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Back to Calculus: Single Variable Part 1 - Functions

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Calculus: Single Variable Part 1 - Functions by University of Pennsylvania

1,045 ratings
270 reviews

About the Course

Calculus is one of the grandest achievements of human thought, explaining everything from planetary orbits to the optimal size of a city to the periodicity of a heartbeat. This brisk course covers the core ideas of single-variable Calculus with emphases on conceptual understanding and applications. The course is ideal for students beginning in the engineering, physical, and social sciences. Distinguishing features of the course include: 1) the introduction and use of Taylor series and approximations from the beginning; 2) a novel synthesis of discrete and continuous forms of Calculus; 3) an emphasis on the conceptual over the computational; and 4) a clear, dynamic, unified approach. In this first part--part one of five--you will extend your understanding of Taylor series, review limits, learn the *why* behind l'Hopital's rule, and, most importantly, learn a new language for describing growth and decay of functions: the BIG O....

Top reviews


Jul 03, 2018

Very well structured for a refresher course. Thank you Professor Ghrist for your effort in putting this course together. A little additional outside research was required but well worth the effort.


Dec 16, 2016

Excellent class. Prof. Ghrist has a great teaching style, and his idea to use Taylor Series first is quite effective. Many functions I have shied away from in the past are now familiar to me.

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226 - 250 of 265 Reviews for Calculus: Single Variable Part 1 - Functions

By Yashh S K

Nov 29, 2018

Everything was exceptionally well taught except the Big-O part.

By Bashir A

Jan 18, 2019

the big O part is a bit ubiquitous. But everything else is amazingly described.

By Fulgence I

Jan 07, 2019

Very well and simply explained

Made review easier for me

By Jonah A

Feb 11, 2019


By Dmitry P

Oct 07, 2018

That's is really hard course. I think lecturer gives not enough information for doing homework. For example: big-O notation confuse me and I learn a lot of materials from another universities from web. Single web page for help that recommented in course is broken.

By Roshan N

Sep 24, 2018

Very Tough Part

Learn lots of things that I never know before

Thank You

By Nisarg K

Feb 23, 2016

Would have preferred accompanying solutions. Just getting the answer ain't enough. Making sure my approach is correct is essential as well considering the course touches upon the absolute basics.

By Shwet R

Jan 10, 2016

Its really challenging and rewarding course.

By Wahl S

Sep 11, 2017

Overall statement: It is a very good course ! The videos are very nice, and Professor Ghrist gives a "cool" touch to this subject. But some exam questions do not refer to material treated in the video and some explainations are too fast. Several times on the discussion forum, it is referred to the Penn Calc Wiki, whis is not in the references so a bit hard to follow ! But I definitely learned much, so i am very grateful for this, Thanks Professor Ghrist, Thanks Penn, Thanks Coursera :)

By Igor T

Jul 16, 2017

1) For me, the pace was a bit too fast. Gladly, there is an option to postpone the deadlines.

2) Graphical representations helped a lot in understanding the topics.

3) As for the challenge homework, I didn't feel like there was enough material in the lectures to do those tasks.

By Dr. T V R

Dec 27, 2016

I would like to have been able to review some quiz questions with answers after the course was complete. That option does not seem to exist.

By Senanayake H

Dec 19, 2016


By Todor B

Jun 19, 2016

The class is OK but keep in mind that your algebra should be refreshed before starting it. I did not refresh my pre calculus knowledge and I had hard time solving some if the task just because some straightforward simplification were long gone form my mind.

By Mount N

Sep 04, 2016


思路上讲主线一直围绕泰勒级数展开,也总是以泰勒级数为思考角度(包括后面part 2也是如此),个人并不是十分适应这种纯数学的方式,更喜欢感官上、性质上来把握,所以……仁者见仁智者见智吧 ^_^

By Benjamin C

Mar 19, 2018

Challenging, because begins with the infinite series, which are not a simple concept. Once complete, a much higher level of mathematical understanding is achieved.

By aihui

Jan 06, 2018

The lecture provides a different view on calculus compared to the similar lecture during my university and this lecture is much better absolutely. I can still remember the suffering when i took my calculus course even though that was 5 years ago! I've got some confidence back in math and thanks for this lecture.

By Mohammad H

Mar 22, 2018

a good and neat course, I used it for reviewing and it went well

By Harshavardhan

Feb 26, 2018

The lectures on Big O (growth rates) are way too hard to comprehend, compared to the rest of the lectures. Please do try to simplify them.

By Peanut G

Jun 11, 2017

my first math.It is the best lecturein in my university life

By Amangossov A M

Jun 17, 2016

This is very good course for students!!!

By Atef H

May 21, 2016

Great new approach towards calculus.

By Vashurin R

Apr 25, 2016

Course is really cool, but oriented mostly on practical exercises and providing definitions. It would be much better if it had more formal proofs. Otherwise excellent course with a lot of challenging problems to solve.

By Rajasekhar

May 21, 2016

Good illustration of complex topics.

By Wenruo H

Dec 05, 2016

It could be better if we can see the key or tips for the homework.