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University of Pennsylvania

Calculus: Single Variable Part 3 - Integration

University of Pennsylvania via Coursera


Calculus is one of the grandest achievements of human thought, explaining everything from planetary orbits to the optimal size of a city to the periodicity of a heartbeat. This brisk course covers the core ideas of single-variable Calculus with emphases on conceptual understanding and applications. The course is ideal for students beginning in the engineering, physical, and social sciences. Distinguishing features of the course include: 1) the introduction and use of Taylor series and approximations from the beginning; 2) a novel synthesis of discrete and continuous forms of Calculus; 3) an emphasis on the conceptual over the computational; and 4) a clear, dynamic, unified approach.

In this third part--part three of five--we cover integrating differential equations, techniques of integration, the fundamental theorem of integral calculus, and difficult integrals.


  • Integrating Differential Equations
    • Our first look at integrals will be motivated by differential equations. Describing how things evolve over time leads naturally to anti-differentiation, and we'll see a new application for derivatives in the form of stability criteria for equilibrium solutions.
  • Techniques of Integration
    • Since indefinite integrals are really anti-derivatives, it makes sense that the rules for integration are inverses of the rules for differentiation. Using this perspective, we will learn the most basic and important integration techniques.
  • The Fundamental Theorem of Integral Calculus
    • Indefinite integrals are just half the story: the other half concerns definite integrals, thought of as limits of sums. The all-important *FTIC* [Fundamental Theorem of Integral Calculus] provides a bridge between the definite and indefinite worlds, and permits the power of integration techniques to bear on applications of definite integrals.
  • Dealing with Difficult Integrals
    • The simple story we have presented is, well, simple. In the real world, integrals are not always so well-behaved. This last module will survey what things can go wrong and how to overcome these complications. Once again, we find the language of big-O to be an ever-present help in time of need.

Taught by

Robert Ghrist


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