Tools, General Resources and Fun
Most calculus topic links can be found on other pages where each topic is discussed. The links on this page are more general and many are free.
College Student Resources
Larson Calculus ETF
The 17Calculus bookstore at amazon.com is a great place to start. The main textbook we recommend is Larson Calculus ETF. It is well written and organized logically. [ ETF = Early Transcendental Functions; this refers to how early in the textbook the author discusses using calculus techniques on trigonometric, exponential and hyperbolic functions. ] If you don't need the latest edition for a class, you can get an earlier edition for as little as $10 (the last time I looked). If you are struggling through another textbook, you may want to consider buying a used (or early edition, I recommend the 3rd and 4th) copy of this book. The book has great examples and solutions to odd problems can be found at CalcChat.com.
The 10 Best Sites To Rent Or Buy College TextBooks Cheaply
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How To Ace Calculus
Two of the best books I've found are How To Ace Calculus for Calculus 1 and it's sequel How To Ace The Rest Of Calculus for Calculus 2 and 3.
DO NOT BUY THESE BOOKS
Do not purchase any books containing the words 'dummy', 'dummies' or 'idiot'. You are none of these and putting that message in your brain will just make calculus harder for you. Additionally, do not buy books that say that calculus is easy or simple. It's not. But it is possible to ace calculus. And this website gives you the tools to do just that.
For storing notes and organizing, one of the best tools I've seen is EverNote. You can do a lot with the free version. Here are some ways you can use EverNote for school.
10 Evernote Tips For School – Education Series
How my students started using Evernote – Education Series
Another alternative to EverNote is SpringPad. This is very similar to EverNote and has a really nice interface.
10 Mac Tools That Every Student Should Make Use Of
iHomework Keeps Track of School Assignments and Due-Dates
Remember The Milk is a great free task list manager.
Flashcards are a great way to learn new material, not only for math but also foreign language, history, geography, biology . . . almost anything you learn in school. Here are some suggestions.
The absolute best flashcards are the manual 3x5 cards that you buy at the bookstore and write yourself. I know it's a little old school but the actual writing on the cards gives you a learning boost that you cannot get anywhere else. That said, it's not always the most practical solution. So here are some other suggestions.
When I can't carry my 3x5 cards, I use Quizlet to set up my flashcards. Quizlet is free.
I have tried 3 different iPhone apps to go through my flashcards.
- Mental Case
- Quizlet iPhone App
Quizlet also works with several Android apps and Windows Phone apps.
Here are some other suggestions that might help you.
Smartr: Making Studying (Ever So Slightly) Fun
Here are some iPad related links.
10 Best iPad Apps for College Students
7 Ways To Use The iPad To Help Students Excel At School
We have a section on the study techniques page dedicated to taking effective notes. Here are some links to apps that might also help you.
Most Popular Note Taking Application: Evernote
Five Best Note Taking Applications
The Top 12 Note Taking Apps for Getting Things Done in School
We have a study techniques page with ideas to help you ace calculus. Here are some additional links.
How to Get Back Into Work or Study Mode After a Long Break
Here are some links to help you with your college expenses.
Why You (Probably) Shouldn't Take out Loans for College
5 Scholarship Search Sites To Help Students Get Financial Aid
How to Better Manage Your Student Loans and Graduate with Less Debt
In this tab, we post links to articles that will help you be a better college student.
4 Things That Totally Suck About Using Technology In School [Opinion]
Sometimes technology can actually make your school and learning experience MORE difficult, not easier.
Get a GPA Boost Just By Picking The Right Roommate
Did you know that your friends and roommates can help (or hurt) your education and learning?
These videos are some of the best I've seen. They are in-depth and really help you understand the material and concepts. He explains things in a way that makes it easy to understand but still gives enough detail that you can also understand the concept as well.
MIT Open CourseWare
Here are 39 video lectures, in YouTube format. These are real lectures, "chalkboard writing instructor with back to you" and everything. So they are longer (50+ minutes).
Here is a link to a wealth of math videos including calculus. Most of these videos are good if you already understand the concepts.
UMKC Prof. Delaware YouTube Calculus Videos
These videos on YouTube have great reviews, so you may find them helpful.
Digital Book Index - Mathematics
Here is a link to a list of digital online mathematics books. The list may seem a bit overwhelming but it contains some good links.
WikiBooks Calculus Page
Links to specific topics are sprinkled throughout this site. However, here is the main calculus page. Additionally, I found a version of these pages that you can print. Here is the link.
The Math Page
This link takes you to a page built by a community college teacher. It has many good explanations and examples.
Practical Advice for Those Taking College Calculus
This is a YouTube video by PatrickJMT. You will find many calculus videos posted on this site by him. He is a pretty good teacher and knows his calculus.
Math Related Topics and Tools
Your class may require graphs using a graphing utility (not by hand). All options listed below are free.
Winplot is the number one recommended graphing utility on this site and for my classes. It is free, easy to use and does everything asked for in the courses that I teach. The learning curve is short and there are videos to help understand how to use it. One drawback is that it works only on Windows computers. There is no Mac version. But newer Macs have the ability to run Windows programs (in a Windows emulator like Fusion). So this is the software you should be using if you are in my class.
Note: Recently I was able to get this to run in Linux (I use Ubuntu) with Wine.
GCalc is a Java based utility. You don't have to download anything to use it. So, it will work for Mac users (if you don't have Grapher). However, it is not a powerful as other graphing options.
Graph 4.1 can be downloaded from download.com. It is easy to use and free. go to this links and type in the word 'graph' in the search box. Then select and download the program Graph 4.1. I haven't used this much, so I'm not sure if it will cover everything you need for my course.
GnuPlot is a free graphing utility that you can download. This page shows promising graphs but I have never used it. When I get a chance to try it out, I will write a review on the 17Calculus Blog.
Here is an article explaining how to use google to plot functions.
This site is incredibly rich in mathematics tools. But be careful how much you use it. Don't rely on it too much. The notation is unusual in a strange way and can be confusing. But the graphing is pretty nice.
See the Apps tab for graphing utilities.
Most of the documents you will find on this website are
in pdf format. The Adobe Reader is a free program
that you need to download and install
on your computer to read pdf format documents. Even if you already have
this program on your computer, download the latest
version to make sure you can open and read the documents.
When turning in homework in my classes, you need to upload the document in pdf format. There are several free programs to convert documents and files to pdf format. Go to download.com and you will found several free programs. I use PrimoPDF but I have heard it doesn't work well in Windows Vista. I have also known my students to use CutePDF or dopdf. Type in one of these names in the search box and download and install it on your Windows computer.
6 Helpful Calculus Apps for iPhone & iPad
10 Best Graphing Apps for iPhone
Keep in mind that most instructors will not allow you to use your iPhone during exams. So this may not be the best solution for your class. Even if you just use it outside of exams, you will start to rely on this app and then struggle during the exam with a graphing calculator. So really think about this option before laying out money for it.
Sometimes you just need to review things that you haven't done in a
while. Here are some sites that give you some practice.
Here is a great website to help you be aware of common mistakes in
computations when using your calculator. This will also help you when
when it comes to entering equations in WebAssign. It's called Getting Acquanted With Your Calculator.
You will probably do word problems in Calculus 1 and 2 and this site will give you some review and practice in how to convert word problems to equations. It's called Identifying Keywords in Math Word Problems.
Math can be fun sometimes. Here are some great videos.
In the way of background, this first video is from an old television show called Third Rock From the Sun. Dr. Solomon is a very intelligent alien in human form. His job while on earth is to try to understand the complexities of human interaction. He takes a job as a physics professor at the university.
Just be glad your math teacher doesn't grade like this!
Can calculus really be this fun?