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Understanding calculus is central to understanding machine learning! You can think of calculus as simply a set of tools for analysing the relationship between functions and their inputs. Often, in machine learning, we are trying to find the inputs which enable a function to best match the data. We start this module from the basics, by recalling what a function is and where we might encounter one. Following this, we talk about the how, when sketching a function on a graph, the slope describes the rate of change of the output with respect to an input. Using this visual intuition we next derive a robust mathematical definition of a derivative, which we then use to differentiate some interesting functions. Finally, by studying a few examples, we develop four handy time saving rules that enable us to speed up differentiation for many common scenarios.

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