The Arithmetic field of study covers any activity that studies mathematics in order to manifest the material. The Calculus field of study covers any activity that studies Calculus in order to manifest the material. In calculus, a branch of mathematics, the derivative is a measurement of how a function changes when the values of its inputs change. Loosely speaking, a derivative can be thought of as how much a quantity is changing at some given point. For example, the derivative of the position or distance of a car at some point in time is the instantaneous velocity, or instantaneous speed (respectively), at which that car is traveling (conversely the integral of the velocity is the car's position). A closely related notion is the differential of a function.

The derivative of a function at a chosen input value describes the best linear approximation of the function near that input value. For a real-valued function of a single real variable, the derivative at a point equals the slope of the tangent line to the graph of the function at that point. In higher dimensions, the derivative of a function at a point is a linear transformation called the linearization. The process of finding a derivative is called differentiation. The fundamental theorem of calculus states that differentiation is the reverse process to integration.

Differentiation is a method to compute the rate at which a quantity, y, changes with respect to the change in another quantity, x, upon which it is dependent. This rate of change is called the derivative of y with respect to x. In more precise language, the dependency of y on x means that y is a function of x. If x and y are real numbers, and if the graph of y is plotted against x, the derivative measures the slope of this graph at each point. This functional relationship is often denoted y = f(x), where f denotes the function.