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Back to Calculus through Data & Modeling: Applying Differentiation

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Calculus through Data & Modeling: Applying Differentiation by Johns Hopkins University

44 ratings

About the Course

As rates of change, derivatives give us information about the shape of a graph. In this course, we will apply the derivative to find linear approximations for single-variable and multi-variable functions. This gives us a straightforward way to estimate functions that may be complicated or difficult to evaluate. We will also use the derivative to locate the maximum and minimum values of a function. These optimization techniques are important for all fields, including the natural sciences and data analysis. The topics in this course lend themselves to many real-world applications, such as machine learning, minimizing costs or maximizing profits....

Top reviews


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Excellent course, very challenging and therefore rewarding when you get the answers right. The feedback is great for self-correction when you go wrong.


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Excellent presentation overall with very good explanations and worked examples.

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1 - 13 of 13 Reviews for Calculus through Data & Modeling: Applying Differentiation

By Gabriel A

Apr 19, 2021

grading errors, plus not enough coverage of problems

By Houchen Z

Oct 31, 2021

nice class with professor Joesph, he is a fantastic mathematics professor, as he can translate complex definition of mathematics into simple and clear functions with the same meaning. For me, mathematics is a symbol of convenience and conciseness, so i truly believe that Professor Joseph is a nice teacher, and this is a nice class with topics including extrema for multivariable functions, Lagrange multipliers, tangent lines and tangent planes!

By Xinyuan X

Oct 2, 2021

This course is more on the difficult end of the specialisation, especially for people who are not familiar with multivariate calculation. The quizzes are also significantly harder than those in previous courses and could take you more time than expected. Still a great course, would recommend to people who want to learn more advanced calculus.

By Ginger d R

Mar 4, 2024

First three weeks are doable, but the lagrangian exercises are really tough. I recommend doing the first three weeks and then completing the multivariable calculus section on Khan academy up to and including lagrangians. Even then, the final exam is painful. On the the next specialization :)

By math t

Feb 19, 2024

I happily suggest this module for people who are interested in learning or reviewing advanced concepts in differentials, differentiation rules, tangent planes, gradient and of course, a friendly introduction to mathematical optimization by using Lagrange multipliers.

By Daniel P

Apr 27, 2022

Excellent course, very challenging and therefore rewarding when you get the answers right. The feedback is great for self-correction when you go wrong.

By Lee S

Dec 25, 2021

Excellent presentation overall with very good explanations and worked examples.

By Calvin K L Y

Sep 13, 2023

Best Differential Calculus course online

By Albert T

May 5, 2023

This is a well developed course. It is interestingg that Professor Cutrone chose to integrate single variable and multivariable functions. I'm certainly no expert, but I would have rather studied single variable functions alone and taken a multivariable calculus course later.

I think that some additionak comments are in order:

1. Professor Cutrone has an engaging style but his board work frequently has typos.

2. T%here is no textbook assigned. I really think that is a weakness of the course.

3. At times, material is introduced in the notes and sample problems that was not covered or even mentioned in the lecture, e.g., the use of the gradient in multivariate max-min problems.

4. All of the sample problems, quizzes, and notes should be available as printable pdf documents.Not everytone uses an ipad or laptop for studying and writing!

By Andrew W

Nov 10, 2021

A good course. Prof. Cutrone is pleasant and easy to follow. My only complaint is that the tests almost always seem to include significant amounts of material that was only briefly covered in the lectures or practice sets. You do get the answers worked out after the test, but I'd rather have slightly more comprehensive lectures that cover some of the more complex material.

By Piotr C

Mar 6, 2024

A good course overall, everything was clear. Although the material was taught less thoroughly than in the previous courses and it would be better the project was focused less on communication and describing both the process of solution and the assumptions we take along the way.

By Derek T

Apr 26, 2022

Very good course with comfortable learning pace, though the discussion forum is inactive. It would be better if the lecturer spend more time explaining formulas for better intuiation instead of letting student memorize them

By Bill

Jan 4, 2023

Excellent though difficult introduction to using differentiation for modeling.