• Robert L. Wilson
Part of the Undergraduate Texts in Mathematics book series (UTM)


We are about to embark on an investigation of the calculus, a branch of mathematics about which you have heard a great deal, but concerning which you may possibly have some misgivings. The calculus deals with limiting processes, and therefore can be quite different in some respects from the algebra, geometry, and trigonometry with which you have had previous contact. When you try to solve problems which involve an infinite number of items, or which use limiting processes, strange things can happen. This doesn’t mean that they always give unexpected results, but rather that you have to be very careful that unexpected results do not slip by. In order to illustrate this, let us consider an example.


Real Number Complex Number Identity Function Inverse Function Number Line 
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  1. 1.
    Both words are derived from calculi meaning pebbles. These pebbles would have been used on sand or strung on wires for counting purposes, somewhat in the manner of the abacus of today.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Kassler, M. 1963. “A Sketch for the Use of Formalized Languages for the Assertion of Music.” Perspectives of New Music. Vol. I, pp. 84–85.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert L. Wilson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mathematical SciencesOhio Wesleyan UniversityDelawareUSA

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