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To a Roman in the days of the empire, a “calculus” was a pebble used in counting and gambling. Centuries later, “calculare” came to mean “to calculate,” “to compute,” “to figure out.” For our purposes, calculus is elementary mathematics (algebra, geometry, trigonometry) enhanced by the limit process. Calculus takes ideas from elementary mathematics and extends them to a more general situation. Some examples are on pages 2 and 3. On the left-hand side you will find an idea from elementary mathematics; on the right, this same idea as extended by calculus. It is fitting to say something about the history of calculus. The origins can be traced back to ancient Greece. The ancient Greeks raised many questions (often paradoxical) about tangents, motion, area, the infinitely small, the infinitely large—questions that today are clarified and answered by calculus. Here and there the Greeks themselves provided answers (some very elegant), but mostly they provided only questions. Elementary Mathematics Calculus slope of a line slope of a curve y = mx +b y= f (x) (Table continues)


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