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What is precalculus?

Calculus is the mathematics of change---a subject that originated in the study of motion. Calculus deals with ideas that people have pondered for centuries: areas and volumes, rates of change, the orbits of planets, and infinite sequences.

Precalculus consists of those subjects, skills, and insights needed to understand calculus. It includes arithmetic, algebra, coordinate geometry, trigonometry, and, most of all, functions---the general concept as well as specific functions. Students come to this course familiar with basic arithmetic, algebra and geometry. A precalculus course builds on all of their previous mathematical knowledge and experience.


Copyright © 2008 Darel Hardy, Fred Richman, Carol Walker, Robert Wisner. All rights reserved. Except upon the express prior permission in writing, from the authors, no part of this work may be reproduced, transcribed, stored electronically, or transmitted in any form by any method.

Introduction