Business Calculus: Understanding Its Concepts and Methods Home

**What is calculus?**

Calculus is the mathematics of change. It is a dynamic subject that originated in the study of motion.

Calculus deals with approximations. When
measuring rates of change, we often use approximations. We say that the
rate of change is the **limit** of the approximations.
Some examples of approximations are measuring the steepness of a curve
by approximating it with short straight lines, estimating the area
enclosed by a curve with small rectangles or triangles, approximating
an infinite sum with finite sums, and fitting a polynomial to a curve.

Calculus deals with ideas that mathematicians and scientists have pondered for centuries: areas and volumes, rates of change, the orbits of planets, infinite sequences.

The study of calculus is an adventure. The computer algebra system
in *Scientific Notebook* allows you to explore examples and
carry out experiments so that you can see what calculus is all about.

Copyright © 2008 Diane Davis, Darel Hardy, Fred Richman, Carol Walker, Robert Wisner. All rights reserved. Except upon the express prior permission in writing, from the authors, no part of this work may be reproduced, transcribed, stored electronically, or transmitted in any form by any method.