Difference Between Algebra and Calculus

By: | Updated: Dec-19, 2022
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Algebra and Calculus are closely related branches of mathematics. Equations and formulas of Algebra help people get solutions to most day-to-day problems. Ordinary people use Algebra to calculate correct combinations of ingredients, servings, routines, and shopping. Mathematician and astronomer Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi is known as the father of Algebra.  

Calculus is more complex and is mostly used by professionals. It is used to solve problems in architecture when constructing buildings, roads, stadiums, and bridges. It is applied in the fields of engineering, economics, medicine, demography, and statistics. Mathematician and scientist Sir Isaac Newton is known as the father of Calculus. 

Difference Between Algebra and Calculus

What is Calculus? 

Calculus is a branch of mathematics that deals with linear change. Its main concepts are built on integrals and derivatives. Integrals measure the area covered by a curve, while derivative explains the function at a specific point. Math branches such as geometry and algebra include a certain degree of Calculus.

It forms the foundation for people who wish to study STEM subjects such as chemistry, physics, biology, and engineering. Professionals in the fields of economics, engineering, astronomy, medicine, and architecture use calculus in their day-to-day career life. Its formulas and concepts are more complex. It is a math branch mostly taught at higher levels of education. 

Sometimes it takes time for most students to understand its concepts. Teachers have to find new ways to teach the subject to help students get to grasp the concept. There are a large variety of Calculus problems with solutions available on the plainmath.net website. If a student cannot get answers to homework problems, they can search for solutions on the website.  

What is Algebra? 

Algebra is one of the many branches of mathematics. It uses variables and numbers to solve mathematical problems. A variable is a letter such as y, x, n, or z that represents a certain unknown number. People use known numbers to find the number represented by the variable. Solving the problems require the use of operations such as subtraction, division, multiplication, and addition.  

Its uses go beyond math concepts into solutions required for day-to-day living. An individual might want to know how fast they need to move to get from point A to B in time. Another person may want to mix ingredients in a recipe. Algebra is classified into different branches based on how complex the expressions are. Its various branches include universal, abstract, elementary, and pre-algebra. 

Differences between Algebra and Calculus 

Both are useful branches of math, but their differences are wide. Algebra helps people to solve equations and patterns of equations. Calculus helps people to understand how different concepts are related to varying rates of change.  

Daily application 

One of the main differences between Algebra and Calculus is their daily application in life. Algebra is used in ordinary daily life activities. Programmers use it to create new applications or add codes to software. Ordinary people use it to plan for grocery shopping, daily commute, or prepare recipes. Gamers use it to strategize when playing video games. 

Calculus is mostly applied in professional fields. Pharmaceutical manufacturers use it to calculate ratios of chemicals. Search engines use it to refine searches. Quantity surveyors use Calculus to quantify construction materials. Data scientists use it to evaluate survey data.  

Levels of education taught 

Algebra is taught in all levels of education, starting from the lower grades. The lower grades are taught pre-algebra, and then they advance to elementary algebra. As they advance in education, they learn abstract algebra and later tackle universal one. Calculus is an advanced branch of math mostly taught from grade 12. It prepares students to learn the complex Calculus levels in college or university. 

Problems solved 

Algebra helps solve equations and variables. Calculus helps solve problems of change and movement. Algebra is static, meaning it does not change or evolve. Calculus is dynamic, meaning it is constantly changing or progressing as discoveries are made. Algebra mostly deals with getting solutions, but calculus mostly deals with finding relationships.  


Algebra is considered an easy subject to teach and understand at all levels of learning. Its concept and rules are old, although they are still applicable to date. It is a branch of math used in everyday life by anyone, even if they are not mathematicians. Calculus is considered a complicated branch of math that requires deeper learning and teaching. Its concepts and rules are modern. Although it is still used daily, it is used to solve complex engineering problems and other scientific applications.  


Algebra and Calculus are useful branches of math. They help solve equations, although their concepts are applied differently. Algebra solves simple equations in life, while calculus solves complex equations in the professional field. Algebra is taught at all levels of education, but Calculus is taught at advanced levels beginning with K12. Calculus is considered a complex branch of mathematics that takes time to teach and learn. 

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