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The history of mathematics is an important subject. It gives a context in which to view the results that one learns in math classes. Furthermore it shows that mathematics is, first and foremost, a human activity. By looking at the historical development of Calculus we see that it took a long time for many of its ideas to be rigorized. Like all mathematics, the creation of Calculus was not a careful march down a well-cleared highway, but rather a journey into a strange wilderness, where the explorers often got lost and many wrong turns were taken. If you find yourself struggling to understand the concepts introduced in this course, then you are in good company. Many of the greatest minds in mathematics struggled with these same concepts over a period of hundreds of years.

More on the History of Calculus


If you are tired of Calculus, check out this Nova site about one of the greatest achievements of mathematics in the 20th century:

The proof of Fermat's Last Theorem


And for something a little lighter, check out

Mathematrix, and in particular, Math Comics.