DA stuff come from? The formula linking them? There was nothing like this in the lesson? You need to scaffold for non-Maths background people who aren't just doing a quick refresher or previously known stuff!
  • Anonymous
    Just starting this. Very disappointing. The first video on functions freezes. The first quiz covers material not presented in the videos. Commenters said that there were assists that appeared when you got a quiz question wrong, but none appeared.
    Of course, one could say, "Well, you should already know this stuff," but teaching one thing and quizzing on another is generally regarded as horrible teaching. And a MOOC with no explanation of how quiz answers are arrived at is just stupid.
  • Tytus Metrycki
    This is good intro calculus course. I used it while simultaneously going through MIT OCW calculus I, which is definitely more challenging. It really helps to have exposure to different stile of teaching and sometimes different perspective.
  • Profile image for Steven Black
    Steven Black
    Jim Fowler is an amazing professor, his enthusiasm is infectious. I took this class prior to taking calculus one in university and got an A easily while other students struggled to pass. I would recommend this for class for fun or function.
  • Solid class, a very good overview of Calc 1. The instructor is engaging and entertaining. I did find difficulty jiving the quizzes with the lecture material though.
  • Adtya
    I have completed about ten courses on Coursera and this one was the best. The instructor has explained the subject pretty well.

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