
Calculus (mathematics)  MSN Encarta 
  Calculus (mathematics), branch of mathematics concerned with the study of such concepts as the rate of change of one variable quantity with respect to another, the slope of a curve at a prescribed point, the computation of the maximum and minimum values of functions, and the calculation of the area bounded by curves. 
  The two branches into which elementary calculus is usually divided are differential calculus, based on the consideration of the limit of a certain ratio, and integral calculus, based on the consideration of the limit of a certain sum. 
  Every application of differential calculus stems directly or indirectly from one or both of the two interpretations of the derivative as the slope of the tangent to the curve and as the rate of change of the dependent variable with respect to the independent variable. 
 encarta.msn.com /encyclopedia_761568582/Calculus_(mathematics).html (2150 words) 