Multivariable Calculus Online



Technology can be a transforming and enriching tool in the teaching of multivariable calculus.  However, the use of technology can also be as much of a distraction to a course as it is an enhancement. 

Multivariable Calculus Online addresses the integration of technology into the multivariable calculus course by re-inventing the textbook in an online format where technology and traditional mathematics can appear together in a natural context.  This online textbook was developed with the support of an NSF-CCLI grant (NSF DUE 9950600), and the third semester calculus course at East Tennessee State University has been based on the text for the past 3 years.

In this article, we describe what Multivariable Calculus Online is and how it can be used to either enhance an existing course or even replace an existing textbook.  To begin with, the textbook is located at

with a mirror site at  The animation to the right is from the textbook, but it is only a small sample of the types of interactive tools and illustrations that are found throughout Multivariable Calculus Online.

The textbook as it exists at these locations will be available and free to the public for downloading in parts or as a whole.  It is also appropriate for usage in BlackBoard, WebCT, and other course management software.

In the next section, we describe both the local and the global structure of Multivariable Calculus Online, including both how and why it differs from other multivariable textbooks. We will also  mix in some of the tools and illustrations from the book as we go, several of which are interactive.