Calculus (Latin, calculus, a small stone used for counting) is a branch of mathematics focused on limits, functions, derivatives, integrals, and infinite series. It has two major branches, differential calculus and integral calculus, which are related by the fundamental theorem of calculus. Calculus is the study of change, in the same way that geometry is the study of shape and algebra is the study of operations and their application to solving equations. Calculus has widespread applications in science, economics, and engineering and can solve many problems for which algebra alone is insufficient.
This subject constitutes a major part of modern mathematics education. A course in calculus is a gateway to other, more advanced courses in mathematics devoted to the study of functions and limits, broadly called mathematical analysis.
Calculus has historically been called "the calculus of infinitesimals", or "infinitesimal calculus". More generally, calculus (plural calculi) refers to any method or system of calculation guided by the symbolic manipulation of expressions. Some examples of other well-known calculi are propositional calculus, variational calculus, lambda calculus, pi calculus, and join calculus.
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Famous quotes containing the word calculus:
“I try to make a rough music, a dance of the mind, a calculus of the emotions, a driving beat of praise out of the pain and mystery that surround me and become me. My poems are meant to make your mind get up and shout.”
—Judith Johnson Sherwin (b. 1936)