Sign up ×
Mathematics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people studying math at any level and professionals in related fields. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm a lazy type of person. I love experimenting with things before learning the theory. I like to practice, and learn from my mistakes.

In 3-4 months I have a basic University exam on Calculus, and I'd like to learn it in a fun way. I have found these videos to be quite entertaining:

However they are not exhaustive enough for my needs.

Any references you would like to share? I'm not sure if it's a valid type of question for this group, so I'm sorry in advanced if it's off-topic.

share|cite|improve this question

closed as off-topic by avid19, Deutsch Mathematiker, Arthur Fischer Sep 14 at 7:45

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Seeking personal advice. Questions about choosing a course, academic program, career path, etc. are off-topic. Such questions should be directed to those employed by the institution in question, or other qualified individuals who know your specific circumstances." – avid19, Deutsch Mathematiker, Arthur Fischer
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I presume you've been to the Khan Academy and found it wanting? –  J. M. is back. Dec 13 '10 at 14:35
I do have to say that any method of learning calculus is bound to founder on the shoals of laziness. –  Arturo Magidin Dec 13 '10 at 16:15
For the record, Khan Academy does an absolutely terrible job at teaching limits (the only videos I watched were limits and one on art history that was equally as bad). –  JeremyKun Dec 4 '11 at 16:11
In my opinion: No, you can't. Obviously, here I'm not questioning your intelligence or your determination, it wouldn't make sense. The question is that I see a great obstacle to learning something from the net, i.e. there are too many sources and il troppo stroppia (this is an Italian motto, which more or less can be translated as "too much breaks the bag"). In other words, I think the net is dispersive/distracting by its own nature, hence a student cannot properly focus on a subject while surfing the net. –  Pacciu Dec 15 '11 at 3:20
Why don't you buy a textbook, instead? I bet there are some good references at the end of the syllabus of the course you're attending. And BTW if you're studying in an Italian university, then you're supposed to have an Analysis exam, not a Calculus one, and it is quite different... –  Pacciu Dec 15 '11 at 3:22

8 Answers 8

up vote 21 down vote accepted

The MIT courseware is one of the first places to look for such materials. Here is a video series on a first course in Calculus.

Here is a video series on multivariable calculus

Edit: I found a few more such video series. I haven't personally looked at these though.

share|cite|improve this answer
I upvoted because I didn't know until now that MIT had videos. Thanks Tim! –  J. M. is back. Dec 13 '10 at 15:06
+1,thanks Timothy, neither do I knew that they had hosted videos too:) –  VelvetThunder Dec 13 '10 at 15:18
@J.M. @Debanjan: Thanks. The video lectures are limited unfortunately to a few beginning undergraduate courses. I would have loved to see some graduate level courses here. Although the sfsu site has a few. –  Timothy Wagner Dec 13 '10 at 15:27
I'm sorry to bring this up, but I watched the whole series on multivariable calc and found the lectures really lacking. –  YoTengoUnLCD Sep 14 at 2:24

I don't have a full calculus 1 course, but I have a lot on youtube at Professor Elvis Zap . You can learn to rap the laws of differentiation from the calculus rap.

share|cite|improve this answer

you can learn calculus from video tuts.

here is the link

calculus video lectures

share|cite|improve this answer

So I hear you want to learn mathematics in a fun way. Well I would suggest looking at these video's series below. The tutor has an interesting and uplifting personality when it comes to teaching that you can tell, and can keep you awake while learning (at least when doing examples). I found it to be helpful for some brushing up on certain topics.

Here are some free videos online:



These websites should be a great start, as they cover calculus and a wide range of other different topics.

Okay, I hope this helps you out.

Good Luck with your studies.

share|cite|improve this answer

You can try adaptive learning. One option is Toktol (I work on the project) - there is a full calculus section. Questions are automatically adjusted to your ability level and questions you did not know before will be repeated - so it tries hard to minimise the effort.

There are some other tools, like Pearson's MyMathLab - though that is not free.

share|cite|improve this answer

That sounds a lot like me, you might try the Calculus Revisited Series by Prof Herbert Gross.

It is simpler to follow than other courses I've seen, the lecturer doesn't waste your time with boring computations, and keeps focus on the main topic of each lecture.

It doesn't loose rigor in a mathematical sense, and you can always refer to the provided lecture notes if you want to dig deeper than what was exposed in the videos.

By just watching the video lectures you will learn a lot.

Part 1: Single Variable Calculus

Part 2: Multivariable Calculus

Part 3: Complex Variables, Differential Equations, and Linear Algebra

I don't have enough rep to post the third link

share|cite|improve this answer

The much-upvoted MIT materials are really good. I have actually looked at some of them instead of just reading about them. But I'm betting that a "lazy type person" will not learn calculus this way, especially if you fall into a habit of watching rather than doing.

An alternative approach might be to google 'Calculus Caltech' and look at their course, not (necessarily) to take it but for the free materials available. Specifically, I call attention to the free availability of digital version of the three-part calculus text by Marsden and Weinstein (Springer). You would need to work a lot of problems to make any useful progress toward your objective of getting ready for an exam. The bonus here is that the digital version of the Student Guide is also available for free. So you can check methods and answers to some hard problems that give you trouble. As one might expect from a book used at Caltech, the theory is well presented, but the examples and problems also include practical applications that may provide some motivation to keep going when the going gets rough--and it will if you are taking this seriously.

I have to say that I am not primarily a calculus teacher, but most of the courses I have taught require calculus as a prerequisite, and I have looked seriously at several calculus books recently, including this one. To be clear Marsden and Weinstein is not the only excellent calculus book around. But it is the only one I know of this quality, breadth, and depth that is (legally) available free along with a free student guide. Take a look; if you hate it you will know soon enough not to have wasted much time (or any euros).

Finally I have to say, with all due respect for the noble aspirations involved, that I am not a fan of Khan academy for calculus. It may be OK for an intro to some individual topics, but for the kind of self study you have in mind, you need a quality printed text that has been reviewed, improved and vetted for errors over several editions.

share|cite|improve this answer

I learned calculus online at

share|cite|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.