## Welcome to Graphic Calculus

The word‘calculus’ comes from the Latin word for ‘stone’ and refers to the primitive use of stones to carry out calculations. In mathematics ‘calculus’ is the name for the symbolic calculation of the rate at which a function changes (differentiation) and the cumulative growth measuring the area under the graph (integration).

**A Graphic Approach to Calculus** is based on our sensory perception:– what we see changing and how fast it changes. It is an *embodied approach* that builds on physical actions and perceptions to give the symbolism a human meaning.

**A Graphic Approach to calculus** zooms in on the curve (keeping the

*x*- and

*y*-scales the same). If under suitably high magnification the graph

*looks* straight, then you can

*see* how steep it is. A graph with this property is called

*locally **straight*. You can look along a locally straight curve to

*see* its changing slope.

It is possible to use any flexible graphing software, such as the new **Graphic Calculus** from VUSoft to explore the ideas. This site has more details about a graphic approach to the calculus, including empirical research into its practical use, and links to other sites with related ideas and software.