I actually took Calculus in University; I passed it with minimal effort and a C to show for it. Post university, my Calculus education was firmly in the "Plug and Pray" camp of development. Whilst taking an exam, I would see a pattern, think I recognize it from something I have seen before, and attempt to work the formula based on some other formula.

However, there is a big disadvantage to learning in this fashion; retention is awful. In order to build up a higher understanding, you need "footholds" of comprehension. Often, as you gain higher understanding of a subject matter, the footholds that you built upon to get at your current elevation are forgotten (internalized might be a better word). I think this is the reason that it is often so difficult for experts to explain their expertise to a laymen.

Anyway, getting distracted. The point is that without these footholds I had a basically flat knowledge of Calculus. I had a number of formulas memorized that were each disparate flat structures of knowledge. Nothing was associated. Nothing reinforced anything else. Naturally, I forgot these formulas. Because there is no association to spark memory, once I had forgotten the formulas, I had effectively lost them.

But, this time is going to be different. I am doing it on my own. I am doing it at my own pace. If desired, I can spend days on a single concept. My simple goal for this year is to understand Calculus at a fundamental level. Such that I can naturally express problems I see in the world in terms of Calculus. I wish to have a layman's mastery of The Calculus.

Tools

- Calculus 4th Ed. , Michael Spivak

I picked this book as I liked the fact that it seemed to be an attempt to teach Calculus from first principles. I am not going for "can do/use calc" I am going for "understands calc". It has been so long and my knowledge was so shallow that Calculus is effectively new to me. I want a book that is going to assume I don't know anything about Calculus before picking it up.

- This Blog:

On this blog, I am basically just going to outline interesting problems I worked through from the book, using this blog as a sort of notebook of my progress. I succeeded in installing a really neat library called mathjax that allows you to display Tex formulas online. Bit excited by that actually.

- Time:

I am going at my own pace, I am not skipping when I don't understand. This is for me. I have no class I need to pass. I have no test I need to prepare for. This is for me (although you are welcome to follow along). Until I get it, the procession does not move forward!

- You:

I don't know if anyone will follow along, but sometimes my pace may be crawling. If you see that, and you have the time, maybe you want to leave a comment about the current problems I am having? Maybe just a word of encouragement, that helps as well. Thanks.

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