Archive for the ‘site updates’ Category
Have you ever taken the time to look at how many calculus youtube videos there are? If you are trying to learn calculus, either on your own or to supplement your classwork, watching youtube videos is a great way to get different perspectives on the material to help you understand. But where do you start?
Even if you were able to sort through and reject the bad videos that are either incorrect or don’t teach you anything (which is very difficult to do when you are learning the topic) and only focus on the good videos, there are still a LOT of good ones out there.
We are working, at 17calculus, on going through each video, placing the good videos discussing theory on each page with an introduction on what is in the video, so that you will know what videos will help you and what you can expect to see in the videos.
Then, rather than just throwing all the videos with examples together and making you sort through them, we are organizing them into practice problems. This should help you know which videos will help you, while at the same time giving you practice problems, which we said in a previous blog entry, is the key to you understanding calculus.
We are well on our way to accomplishing this on every page. Check the topic you are currently studying to see if we have finished that page. If not, contact us and let us know, so that we can work on it for you, time permitting.
By the way, you can still watch the raw videos that we think are the best on our new youtube page. We are building playlists of the videos, which you can watch either in youtube or in the additional information panel at the very bottom of each page. Building these playlists is not as further along as the other updates we mentioned above. But we will continue to add more great videos as we go along.
As promised we have been adding lots and lots of practice problems. We now have over 500 practice problems with about half of those on infinite series. We have been focusing very hard on infinite series since we know most students struggle with them. However, they are not hard as long you work plenty of practice problems, more than you usually do for other calculus topics. The infinite series practice problems are nearly complete . . . for now. We will always add more practice problems but currently, we need to focus on other areas.
One of those other areas is limits. We have over 150 limits practice problems now. We have expanded the discussion on trig limits, the epsilon-delta definition of the limit and the squeeze theorem. The last limits page to get updated with content and practice problems will be one-sided limits, with maybe a face-lift here and there on other pages.
In the meantime, check out these PatrickJMT free practice problems. You will find plenty of written out practice problems that should hold you for now. PatrickJMT is one of 3 featured instructors on our site that we think explains calculus well, uses good notation and is a good instructor. We highly recommend his videos.
What would you like to see? What is coming up in your class in the next few weeks? Let us know and we may be able to get you some practice problems.
Practice problems are the core of learning calculus. You can watch videos, read books, listen to lectures, watch others work problems and you still won’t get calculus until you sit down and work practice problems on your own and wrestle through every derivative, every integral, every series test . . . well, just everything!
Here at 17calculus, we are working hard to bring you more practice problems. Over the next few weeks, you will notice lots more practice problems showing up. We have over 300 practice problems now but we hope to have LOTS more soon. Exactly what do we mean by ‘lots’?
Well, not only have we wanted to bring you tons of practice problems for a long, but we also noticed another problem. We have over 1400 videos, the best videos available on youtube. But how do you know which videos to watch? Some of them explain theory, but most just show examples. And most of the time you have to actually watch the video to know if it applies to you. That sounds like a good way to waste time.
So, to solve both problems, we are going through each video, and telling you which ones discuss theory and which ones have examples. Then we post the video so that you can watch only what applies to you. You will be able to watch theory without having to look at examples that you may not understand yet. And you will be able to work practice problems without having to wade through all the theory, searching for that perfect practice problem.
The examples from many of the videos are shown as practice problems at the bottom of each page. You can tell they are videos because the button to show the solution will say ‘Video Solution’. The practice problems with buttons labeled ‘Detail Solution’ are practice problems with worked out solutions and may or may not contain a video as well.
So check out the first few pages we’ve been working on listed below. Give us a few months to get this done. Like we said, we have over 1400 videos at the moment and more are added periodically. But we will be working diligently to bring you the best videos and the best practice problems for calculus available online. Our goal is to have at least 25 practice problems for each technique with more for difficult topics. So, to answer our question above, lots means hundreds!
Keep working those practice problems and let us know what you think!
We are glad to bring you news about updates to the 17calculus menus. Over the next few days, you will notice the menus move from the left side to the top of the screen. As you scroll down, the menu will stick to the top of your window, so that it is handy no matter where you are on the screen.
The new menu is more compact and concise, containing only the links that we anticipate you will need, depending on what page you are on. So, for example, if you are on a single variable calculus page, you will have access to all of the other single variable calculus pages as well as the main pages of the other main topics on the site, multi-variable calculus and differential equations, without a lot of extra links that you probably will not use. This simplified form should make it easier for you to find what you are looking for.
We also believe that navigation on small screen portable devices like iPads and iPhones will be easier for you until we get complete compatibility with these devices implemented.
Additionally, we have removed the functionality related to Zopim to submit questions. The use of flash by the plug-in slowed load time significantly. So we decided to remove it for now. We may research another option that doesn’t rely on flash. Until then, feel free to go to the contact page to submit a question by email. You will find a utility there to be able to send properly formatted equations to us. This should make answering them much faster. Make sure you read the short instructions there on how to get your question answered quickly. We really do want you to ACE calculus.
Let us know what you think what you think about these changes.
For several months, you have had the option to contact us by leaving a message in a box in the lower right corner of the calculus pages. We recently added several ways for you to ask us general questions, calculus questions or just let us know how we are doing from the contact page. Included on that page is also a way to format and send us equations, even complicated ones including integrals and sums. See the contact page for details. Make sure to follow the instructions so that we can answer your question quickly and completely.
We hope to hear from you soon!
New to 17Calculus.com – Voting Feedback.
You now have the option of giving feedback on pages, practice problems and exams. We are in the process of adding to each page so that you can tell us if you like the information. You can also use this as a way to quickly tell us if you find a mistake (in which case, please let us know what the mistake is by sending a message using the zopim chat).
The voting looks like this.
To vote, you just click on one of the triangles and the vote count changes to reflect your vote. You can un-vote by clicking the same triangle again or click the other triangle to change your vote.
The first page to receive this update is the Finite Limits page. There is a voting option for the page and for each practice problem. Let us know what you think.
We have an exciting new addition to 17calculus. You can now ask questions directly and get your answers immediately when we are online. If we are away, you can submit your questions and they will be answered as soon as we are able.
We are trying out Zopim Chat on each page. Let us know what you think and if you need help with your calculus material. All help is free.
As we continue our development of mid and upper level calculus pages, we are adding a new section at the top of each page called Topics You Need To Understand For This Page and it is located at the top right of the page.
This section has links to topics that you need to know in order to understand the material on the current page. You can see an example of this on the Lines and Planes in 3-Space currently under development.
If you are refreshing your calculus skills or learning calculus on your own, this section should help you know what you need to study to get up to speed. Let us know what you think.
Today we completed the sections on parametric equations and polar coordinates. The discussion is basic but should be enough for now. At a later date, we may return to these pages to add more detail. However, since these are pages contain mostly background material for calculus, we have decided to keep the detail at a minimum. This allows us time to work on more material for the calculus pages.
Starting next week, we will continue to work on multi-variable calculus pages starting with discussion on lines and planes.
Today we announce three major updates to the 17calculus site.
First, we added a lot of content to the L’Hôpital’s Rule page. Up until now, the page was mostly blank with a section of videos and practice problems. In the last week, we’ve added a lot of discussion on the topic and added an important section explaining the difference between L’Hôpital’s Rule and the Quotient Rule. This is a common confusion that will hopefully be cleared up once you read that section. We have also added 5 more practice problems for a total of 15 L’Hôpital’s Rule practice problems.
Second, we changed the way the menu system works. We moved the main menu on each page to the left and have it tucked away from view. When you need it, you only need to move your mouse over the main area of calculus you are studying and the menu will scroll out. Then hover your mouse over the section menu to expand the section you are looking for. You need to click only when you know which topic you want to read next. Additionally, the menus will not be scrolling off the page making them easier to see. They are stuck to the left side of the window and so are available for you wherever you are on the page. An additional bonus is that you can pin the menu so that it will stay expanded when you move the cursor off the menu list. It will stay pinned until you click the ‘X’ to unpin it.
Third, this new menu format opens up more real estate for content including allowing the videos that are embedded in the Resources section to be larger. I don’t know about you but I don’t really like to watch videos in full-screen view and the videos on youtube are too small to clearly see the equations sometimes. The larger videos on 17calculus are a better way to watch calculus videos. (Note: Give us a few days to update all the videos on all the pages. We have over 450 videos on over 100 pages.)
Let us know what you think and how these updates have helped you learn calculus.