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MATH 21

Calculus

  • Not Offered

4 units

Letter or Credit/No Credit

This course addresses a variety of topics centered around the theme of "calculus with infinite processes", largely the content of BC-level AP Calculus that isn't in the AB-level syllabus. It is needed throughout probability and statistics at all levels, as well as to understand approximation procedures that arise in all quantitative fields (including economics and computer graphics). After an initial review of limit rules, the course goes on to discuss sequences of numbers and of functions, as well as limits "at infinity" for each (needed for any sensible discussion of long-term behavior of a numerical process, such as: iterative procedures and complexity in computer science, dynamic models throughout economics, and repeated trials with data in any field). Integration is discussed for rational functions (a loose end from Math 20) and especially (improper) integrals for unbounded functions and "to infinity": this shows up in contexts as diverse as escape velocity for a rocket, the present value of a perpetual yield asset, and important calculations in probability (including the famous "bell curve" and to understand why many statistical tests work as they do). The course then turns to infinite series (how to "sum" an infinite collection of numbers), some useful convergence and divergence rests for these, and the associated killer app: power series and their properties, as well as Taylor approximations, all of which provide the framework that underlies virtually all mathematical models used in any quantitative field.

Fulfills

  • GER:DB-Math

  • WAY-FR

Grade Distribution

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