MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (Sept. 20, 2012) – One of the most common questions that flits across a math student’s mind is, “How will I use this?” Understandably, it may be difficult to see at a glance how finding a solution to the equation 2x2 + 5x – x = 17 might directly correlate to one being able to tie their shoelaces. (By the way, if you really are using this equation for such a purpose, it may be time to invest in less complicated shoelaces.)

Thank goodness for calculus. Admittedly, some of the concepts are tough, but the great thing about it is that you can easily see its practical applications. Rather than simply juggling numbers and variables, you are beginning to apply the mathematical concepts you have picked up along the way to solve real-world problems. Suddenly, math has a purpose! Huzzah!

Shmoop, a publisher of digital curriculum and online test prep, is proud to announce the launch of its new Calculus Guide. Here, you can learn that “dy is over dx.” (Or is it in denial? It does still keep dx’s photo in a frame on its desk…)

And there’s more:

• Shmoop relates real-life situations to advanced calculus concepts, including derivatives, limits, and differential equations. Your eyes may be bugging out of your head reading these terms now, but give Shmoop a chance and they’ll pop ‘em back into their sockets.
• Hundreds of examples, exercises, and sample problems. The best way to learn is by example. Which is how Jack Osbourne got to be such a phenomenal singer.
• 3 quizzes per chapter. Because it’s about time you had yourself tested.
• Shmoop’s “In the Real World” section will fill you in on how calculus is used in STEM fields. These are not meadows where the tops of wildflowers have been chopped off.
• Graphs galore to help visualize calculus terms and functions. Let these axes be your allies.

Check out Shmoop’s Calculus Guide and start making sense of the world. Until then, you can just keep blindly hoping that gravity will continue to work.