Course Catalog

Multivariable Calculus

  • Yearlong 2022-2023

    Aug 31, 2022-April 28, 2023 For Members Register

Course Overview

In this course students learn to differentiate and integrate functions of several variables. We extend the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus to multiple dimensions, and the course will culminate in Green’s, Stokes’ and Gauss’ Theorems. The course opens with a unit on vectors, which introduces students to this critical component of advanced calculus. We then move on to study partial derivatives, double and triple integrals, and vector calculus in both two and three dimensions. Students are expected to develop fluency with vector and matrix operations. Understanding of a parametric curves as a trajectory described by a position vector is an essential concept, and this allows us to break free from 1-dimensional calculus and investigate paths, velocities, and other applications of science that exist in three-dimensional space. We study derivatives in multiple dimensions, we use the ideas of the gradient and partial derivatives to explore optimization problems with multiple variables, and we consider constrained optimization problems using Lagrangians. After our study of differentials in multiple dimensions, we move to integral calculus. We use line and surface integrals to calculate physical quantities especially relevant to mechanics and electricity and magnetism, such as work and flux, and we employ volume integrals for calculations of mass and moments of inertia. We conclude with the major theorems (Green’s, Stokes’, Gauss’) of the course, applying each to some physical applications that commonly appear in calculus-based physics. Pre-requisite: The equivalent of a college year of single-variable calculus, including integration techniques, such as trigonometric substitution, integration by parts, and partial fractions. Completion of the AP Calculus BC curriculum with a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Exam would be considered adequate preparation.

NCAA-approved course

UC-approved course

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