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Thread: An Absolute Beginner

  1. #1

    An Absolute Beginner

    Hey Forum!!! This is my first post. I came across this board while looking for help on how to start learning calculus. I am interested in this topic because I recently bought a Casio FX-CG50 calculator and I would like to be able to use it for something entertaining and also educational--drawing curved line graphs and the like. The 'Polar Graphs' it is supposed to be able to draw are especially impressive! According to the manual many of these functions are designed for helping with calculus problems, so this seems like a good place to start! I do recall very vague lessons on calculus during 'A' level further maths way back in my school days but I am drawing a total blank on what 'differentiation' and 'integration' mean as such, much less the all the rest of the jargon. Hence I would really like a place to start learning and I wonder if any of you chaps could suggest perhaps a book or a website that would make it easy for a beginner to get stuck in? Also, maybe the FX-CG50 isn't the best box for the job? I have seen both the 'HP Prime' and the 'Nspire CX CAS' recommended on Amazon for calculus, so maybe I should pick up one of those as well to help with the process? Anyway, many thanks for any suggestions you may have.

  2. #2
    Elite Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucian Valois View Post
    Hey Forum!!! This is my first post. I came across this board while looking for help on how to start learning calculus. I am interested in this topic because I recently bought a Casio FX-CG50 calculator and I would like to be able to use it for something entertaining and also educational--drawing curved line graphs and the like. The 'Polar Graphs' it is supposed to be able to draw are especially impressive! According to the manual many of these functions are designed for helping with calculus problems, so this seems like a good place to start! I do recall very vague lessons on calculus during 'A' level further maths way back in my school days but I am drawing a total blank on what 'differentiation' and 'integration' mean as such, much less the all the rest of the jargon. Hence I would really like a place to start learning and I wonder if any of you chaps could suggest perhaps a book or a website that would make it easy for a beginner to get stuck in? Also, maybe the FX-CG50 isn't the best box for the job? I have seen both the 'HP Prime' and the 'Nspire CX CAS' recommended on Amazon for calculus, so maybe I should pick up one of those as well to help with the process? Anyway, many thanks for any suggestions you may have.
    If money is no object, why not buy all three? It may pay dividends if you have to figure out how to do things three different ways. Or, you could find it tedious and lose interest.

    If you want a hard book, you may wish to pay a visit to a local college bookstore and just see what the current semester is using. You may wish to be sure that it's just "Calculus", and not "Calculus for Business" or "Calculus because we think you have to take it to graduate". The tone of the book can be a little different. You may actually find "Calculator-Based Calculus". Such a book probably has specific examples for a calculator model that you could then obtain. The Casio is MUCH cheaper than the TI, but i would be a little surprised to see a book using Casio examples. I have known one student who did extremely well in his high school career with a Casio. One.

    Others may suggest online resources. I'm still not all that excited abut online learning for such things.

    If your most recent math experience was a very, very long time ago, you may wish to brush up on at least trigonometry, and analytic geometry first. You will need them.
    "Unique Answers Don't Care How You Find Them." - Many may have said it, but I hear it most from me.

  3. #3
    Elite Member stapel's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucian Valois View Post
    Hey Forum!!! This is my first post. I came across this board while looking for help on how to start learning calculus. I am interested in this topic because I recently bought a Casio FX-CG50 calculator and I would like to be able to use it for something entertaining and also educational--drawing curved line graphs and the like. The 'Polar Graphs' it is supposed to be able to draw are especially impressive! According to the manual many of these functions are designed for helping with calculus problems, so this seems like a good place to start! I do recall very vague lessons on calculus during 'A' level further maths way back in my school days but I am drawing a total blank on what 'differentiation' and 'integration' mean as such, much less the all the rest of the jargon. Hence I would really like a place to start learning and I wonder if any of you chaps could suggest perhaps a book or a website that would make it easy for a beginner to get stuck in? Also, maybe the FX-CG50 isn't the best box for the job? I have seen both the 'HP Prime' and the 'Nspire CX CAS' recommended on Amazon for calculus, so maybe I should pick up one of those as well to help with the process? Anyway, many thanks for any suggestions you may have.
    A calculator isn't going to teach you calculus. There are any number of books (including, I'd expect, "Dummies" sorts of books) that may help. There are also websites, such as this one, which may prove helpful as supplements to whatever textbook you decide to use (for practice problems, etc).

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