Calculus Sites- Top Ten

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Need to calculate calculus?

The key to learning calculus or just about anything for that matter is having the proper tools in hand. While it can be very helpful to have multiple books on any subject because each may cover a particular section better than another, it is not financially feasible to have tons of books. It is feasible to have tons of websites though so although the following ten websites are listed in the order of their Alexa traffic rating, anyone working on learning calculus should probably have all ten bookmarked so they can benefit from each of them when a topic needs more clarification. Many of them have been designed by a university or college mathematics department. Furthermore, effort has been made to put together a list of calculus coaching sites that vary in how they present the subject material because everyone’s ideal learning method is different.




1. Khan Academy: 

Global Alexa Rating: 4,467


This website is one of the favorite websites among students for just about any subject because the material is presented through videos. There are about 300 videos on calculus all very well organized so you can find the exact subject matter you wish or start at the beginning and learn all there is in a classroom-like manner. The calculus section of Khan Academy includes the topics in the first two or three semesters of college calculus but they also include a pre-calculus playlist. Another benefit of this website is that Khan is International, so the content can be translated into a number of languages and they are working on getting all the videos subtitled. While there are lots of examples along the way, there aren’t many practice questions except for a section called AP Calculus practice questions.




2. Visual Calculus:

Global Alexa Rating: 15,953


If you are looking for a “pretty” website this will not be for you as the layout is very simplistic and to the point. Each topic has certain tools used for that topic with all having a tutorial. With some there are drills, quizzes, discussion and use of various computer programs, use of flash showing how to use TI-85 and TI-86 graphing calculator, Javascript demonstrations and explorations and a LiveMath Notebook feature. To use the notebook feature users must download the free LiveMath plug-in which there is a link for at the bottom of any of the notebook pages. This website has earned awards for their web based instruction. The primary author is Lawrence S. Husch, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Tennessee with assistance from several students.



3. Video Calculus by University of Houston:   

Global Alexa Rating: 17,690


This calculus website offers various lectures each with two versions so that users can choose the one that works with their computer system the best. One is in SV3 format which is viewable with QuickTime 6. The other is H.264 which is viewable with QuickTime 7. Users will need to have a high speed internet connection and it is recommended to use the Firefox browser. Users can play the lectures directly from the website or save them to their computer. There is also a link on this page to get to the key-concepts page which will enable students to open help materials as well. This makes this site the best of both worlds as there is written instruction as well as video instruction.




4. Harvey Mudd College:   

Global Alexa Rating: 93,905


Tutorials offered on this site are available on the site or in PDF format so that any page can be saved on the user’s computer and/or printed. One of the benefits of this site is that there is an Algebra review as well as pre-calculus discussions all to act as refresher courses before delving into calculus. The downside of this website is that although there are quizzes present they require users to register and that can only be done by Harvey Mudd students. They advise users to download the TeX fonts before beginning which they offer in a free file and give instructions on how to extract it. This website does not use video presentations, just notebook style aids.




5. AnalyzeMath:

Global Alexa Rating: 175,349


This site will especially appeal to those that recognize that the best way to get any level of mathematics to stick in the brain is to perform as many problems as possible. Besides plenty of calculus problems this site is also full of interactive tutorials and free worksheets to download. An advantage of this website is that there are also tutorials for other math courses including some for lower grades such as primary math for grades 4 and 5, middle and high school math as well as practice tests for SAT, ACT and Compass Math. The site includes several Java applets, online mathematical software and downloads for printing various types of graph paper.




6. The Math Page:

Global Alexa Rating: 239,204


The Math Page is available through their website but is also offered as both an iOS and Android app for mobile devices. Another unique feature of this site is that problems and questions are interspersed in the lesson with the answer covered with a pink or green box that gives you the opportunity to answer it and then mouse over the box to see if you were correct. The website is free to use but there is a donation link for those that would like to support it. The link above takes you right to the calculus section but if you go to the homepage you will see there are also lessons for arithmetic, plane geometry including an introduction to logic, algebra, trigonometry, precalculus and the evolution of the real numbers.




7. Interactive Mathematics:

Global Alexa Rating: 361,530


Interactive Mathematics is a tool for many topics including algebra, probability, integration, graphs, money, trigonometry and higher calculus. Users can also sign up for the IntMath newsletter to get math study tips, information, news and updates. The site is a bit more complex to navigate than some other sites in part because there is so much going on besides just instruction. For example, there are articles and blogs. The LiveMath viewer is a main feature of this website. The about tab has some interesting information including polls. All in all this site will take some time to learn how to best utilize it but it is worth the effort.




8. Calculus.Org:

Global Alexa Rating: 5,148,127


Calculus.Org provides plenty of resources for calculus students including plenty of calculus problems with step-by-step solutions. Some features that can prove helpful is a section on tips for preparing for exams, calculus applets and excerpts from “How to Ace Calculus: The Streetwise Guide.” There is also a list of professions which use mathematics that can be useful for the math major that isn’t quite sure where they will fit in the job market. The site also has plenty of links to other calculus sites with sample exams and review problems, links to online math courses, and links to animated calculus demonstrations.




9. Calculus-Help:

Global Alexa Rating: 1,092,419


Although the layout of this site is unique and it has some neat features it is not as complete as other calculus websites. For example, the tutorials section currently only has 11 lessons with a note that there are more lessons to come. There are both flash tutorials and video tutorials for the lessons. There is a section of problems as well, but it is also rather skimpy having just 15 currently listed. The “fun” tab is where there where something unique can be found – take a few moments and click through the interactive cheat sheet. Overall the site appears to be mostly geared to selling the twelve books written by W. Michael Kelley but it looks like it is poised to grow into more so worth keeping an eye on.




10. 17Calculus:

Global Alexa Rating: 3,584,598


This site is unusual in that it is dedicated only to college level calculus – you won’t find any other math subjects here. The website is mammoth! It has more than 140 pages with 1,350 videos, 1,300 practice problems with solutions, study suggestions, blog articles and even complete practice exams with worked out solutions. Frankly, it is difficult to understand why this site hasn’t received more traffic especially since it is entirely free to use (donations are accepted though). There is even a tools section with even more resources. The site is well organized with main headings  of single variable, infinite series, multi-variable, differential equations and precalculus with each having plenty of subheadings to make it easy to get right to the topic desired. A good place to start is the link labeled “About Page” for a short explanation on how to best use the site.

Of the ten websites it is likely that most students will find Khan Academy and 17Calculus to be the best overall sites for working through all the calculus topics step by step. The others are great as reference tools and a backup for when another approach is needed on a topic to better grasp it. Of course this all depends on the student so check them all out and see how you feel about how each one feels and if their presentation of the material works for you.


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