mathematics > university > calculus 1 > getting started with calculus

# Getting Started with Calculus

Calculus uses quite a few of the skills and concepts learnt from Algebra. It is
recommended that you know how to **transpose** and **factorize** comfortably. Knowing about polynomial, rational, exponential
and logarithmic functions is also useful.

In order to become better at Mathematics, we need to care about the language used.
New students often take the terminology for granted and this cripples them
in the long run. For example, the fancy phrase *derivative of the product of two trigonometrical functions* sounds
intimidating at first but with a little extra care we can easily learn to write
it into mathematical notation:
$$\frac{d}{dx}(\sin{x}\cos{x})$$

$\sin{x}$ is a *trig function* and $\cos{x}$ is a *trig function* and thus multiplying
them gives us the *product of two trigonometrical functions*. We will learn that
the derivative is essentially the gradient/slope of a graph thus our fancy phrase
simply means the *slope of the graph of this product ($\sin{x}\cos{x}$)*.

It is a lack of care for the language that is the dividing line between Mathematics being a rewarding experience or an absolute nightmare. This is especially evident for Calculus.