partial derivatives

(1.1 hours to learn)


"A partial derivative of a function of several variables is its derivative with respect to one of those variables, with the others held constant (as opposed to the total derivative, in which all variables are allowed to vary)" [wikipedia entry]. Intuitively, a partial derivative measures the instantaneous rate of change for a single variate in a multivariate function.


This concept has the prerequisites:

Core resources (read/watch one of the following)


MIT Open Courseware: Multivariable Caclulus (2010)
Video lectures for MIT's introductory multivariable calculus class.
Author: Denis Auroux


Supplemental resources (the following are optional, but you may find them useful)


Other notes:
  • work through the examples section
Wolfram MathWorld

See also