Cornell University

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What’s the big deal about calculus?

Thursday, September 19, 2019 at 10:30am to 11:30am

Boyce Thompson Institute, Auditorium

Everyone has heard of calculus, but why is it so important? Millions of high school and college students feel compelled to take calculus, but many would be hard-pressed to explain what the subject is about or why it matters. Some of their teachers might feel the same way.

            In this talk, I’ll try to clarify the fantastic idea at the heart of calculus. With the help of pictures and stories, I’ll trace where calculus came from and then show how it – in partnership with medicine, philosophy, science, and technology – reshaped the course of civilization and helped make the world modern. This talk is intended for everyone, whether you've taken calculus or not, and whether you like math or not. By the end, I hope to convince you that calculus is one of the most imaginative and consequential triumphs of human creativity ever.

Come anytime after 10am for refreshments.

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CAPE: Cornell Association of Professors Emeriti

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Contact Name

CynthiaAnne Robinson

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Steven Strogatz

Speaker Affiliation

Applied Mathmatics

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