I am studying ap calculus now, before I move onto differential equations etc., but the thing I am unsure of is, should I learn set theory before continuing on my ap calculus sections?

  • $\begingroup$ Related math.stackexchange.com/questions/617625/… $\endgroup$
    – user5402
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 16:47
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    $\begingroup$ A question: Mathematicians use the phrase "set theory" to describe a topic closely tied to mathematical logic. I could easily see someone in high school (you mention AP Calc) using this phrase to refer to open and closed intervals. The latter is contained in the former, but is more elementary and applicable to calculus. Which is meant? $\endgroup$
    – Adam
    Commented Dec 21, 2018 at 16:00

1 Answer 1


Short answer: No.

If you really want to know a little bit about sets, the first section of Book of Proof or Applied Discrete Structures would more than suffice for the purposes of most collegiate level courses. (You'll want more of them for courses involving proof, of course, but no more set theory.) Especially the first is quite suitable for self study.

But while there are some basic calculus arguments (especially once you start looking at vectors and/or parametric things) which can involve sets a bit, if you are studying on your own, no need to complicate matters by studying them separately. Whatever calculus text/resource you are using should have enough background to make progress - and if it doesn't, find another one. This website has several English-language open access texts, one of which should suffice for your needs.

  • $\begingroup$ thanks sorry If I am being mean kcrisman I like this site gives me quick answers fast sometimes, just I came here to learn things I did not do well in school, all people do is close my questions and do not realise were from all over the world here from different back grounds and all different, and they never give me a chance thanks for the last comment by the way I am trying my best and I do like to help people the best I can. Not all of us are foreigners living in the country I never went to a grammar school and not all of us was tought grammar the same way. $\endgroup$
    – Pauline
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 13:35
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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps some questions are more appropriate for other sites; they do get picky here, though not as bad as editors on Wikipedia! Don't make an edit there unless you want a fight :) $\endgroup$
    – kcrisman
    Commented Dec 21, 2018 at 3:30
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry Kcrisman for being immature and mean the other day Sometime things get frustrating when you try to hard, its not like its to hard I mean I guess with everything happening in life I guess one has to let of steam. All I meant is I just like to help on these sites and I don`t mean to be mean and say things in anger like that. $\endgroup$
    – Pauline
    Commented Dec 21, 2018 at 10:07
  • $\begingroup$ No problem. I think that one of the issues with open resources (not just this, but including open source software, etc.) is that there are often so many people contributing that when someone doesn't contribute right away it feels personal. $\endgroup$
    – kcrisman
    Commented Dec 22, 2018 at 3:31

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