# Home Study Companion: Calculus

Purchase HSC Calculus–Immediate Digital Download

The Calculus course is based on Paul A. Foerster’s ** Calculus: Concepts and Applications, 2nd Edition**. The Foerster text is highly regarded for use in AP Calculus courses. It shares the merits of Foerster’s other texts: clear explanations, a great collection of application problems, and a personal touch.

The HSC Calculus materials include two videos per lesson (one lecture, one problem solving, and extra files including spreadsheet programs and numerous GeoGebra demonstrations.

Other required materials:

- Keep all work in a notebook, preferably with graph paper or quadrille ruled paper.
- Download
(Classic edition, Ver. 5). It is needed to run the GeoGebra demos (stored as files ending in .ggb) included with the course, and it is a great tool that largely replaces a graphing calculator. (I use GeoGebra in lieu of “graphing calculators” which are severely limited by their clumsy user interfaces and small screen sizes.)*GeoGebra* - You will need a spreadsheet program. The standard option is
*Excel*which is part of*Microsoft Office*, but*Calc*, which is part ofis an excellent and free Open Source alternative. Calc has its own native file format, but it also reads and writes the*Libre Office**Excel*file format. You will need one of these spreadsheets to run the demo files provided with the course and you will be learning to use the spreadsheet as a calculation tool. - For Precalculus, Calculus, and beyond I recommend an
**RPN scientific calculator**, the system developed for scientific calculators by Hewlett-Packard. RPN notation takes a little getting used to at first, but it is wonderful for its fluency and reliability. I describe my HP calculator as an “extension of my brain.” RPN is a parenthesis-free notation system. Even quite complicated expressions can be computed without having to keep track of nested parentheses.There are several RPN options. The on-screen calculator,**Calc98**, which Math Without Borders students have seen in my videos since Algebra 1, has the ability to switch into RPN mode. Another downloadable RPN calculator I became aware of recently is**Free42**, which emulates the top-of-the-line HP-42s calculator. This one is especially nice since it is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, but also as an iPhone and Android ap. If you have a smart phone,**Free42**may well meet your hand-held calculator needs. A manual for Free42 is available**here**. If you want a stand-alone hand-held RPN calculator, the most practical option at this time is the HP-35s, which sells in the $50 range.