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Calculating Derivatives

In the preceding Chapter, each time we needed to find a function’s derivative we started with the Definition of the Derivative, $f'(x) =\displaystyle{ \lim_{h \to 0}\dfrac{f(x+h) – f(x)}{h},}$ and proceeded from there. You probably found this process cumbersome and time-consuming, as does everyone.

Since we will be computing many derivatives as we proceed, we need a much faster and easier approach. In this Chapter we will develop, and of course practice, a set of rules that will let you quickly develop any derivative you need to. This is mostly a skills-building Chapter, but we’ll (also of course) develop our understanding of why the rules are what they are as we go!