Precalculus Review

The materials on this site should not be used as a substitute for a course in precalculus. They are intended to help you review some necessary precalculus prior to Math 10550 and Math 10560. These materials are also intended to help you re-examine some of those topics in the context in which you will encounter them in Calculus. The topics are chosen based on the difficulties former students in the course have had.

This site is a work in progress. You will find a list of the topics to be covered in preparation for Math 10550 under the link "Topics for Calculus I" on the upper left of this page. You will find a similar list of the topics(from precalculus) to be covered in preparation for Math 10560 under the link "Topics for Calculus II" on the upper left of this page. It is hoped that over the course of time we will be able to provide support materials in the form of lecture notes and videos for all topics. Since this will take some time, we have recommended a book where you will find all topics mentioned. This book is

Precalculus, fifth edition, by James Stewart, Lothar Redlin and Saleem Watson

Secondhand copies of this and other editions are available on If you do purcahse a copy of this book, please keep it for reference throughout Calculus 1 - 3.


As mentioned above, this site is a work in progress. We will post lecture notes and videos or solutions as they become available. Lectures and videos for Calculus I Preparation will be posted under the link "Lectures for Calculus I Prep." in the column on the left and those for Calculus II will be posted under "Lectures for Calculus II Prep.".

The purpose of these materials is to ensure that you will be well prepared for our calculus course. For this reason we will not focus on applications for many of the topics covered. We are more concerned with preparing you to use your precalculus in a new context so that keeping up with calculations will not be an unnecessary distraction for you in calculus class, and so that using concepts from precalculus will not be an obstacle for you in working with new concepts in calculus. In particular, the notes and videos will be based on topics in which former calculus students have demonstarted weak preparation.

We also introduce some concepts and notational devices which are necessary for calculus, but may be covered quickly in a calculus course. It is hoped that having a preview of these notational devices and basic concepts will help you feel less overwhelmed by the notation and more able to focus on concepts in your calculus lectures.

To use these materials, I strongly suggest that you browse through the topics and study those that you are not familiar with or have forgotten in detail prior to taking Calculus I or II. Also throughout the course of your studies in calculus, we recommend that you frequently refer to the materials or the book to review concepts as they become necessary.